Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College
Kimberly S. Engber, dean
A1180 Shocker Hall • 316-WSU-3375
The Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College aims to prepare students for innovative work in a complex society, to engage students across campus in intellectual inquiry and debate and to support exploration, discovery and community engagement. Honors students pursue meaningful work in honors seminars and interdisciplinary tracks to earn honors distinctions on the transcript or diploma. They apply what they have learned in class to honors research and creative activity, internships, student exchange and study abroad.
Students are encouraged to meet with the Cohen Honors College dean, faculty and advisors to design an honors course of study that meets their academic needs and professional goals or passions. Visit the college website to find a form to petition for an exception to honors curriculum requirements.
Opportunities for all Undergraduate Students
In cooperation with academic departments across campus and the Office of Student Involvement, Honors also facilitates several programs open to all undergraduate students including:
- The Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Activity grants program,
- The First-Year Research Experience program,
- Credit for applied learning through Alternative Breaks and Leadership programs, and
- Mentorship for competitive postgraduate scholarship applications such as the Fulbright, Marshall, Truman, and Rhodes.
Members of the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College community uphold four pillars, aiming to be:
Innovative people solve problems creatively. They spot needs and take risks that their proposals will satisfy those needs. Innovation often requires bringing together the people, resources and expertise to develop new solutions, a sense of entrepreneurship. Innovation frequently involves interdisciplinary applications — borrowing from one field of endeavor to solve problems in another.
Professionals get results while committing themselves to high standards. Professionals do a good job for the sake of it. Professionals persevere in passionate pursuit of long-term goals.
The intelligent person masters the knowledge of a chosen specialty but also knows the value of knowledge from many other disciplines. A true intellectual is not simply a person who knows a lot or gets good grades. An intellectual is an intelligent person with a passion for and interest in knowledge, wisdom and inquiry.
Transformational people strive to make a positive difference for a better world, a better community. Transformational people commit themselves passionately to a cause larger than themselves, put themselves in service to others, and practice good citizenship. They open their minds to the diverse views of others and deliberate the issues.
Admission to Honors is determined by a competitive application process that requires:
- For students with fewer than 24 college credit hours: a minimum high school GPA of 3.700, or a composite ACT score of 271 or better.
- For students with 24 or more college credit hours: a minimum GPA from college credit hours of 3.500, or a composite ACT score of 271 or better.
Students who have a passion for learning but who do not meet the admission requirements may indicate on the Honors application that they would like to be considered for special exception.
SAT scores (critical reading and math only) are converted to ACT scores by the WSU admissions office.
To maintain active Honors status, students take a minimum of 3 honors credit hours each year and maintain an overall GPA of 3.250. Students should take at least 6 credit hours in honors seminars (HNRS prefix) or departmental honors courses (H following the course number) each year in order to graduate within four years with the minor in university honors or the honors baccalaureate diploma. Many of the university’s general education program requirements can be fulfilled by taking HNRS or H courses.
Probation and Dismissal
The Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College adheres to current WSU Probation and Dismissal policies found in the Academic Probation and Dismissal section of the Undergraduate Catalog with the following exceptions: Honors College students must maintain a GPA of 3.250 and enroll in at least one honors course each year.
In addition to meeting academic standards, students are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct which can be found online in section 8.05 of the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual (http://wichita.edu/policiesprocedures), and to meet the professional standards governing any organization in which the student is participating as an intern, exchange student or other capacity.
Students who fail to meet these standards are required to work closely with an advisor to explore options. Dismissal from the Cohen Honors College constitutes dismissal from the university only if a student is an Honors Baccalaureate major. For all other students, dismissal from Honors does not constitute dismissal from the university.
Honors Living-Learning Community
All students admitted to the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College may apply to live in the Honors College Living-Learning Community in Shocker Hall. Students who live in the Living-Learning Community:
- Take at least 3 credit hours each year in honors courses;
- Participate in the social, cultural, academic and service programs offered; and
- Abide by the rules set by housing and residence life.
The Honors Living-Learning Community is designed to promote close interactions among honors students and to create an environment that maximizes learning, social development, civic engagement and personal growth.
Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Grants
The Cohen Honors College offers opportunities for all undergraduate students across campus to receive funding, recognition, and guidance for faculty-mentored research and creative activity. For more information, stop by the Cohen Honors College office or visit the undergraduate research webpage (http://wichita.edu/honors/undergraduateresearch).
Self-directed research and creative activity guided by a faculty mentor prepares students for professional advancement or graduate study and fosters an innovation-oriented intellectual culture across the university. Individual students or small groups of students learn to formulate a relevant question or articulate a creative problem, design research methodology or project timeline, and present results to a disciplinary or diverse audience. Students from all majors and backgrounds are eligible to pursue undergraduate research and creative activity. Past student research grant winners have undertaken any number of tasks, including library research, designing and administering surveys, interviewing, conducting laboratory or field experiments, entering and verifying data, analyzing data, writing reports, establishing connections to arts communities outside of Wichita, presenting at regional and national conferences, and working in national archives.
