The Honors Program is not about doing “more” work or taking “harder” courses. It’s about pursuing an enriched, enhanced and deeper undergraduate liberal arts education. Honors students come together to form a diverse community of intellectually adventurous scholars.
Exceed all of your own expectations.
At Western Colorado University, the Honors Program welcomes high-achieving students from all majors and disciplines. The Honors Core features seven credits across four courses: Gateway, Forum, Introduction to the Great Conversation and Oxford Tutorial. You can take two Honors sections of General Education courses, which vary every semester. Honors Electives offer you the most autonomy by providing the option to pursue any combination of field experiences, service-learning projects, independent research and study abroad courses. This year, the Western Honors Program celebrates its 30th year.
A step ahead
Honors students gain access to distinctive, innovative and discussion-based courses, a database of thousands of internship, research and conference opportunities, honors-specific scholarships, community social events and more.
The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation, are elite scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.
Each year three new Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 will be awarded to three incoming freshmen.
In addition, all continuing Honors students may apply for Presidential Honors Scholarships. The following information provides due dates, criteria, and how to prepare your application.
Eligible candidates should have a high school, transfer, or Western Colorado University grade point average of, at minimum, 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates must also demonstrate leadership qualities or experience and a commitment to intellectual inquiry and academic challenge.
Incoming candidates should submit the following:
- A cover letter explaining why you want to be a part of Western's Honors Program and what you think the value is in being a part of the Honors Program;
- Two sealed letters of recommendation from teachers, guidance counselors, professors or academic advisors which address the student’s accomplishments and suitability for a college Honors Program;
- A copy of your most recent educational transcript;
- A resume of your qualifications, accomplishments, service, extra-curricular activities;
- Any other documentation that would be helpful in evaluating you as a candidate for this Scholarship.
Applications are MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 6th of the year of application and should be submitted to:Western Colorado University Honors Program
Dr. Kelsey L. Bennett, Honors Director
The Presidential Honors Scholarship Program
Taylor Hall 110A
Western Colorado University
Gunnison CO 81231
Continuing Applicants (current Western Honors students):
Note that continuing Honors students do not need to have been awarded a previous Presidential Honors Scholarship to apply.
Five Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded to five continuing Honors Students in good standing in the program. Each Presidential Honors Scholar will serve in a leadership position on the Honors Student Advisory Board (SAB) for the coming academic year. Officer positions include President, Vice President, Communications Coordinator, Service & Academic Leadership Committee Chair, and Social & Community Development Committee Chair. Officers will be determined by a majority vote among recipients. Attempts will be made to maintain a balance of majors and class standing within the group, although preference will be given to applicants actively involved with SAB, through planning and participating in Honors extracurricular activities, either as standing officers or as committee members.
All officers are expected to work together to uphold and advance the mission of the SAB: “to bring social connectivity and community involvement to the Honors Program and to be the student face of the program to the campus at large as its selected representatives. We serve as an inclusive and multi-disciplinary positive peer resource for the Honors community that represents diverse areas across campus.”
Continuing candidates should compile and submit the following in one packet, hard copy:
- A copy of the student's most current Western transcript (minimum 3.0 GPA required);
- A letter addressed to the Western Colorado University Foundation Scholarship Program Committee addressing the following:
- What value should SAB add to student life in the Honors Program;
- Evidence of Honors leadership abilities through planning and participating in Honors extracurricular activities during the current academic year;
- Your plan for continuing to demonstrate leadership and Honors community-building activities into the coming academic year;
- Your detailed plan for completing the Honors Program;
- One sealed letter of recommendation from a faculty member which addresses the student's accomplishments and suitability for a Presidential Honors Scholarship. The faculty member need not currently be teaching in the Honors Program.
Applications for continuing Honors students are DUE BY MARCH 11 of the year of application and should be submitted in hard copy to the Honors Program Director, Taylor Hall 110A. It is the applicant's responsibility to verify that the hard-copy application has been received.
- The President calls and conducts meetings, facilitates communication between SAB, the Director of the Honors Program, the Honors Council, the CALL/HNRS administrative assistant, and the greater Honors student body;
- The Vice President maintains the budget with financial discipline and keeps records;
- The Communications Coordinator accommodates the growing and fast-paced social media and communication needs of the program to connect SAB initiatives with the existing and prospective Honors communities as well as to the greater campus community;
- Both the Service & Academic Leadership Committee Chair and the Social & Community Development Committee Chair take the lead with event coordination by communicating and facilitating event ideas and proposals within their respective areas to the rest of SAB.
For a detailed list of officer position descriptions, contact the Director of the Honors Program.
The Western Colorado University Foundation Scholarship Program Committee will make selections within a few weeks of the closing deadline. Notification of award recipients will follow shortly thereafter.
Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship
The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).
- Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
- The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
- The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.
The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.
For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.
Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.
For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.
How to become an Honors student.
- Access to distinctive, innovative and discussion-based courses
- Access to Honors Lounge
- Community social events
- Database access to thousands of internship, research and conference opportunities
- Diverse peer group
- Graduate with Honors distinction
- Honors advising
- Honors-specific scholarships
- Leadership opportunities with the Honors Student Advisory Board
- Priority Honors housing
- Priority registration
- Vote for future course offerings
- 3.5 GPA for admission
- 1190 SAT/25 ACT
- 3.0 GPA to stay in program
- 3.3 GPA to graduate with Honors
Pick your path
Honors students undertake detailed studies and/or research into a unique topic or issue stemming from an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach.
Maximize your educational experience at Western.
Pursue your passions, manifest your ideas and get hands-on experience in your field by participating in the wide variety of extracurricular activities Western offers.
- Field Experiences: Complement courses without specified field experiences or develop a more in-depth project for disciplinary-based field experiences.
- Independent Study: Undertake detailed study and/or research into a unique topic or issue stemming from an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach.
- Service Learning: Apply concepts, theories and methods to issues affecting local communities.
Looking for more ways to get involved in your field of study? The Student Opportunity Center allows students to browse more than 11,000 student conferences, journals, internships, research opportunities, co-ops and funding sources.
A foundation for success
The Honors program allows students to explore ideas and take advantage of expanded learning opportunities.