Frequently Asked Questions

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These are just some of the questions that are sometimes asked about Global Honors. If you have any other queries, don't hesitate to email us at or phone 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 the honors cohort model?

Global Honors classes are discussion-oriented 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. Am I eligible for admission to the Global Honors program?

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

  • Have a 3.5 GPA or better;
  • Commit to completing the Minor in Global Engagement or one of two Pathway options over two or three years;
  • Be a sophomore or junior at UW Tacoma at the time of enrollment with Global Honors;
  • Apply by August 31 for preferential consideration. Space-permitting, another round of applications will be accepted in September. However, rolling admissions can begin as early as March, so all candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

5. Do I have to have a perfect academic record to apply?

It probably doesn't hurt, but no. Global Honors requires a GPA of 3.5 at the time of applying, and once accepted into the Program students must maintain a GPA of 3.3 or above. However, although we take academics very seriously, GPA is considered to be just one element of each student's candidacy.  We are interested in personal qualities of character, openness to new ideas and cultures, and demonstrated interest in global themes. It's not just about existing achievements - the passion and potential to grow are just as significant.

6. Are there extra costs?

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

If you choose to study abroad there may be some additional costs. We do not require students to study abroad, but we strongly encourage everyone to explore the vast array of study abroad opportunities that are available. Many programs are affordable and allow students to apply financial aid and scholarships to the program's expenses. Some study abroad programs last as little as three weeks and allow students to earn academic credit. Being immersed in a new culture, even briefly, is rarely easier than during your time in college.

Please note, students who enroll for 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 courses. 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 in doubt, check the UWT tuition calculator. Always consider your schedule carefully before committing to more than 18 credits on a regular basis.

7. Is Global Honors a major?

No. Global Honors is intended to complement your major and enrich your educational experience at UWT, adding value to the conventional degree. Although many students consider Global Honors to be one of their defining experiences at UWT, it should enhance rather than compete with your major.

Global Honors students complete the Minor in Global Engagement, or certification in Global Leadership/Citizenship in addition to their declared UW Tacoma major. Upon graduation, Global Honors students earn the minor, the Global Honors distinction, or certification in Global Leadership/Citizenship.

8. Is Global Honors an honors society?

No. The co-curricular activities and ideals of our student body, including those of the Global Honors Student Leadership Council (SLC), have some things in common with honors societies. But Global Honors is an academic program, not a society. We will recognize and celebrate your existing achievements, but once enrolled, an honors program asks for and offers much more. The academic enrichment, support, resources, sense of community, and honors distinction that our students can earn and enjoy are uniquely substantial.

Several honors societies and many other student organizations are active on campus, and these can be great ways to get involved. Indeed, many Global Honors students are also active in student government and other societies. Check out the UWT Dawg Den's Organizations Directory to find out more.

9. Is Global Honors a scholarship?

No. Global Honors is an academic program, typically involving one honors course (2-5 credits) taken every (or almost every) quarter of the sophomore, junior and/or senior years.

However, once students are admitted, Global Honors is a clearing house for various scholarships and other resources. 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 a $2000 award to fund study abroad and other research activities. Furthermore, honors students are competitively qualified for various UW and other scholarship opportunities.

10. When does Global Honors start?

Global Honors begins in the autumn quarter of the sophomore or junior year. Limited admissions are sometimes accepted in the winter quarter of the sophomore or junior year. In exceptional circumstances, and space permitting, admissions might be accepted in the spring quarter of the sophomore or (very rarely) junior year. Typically, no admissions are accepted in the senior year, though exceptions may be made in special circumstances. For information specific to your current class standing, visit the Admissions page.

Our courses are intended to be taken sequentially, but exceptions are possible depending when you start and what your other academic commitments involve.

11. Do I have to study abroad?

No. Study abroad is strongly encouraged, and considerable resources are available to help you identify and possibly finance a suitable program. 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.

Similarly, previous study abroad and other travel experiences can complement your candidacy for Global Honors, but are certainly not required. A demonstrated interest in and openness to new places and cultures is just as, if not more important.

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

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 thesis is research-based and allows students 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. There is no need to study abroad if you opt to complete the thesis, but you are still encouraged to consider doing so.

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.

13. What are the thesis requirements/specifications?

The Global Honors thesis must be globally themed and 20-25 pages in length. Students select a topic of their choice and work with an individual faculty member of their choice. Full details can be found here.

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.

14. How do I apply?

It's a simple online process. Please visit the Admissions page for details, and contact us at if you have any questions.