Curriculum Overview: Honors Distinctions
Cohen Honors College students are expected to develop broad perspectives and/or engage in deep analysis through a curriculum comprising General Studies (breadth of study) and Advanced Scholarship (depth of study) tracks.
Students may choose to complete one or more tracks to earn transcript- and/or diploma-level distinctions.
General Studies: The General Studies Emory Lindquist Honors Scholar track exposes student to foundational concepts and recent developments in the arts, humanities, social sciences and/or sciences. This breadth of study track calls for students to engage in inquiry-based learning in at least one special-topics honor seminar or science lab, and engage in independent or collaborative research or creative activity. Completing this track earns a transcript distinction.
Most general studies track requirements fulfill university general education requirements or meet prerequisites or requirements for the major.
Advanced Scholarship: Interdisciplinary Honors (Law and Public Policy, Leadership, or Self-Designed) and Departmental Honors tracks engage students in depth of study and are traditionally undertaken during junior and senior years.
- Interdisciplinary tracks, whether in a determined area of study or proposed by the student, require coursework in two or more areas of academic interest. Completing this track earns a transcript distinction.
- Honors in the student's major (Departmental Honors) provides additional coursework and/or development of professional capacities with the guidance of faculty mentors in the department. Completing this track earns a diploma distinction.
All honors advanced scholarship tracks include either an applied learning experience and reflection or a thesis or capstone project completed by the end of the senior year.
University Honors: The University Honors minor and diploma notation is awarded to students who complete both a General Studies and Interdisiplinary Honors Advanced Scholarship track. Some advanced scholarship track requirements overlap with general education requirements and major requirements.
Honors Baccalaureate: The Honors Baccalaurate is a unique degree program that gives highly motivated and self-directed students the opportunity to design their own major. As an alternative to traditional majors, the HB allows students to select two or three concentrations in any existing area of study. Students, with the help of faculty advisors, select courses on the basis of a unifying issue, topic, or career goal. The HB includes a thesis or capstone project completed by the end of the senior year.
Students who transfer to WSU having completed all or part of an honors program at another university, college or community college should speak to the Honors College dean or advisor about having those credits counted toward an honors award at WSU.
Honors Course Offerings
Students can earn honors credits for a range of courses and experiences:
Honors Seminars (HNRS-prefix courses)
Small, discussion-based seminars that fulfill Tier 2 and Tier 3 general education requirements are offered every semester. These courses are open to all Cohen Honors College students. Students not in the Honors College may request permission to take one honors course.
Departmental Honors Courses
Many departments offer honors sections of traditional courses, as well as innovative courses designed specifically for Cohen Honors College and departmental honors students. These courses are marked with an H after the course number.
The Honors Research Seminar presents methods of inquiry and research concepts from several academic disciplines and provides students with opportunities to participate directly in research projects.
Honors College students are encouraged to engage beyond the classroom in applied learning such as service learning and internships, including the following honors courses:
|Travel Seminar (up to 4 credit hours)|
|Independent Study (repeatable up to 6 credit hours)|
|Cooperative Education (up to 4 credit hours)|
|Internship (up to 4 credit hours)|
Honors Option Agreement Courses
A student may petition to receive honors credit for any course taught by a full-time faculty member by submitting an honors option agreement. Each honors option agreement must be approved by the instructor and the Cohen Honors College dean or advisor. A student may take only one honors option each academic year.
An honors option requires a student to design meaningful work to supplement regular course material. (Examples include, but are not limited to, more in-depth research and writing assignments, presenting additional material to the class, and service projects with written reflection.) Students are required to:
- meet with the instructor before the end of the third week of classes to design a special assessment or project;
- fill out and turn in the honors option agreement form to the Cohen Honors College dean by the end of the third week of classes;
- schedule at least two additional meetings with the instructor, with at least one meeting before midterm;
- complete all requirements for the honors option two weeks before the final day of class.
When a student has completed the honors option requirements, the instructor notifies the Honors College, and the college asks the registrar's office to update the student’s transcript to show that the student earned honors credit for the course. There is no penalty if the student does not complete the additional work.
Courses in the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College are offered in three formats. Because course descriptions are listed in numerical sequence, the following summary is presented to assist in locating courses by format:
Introductory Honors Courses
|Introduction to the University|
|Introduction to the University for Transfer Students|
General Education Seminars
|Seminar I: Fine Arts|
|Seminar I: Humanities|
|Seminar I: Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Seminar I: Mathematics and Natural Sciences|
|Seminar II: Fine Arts|
|Seminar II: Humanities|
|Seminar II: Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Seminar II: Mathematics and Natural Sciences|
|Seminar III: Fine Arts|
|Seminar III: Humanities|
|Seminar III: Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Seminar III: Mathematics and Natural Sciences|
|Survey of Leadership|
|Survey of Law & Public Policy|
|Seminar in Fine Arts|
|Seminar in Humanities|
|Seminar in Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Seminar in Mathematics and Natural Sciences|
Applied Learning and Research
|Honors Research and Creative Activity Seminar|
Degrees and Program Tracks Offered by the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College
Emory Lindquist Honors Scholar (12 credit hours)
The Emory Lindquist Honors Scholar track is designed particularly for first-year and second-year students, but is open to qualified continuing and transfer students. The Emory Lindquist Honors Scholars curriculum leads students to explore intersections among academic disciplines and professions and to participate in academic research and creative activity.
