Global Honors Program

Main page content


Global Honors is an interdisciplinary honors program open to all majors and served by internationally reputed faculty from programs across campus. Global Honors provides flexible pathways (12 to 24 credits) to academic excellence, adding distinction to the degree. Students may also opt for the minor in Global Engagement (25 credits).

What makes the program unique?

Small core seminars, community outreach, study abroad, internships and professional development opportunities prepare high-achieving students for the challenges of a globalizing world. The diverse and closely-knit learning environment facilitates in-depth exploration of complex issues facing our interconnected world.  Students graduate to careers in law, medicine, business, technology, arts, education and others; more importantly, they graduate with awareness and compassion to lead and serve in our global community.


As UW Tacoma’s interdisciplinary honors program, the mission of Global Honors reflects the mission of the university in its commitment to educate diverse learners and expand the boundaries of knowledge and discovery. We aim to prepare students to meet the challenges of an interdependent world. Our curriculum is designed to help highly motivated students enhance their education of global issues. Through rigorous core seminars, exciting study abroad opportunities, and extra-curricular events, honors scholars embark on enriching pathways to community leadership and global citizenship.


To promote and support interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty, students, and community partners that deepen our understanding of the world and that inspire us to engage in solutions for a better society. To engage community partners in the global education and training of students for a competitive and interdependent world.

Program Objectives

Global Honors Students will:

1.      Demonstrate understanding of world history and culture, global interdependency and global citizenship.
2.      Demonstrate understanding of connections between local and global in Global Honors coursework and capstone projects.
3.      Present learning experiences from capstone theses, study abroad, and internships to the UW Tacoma community.
4.      Demonstrate understanding and appreciation of interdisciplinary perspectives.
5.      Demonstrate enhanced skills in research, critical thinking, writing, working cooperatively, and oral communication.

Learning community

As per the honors cohort model, students join a small group of critically engaged classmates that typically progresses through our sequential curriculum together. Each seminar-style course is capped at twenty students, and all members are expected to make an active contribution to in-class discussions. Working with one another and supportive professors in this setting helps foster a genuine sense of collegial rapport that is highly conducive to collaborative learning.

Student activities also transcend the traditional classroom setting to include co-curricular, social, and service activities. Some of these are officially arranged by the Program, but students are welcome to take ownership of their experience and initiate their own ideas.

Study Abroad

Strongly encouraged but not required.

Students may study in another country with an accredited university study abroad program. Options range from programs of three weeks to one quarter or more. Students have access to UW Tacoma and UW Seattle study abroad programs.

Research and Internship Opportunities

All Global Honors students complete a senior capstone project. This may involve an honors research thesis, study abroad reflection project, or internship. The last typically involve a global leadership and/or global citizenship theme.

In order to promote outstanding undergraduate research, Global Honors also offers the Bamford Fellowship in Global Engagement. This includes a $2000 student award and is intended to:

·        Provide a guided research experience for UW Tacoma students
·        Enhance undergraduate research in global issues
·        Promote global engagement, citizenship, and leadership
·        Enhance relevance between academic research and community service
·        Promote student participation in study abroad

The Fellowship typically supports up to three research teams each academic year, each consisting of two students and one faculty advisor.


The Global Honors Program Administrator offers specialized honors advising/mentoring for all Global Honors students. The Program Coordinator offers specialized experiential learning and resource advising. General academic advising is provided by advisors within the Academic Advising Center and each major’s home program.

Course of study

The Global Honors curriculum is interdisciplinary and globally focused. Courses are taught in seminar style and the small faculty to student ratio allows for in-depth exploration of a wide range of topics. Emphasis is on the development of critical thinking, writing, research and leadership skills. Classes may include presentations, individual or group projects, research papers, and peer reviews. Flexible pathways with fewer total credits are available for students without the schedule availability to complete the full Global Honors curriculum.

First Year

Students take one of two introductory courses that orient them to basic concepts in globalization and honors education. The courses also outline the expectations of the Program and the myriad resources available to support students through graduation. In addition to an introductory course, two of the three core seminars are typically completed in the first year. Each seminar includes extensive reading lists, substantive writing and research assignments and the expectation of active participation by students.

  • T GH 203 Themes in Global Honors (5 credits) or T GH 300 Re-Orienting the Global (2 credits)
  • T GH 301 Global Interactions (5)
  • T GH 302 Global Imaginations (5)

Second Year

Students who decide to study abroad generally do so in the summer before their senior year. In the autumn, Global Honors students take the last core seminar. In the winter, they take a research seminar in preparation for the capstone project which could be a thesis, a study abroad reflection/thesis, or an internship reflection/thesis. During the spring, students work with a faculty advisor of their choice to complete the capstone project. As a final requirement for graduation with Global Honors, students present their work at the annual Global Honors Research Colloquium/Global Engagement Conference. This is a widely publicized and well-attended event. Preparation for and presentation at the Colloquium (Thesis Symposium) is credited for students completing the minor in Global Engagement.

  • T GH 303 Global Challenges (5 credits)
  • T GH 490 Research Methods (2)
  • T GH 491 Thesis Symposium (1)
  • T GH 494 Thesis (5) or T GH 495 Reflection Essay or Independent Research (2-5)* or T GH 496 Experiential Learning (5)

Students who complete a study abroad experience (minimum 3 weeks) may choose to write the two-credit senior reflection essay in lieu of their five-credit senior thesis. All other students must complete a five-credit thesis or internship that is global in scope. All students completing the Minor in Global Engagement must also complete a full five-credit campstone. Capstone projects are presented at the spring Global Honors Research Colloquium/Global Engagement Conference.