Frequently Asked Questions

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Please see below for the most commonly asked questions regarding the Global Honors program. If you have further questions not addressed below, please reach out to us at or call us at 253-692-4770.

1. What is Global Honors?

Global Honors is the interdisciplinary campus honors program at UW Tacoma. It provides highly motivated students an enriched and sophisticated understanding of the world and their place within it at a time when global interactions are transforming the planet. Students may opt to pursue a Minor in Global Engagement and earn the highly valuable honors distinction on their transcripts. Students may also consider two alternative pathways with fewer credits, culminating in certification in Global Leadership or Global Citizenship.

To learn more about the meaning and purpose of 'honors', check out the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) website here.

2. What are the benefits of joining the Global Honors program?

Global Honors classes are taught seminar style and capped at 20 students per class. The small class size promotes a high level of engagement and a sense of community among the Program's students and faculty. Global Honors students repeatedly cite the learning environment as one of the best aspects of the program.

Additionally, Global Honors students receive individualized attention from the Assistant Director and Associate Vice Chancellor relating to their academic interests and resources such as internships, scholarships, research opportunities, conferences, and study abroad programs.

Students also have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member of their choice when writing the senior capstone. As a result of these interactions, faculty often direct students to other opportunities that better prepare them for their career or for graduate studies. They also tend to serve as wonderful references.

Learn more about the benefits of honors programs by visiting the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) website here.

3. How will Global Honors fit into my major?

For many UW Tacoma majors there is considerable overlap between Global Honors requirements and major-specific requirements. Speak with your advisor to see how Global Honors courses might apply towards the requirements for your chosen major. In addition to major and minor requirements, Global Honors courses can also fulfill elective credits and general education requirements.

For some examples of how Global Honors can align with the requirements for certain majors, see the Model Course Schedules page.

Since the Global Honors Program has pathway options varying between 12 and 28 credits, it is feasible for most students to fit it into their academic plan. However, this is a two or three-year program, and the Minor in Global Engagement includes 12-15 credits in the junior year and 10-13 in the senior year. Therefore, students with more than 105 credits are often not eligible to participate.

4. What is the application criteria for Global Honors? 

In order to be considered for admission to the Global Honors program you must:

  • 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average (either from UW Tacoma or as an incoming transfer). 
  • Students will be selected on the basis of their GPA, unique perspectives, and demonstrated ability to make an exceptional contribution to the program.
  • A minimum of 45 credits at the time of admission.
  • Less than 135 credits at the time of admission.

To apply to Global Honors, please visit the Admissions page for details, and contact us at if you have any questions.

5. Are there extra costs?

No. As with all UWT major, minor, and elective courses, Global Honors courses are covered by your regular tuition fees.

Please note, students who enroll in more than 18 credits in a given quarter incur additional tuition costs for that quarter. This is true for all courses at UWT, not just Global Honors. For resident students, the Global Scholar Award can help compensate for the difference, but for non-resident/international students the difference might be more costly. If you have questions regarding this, please reach out to the Office of Student Financial Aid for guidance. 

6. Is Global Honors a scholarship?

No. Global Honors is an academic program, typically involving one honors course (2-5 credits) taken each quarter over the course of the 2 year program. 

While Global Honors is not a scholarship, students admitted to the program avail of tremendous funding opportunities. All program participants are eligible for the Global Scholar Award. Students pursuing the Minor in Global Engagement can also apply to the Bamford Fellowship in Global Engagement, which includes up to a $2000 award to fund study abroad and other research activities. Furthermore, honors students are competitively qualified for various UW and other scholarship opportunities.

7. Do I have to study abroad?

While study abroad is not a requirement for the Global Honors program, we strongly encourage students to explore study abroad opportunities offered through the Office of Global Affairs. Nothing quite compares to the educational and cultural transformations that overseas experiences can provide. But we understand some students do not have the time, interest, or means to undertake study abroad, and our curriculum can help you expand your horizons without having to leave Tacoma.

8. What is the difference between the thesis and the reflection options for the senior capstone?

All Global Honors students are required to complete a senior capstone, and most choose to complete a thesis. The Global Honors thesis is research-based and must be globally themed and 20-25 pages in length. Students work with an individual faculty advisor of their choice to discuss a topic of their choice that explores some intersection between the Global Honors curriculum, their work in their academic major, and/or their other research interests. If their academic major also requires a thesis or capstone, upon approval, students can use one thesis to fulfill both requirements, provided they adhere to both sets of requirements. Full details can be found here.

Students who choose to study abroad for a minimum of three weeks can choose between writing a thesis (5 credits) or a reflection essay (2 credits). The reflection essay is only available to those who have studied abroad while at UW Tacoma (for a minimum of three weeks). The reflection essay focuses on growth in the student's personal, intellectual, and global identity, as informed by experiences at UW Tacoma, including but not limited to study abroad, community service and Global Honors coursework.

An internship capstone is also available for students interested in experiential learning. Details for all capstone options can be found here.