To receive the transcript designation Emory Lindquist Honors Scholar, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.250 and complete 12 honors credit hours comprising:
|One honors general education seminar (HNRS-prefix course) or WSUN honors first-year seminar||3|
|HNRS 485||Honors Research and Creative Activity Seminar||3|
|or HNRS 486||Honors Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Seminar|
|Electives chosen from honors seminars (HNRS-prefix courses) or departmental honors courses||6|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
Honors Leadership Track (12 credit hours)
Students who complete the requirements for the leadership track earn the Honors Leadership Track notation on their transcript and earn a leadership certificate. The leadership track curriculum is designed to involve students in study, reflection and application of leadership principles on campus and beyond.
Students select electives from courses already offered in colleges across the university. Through electives, students are introduced to a variety of leadership theories and perspectives. The track culminates in an internship or study abroad experience approved by the faculty coordinator.
Individualized, on-the-job experience allows students to shadow leaders as they work. Ideally a student would intern with a leader in his or her area of interest. For example, a student interested in business leadership might intern with a CEO. A student interested in volunteer leadership might intern with a food bank organizer. A student interested in governmental leadership might intern with a congressional representative or senator. A student interested in educational leadership might intern with a university president, and a student interested in religious leadership intern with a clerical leader.
- To recognize the main leadership theories
- To identify different leadership perspectives
- To recognize applications of leadership
- To understand the benefits and challenges of leadership.
|HNRS 351||Survey of Leadership||3|
|Select two of the listed courses. 1||6|
|The Presidency Honors|
|Leading & Motivating Honors|
|Leadership in Self and Society Honors|
or HNRS 152F
or PSY 413H
|Leadership in Self and Society Honors|
|Select one of the following three courses||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
If a course on this list is not offered during an academic year, the student may request a substitute course by petitioning the Cohen Honors College for an exception.
Law and Public Policy Track (12 credit hours)
Students who complete the requirements for the law and public policy track earn a notation on their transcript. A student may petition the Cohen Honors College to count an alternative course toward the track requirements. Faculty may submit courses to the Cohen Honors College faculty council to be considered for inclusion in the track. Contact email@example.com for more information.
|HNRS 352||Survey of Law & Public Policy||3|
|Select one course from each of the following sections: 2||6|
|Constitutional History of the United States|
|Constitutional History of the United States|
|Law in American History|
|Law and Modern American Civil Rights|
|Philosophy of Law Honors|
|Political Theory and Philosophy|
|Legal Environment of Business|
|Policy I: Understanding Social Welfare Policy|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
No more than one course can be taken from the same academic department. If a course on this list is not offered during an academic year, the student may request a substitute course from the same academic department, by petitioning the Honors College for an exception.
General Interdisciplinary Honors Track (12 credit hours)
Considering a career in neurosciences or ethnomusicology? With approval from the dean, students may complete an interdisciplinary track around a topic of interest to them. Visit the Honors College website to find the petition for an exception to curriculum requirements to request a self-designed interdisciplinary track.
To receive an honors interdisciplinary track transcript designation, a student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.250 and complete 12 credit hours in one of several interdisciplinary tracks. Interdisciplinary track topics include creativity, law, leadership and sustainability. Each 12-credit-hour track consists of a core course and electives as well as a service activity, internship, exchange/study abroad or research/creative project.
An interdisciplinary track must include the following:
|Choose a 3-credit-hour introductory course that will shape the rest of the track.||3|
|Choose 6 credit hours of electives that will enhance interdisciplinary knowledge of the topic||6|
|Select one of the options below. 3|
|HNRS 398||Travel Seminar||3|
|or HNRS 481||Cooperative Education|
|or HNRS 481N||Internship|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
A student may petition the Honors College to count study abroad or an internship experience toward the experience-based learning requirement.
Some departments and colleges at WSU offer students the opportunity to receive departmental honors through their major. Departmental honors tracks are currently offered in aerospace engineering, communication sciences and disorders, modern and classical languages and literatures, mathematics, political science and psychology (under development).
To enroll as a candidate for departmental honors, a student must have junior standing and a cumulative grade point average of 3.250 (higher if department requirements so specify).
Departmental honors tracks consist of at least 12 credit hours of upper-division coursework, including a senior thesis, senior project, senior recital, or equivalent capstone experience. Each department or college specifies requirements for satisfactory completion of the honors track, but a minimum grade point average of 3.500 for work in the honors track is required.
Students who complete all requirements for departmental honors receive a diploma designation. Up to 3 honors credit hours counted toward the student’s major may be counted toward the minor in university honors. For current information about departmental honors requirements, check individual department information in the Undergraduate Catalog.