Honors Program

Nell Gross, Director of Advising Services (ngross@uw.edu)
Julian Barr, Undergraduate Academic Adviser (jubarr@uw.edu)

The Geography Honors Program is designed for geography majors who have satisfied the criteria for eligibility as detailed below and who wish to undertake a major project that requires a significant amount of both independent and group work. A more substantial undertaking than a Senior Essay, the year-long Honors project should demonstrate a high level of expertise in, and deep engagement with, a chosen area of study; the ability to conduct independent research, an aptitude for articulate, persuasive writing, and an ability to work productively in a collaborative community.

By completing the Geography Honors Program, students graduate with a B.A. with Honors in Geography. Students who are enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program and also complete the Geography Honors Program receive a B.A. with College Honors. The necessary paperwork for application to the Geography Honors Program may be obtained from and should be returned to the Undergraduate Adviser. For more information on the College or Interdisciplinary Honors programs, see the Honors Program website.

Procedures and requirements for entrance into the departmental honors program:

1) Near the end of winter quarter or toward the beginning of spring quarter, geography majors of junior standing with a GPA of at least 3.6 in at least three UW Geography courses, and an overall GPA of 3.30, will receive an invitation to apply to the honors program.

2) By the deadline stated in the invitation, applicants must submit a completed copy of the Departmental Honors Invitation Form to the undergraduate advising office.

3) By the stated deadline, applicants must submit a 1-page personal statement.

4) By the stated deadline, applicants must schedule and complete an interview with the Geography Undergraduate Adviser. The interview will pertain to the applicant’s intellectual interests and experiences in independent research and collaborative work.

5) Applicants are highly encouraged to have completed GEOG 315, Explanation and Understanding in Geography, or an alternative course in social science methodology, before entrance into the Honors program. Applicants who have not taken GEOG 315 should plan to register for it in the Autumn quarter of their senior year.

6) Successful applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the Honors program in early May.


Requirements for graduation with honors:

1) Fulfillment of regular degree requirements for geography major.

2) A GPA of at least 3.5 in geography courses, and an overall GPA of 3.40 or above.

3) Successful completion of three quarters of the Undergraduate Honors Seminar, GEOG 497. This seminar is a three credit course that helps students design, execute, write, and present a research project. It’s a chance for seniors to independently build upon their passions and interests in geography in a larger, more complex project, while forging relations of support and caring within a small group of like-minded geographers. Students learn to help and support others in their work, share and exchange resources and ideas,and give and get constructive feedback.

4) An honors project, i.e. a paper at least 30 pages long, double-spaced (excluding bibliography, title page, etc.), resulting from substantial independent reading in primary and secondary resources and research on a topic of your choice.