Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers a social and academic community for qualifying students who seek to enhance their classroom and co-curricular experiences. As a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the national organizing body for college and university Honors, we seek to enrich the RWU experience by:

  • Providing opportunities to achieve excellence through intellectual and creative scholarship
  • Fostering citizenship and social responsibility through leadership in and engagement with local and global communities

The University Honors Program prepares students through engaged scholarship, service, and leadership. The curriculum focuses on civic action and reflection, delivered through academic and co-curricular experiences and the practice of civil discourse. We pursue academic excellence that makes a difference.

As the university’s first Living-Learning Community, the program provides Honors housing, including quiet study areas and an activities and seminar space. Co-curricular opportunities and cultural events supplement students’ coursework and academic requirements. Official transcripts awarded to Honors students document their completion of this prestigious and rewarding program.

Membership and Eligibility

Any prospective or current RWU undergraduate student meeting the established criteria for academic excellence may be eligible for the University Honors Program. For further information, please contact the Honors Program Director, Dr. William Palm (wpalm@rwu.edu, 401-254-3750).

Prospective students who complete the Honors Program application (included within the Common App) will be considered for admission into the program. Applicants minimally have earned cumulative averages of a B+ in major subjects and demonstrate a strong interest in being a member of the RWU Honors Living-Learning Community. The selection committee also considers the number of honors and advanced placement courses taken in high school, academic recognition, community service experience, and extra-curricular activities and leadership.

Currently enrolled Roger Williams University students performing with academic distinction within their first two semesters are encouraged to apply provided they are able to complete all program requirements through their remaining course of study. Transfer students of academic distinction may also apply for Honors Program membership.

[1] Students admitted to the Honors program after their first semester at RWU or as transfer students will work with the Honors Director to determine an appropriate curriculum.

Academic Standards and Policies for the Honors Program

To remain in good standing with the program, an Honors Program student:

  • maintains a cumulative 3.3 GPA throughout their time at the university
  • completes all or any allowed combination of the Honors Curriculum, as defined above
  • satisfies the Honors Community Engagement Requirement prior to the final semester
  • fulfills the Honors Capstone Requirements, including all intermediate deadlines
  • demonstrates engagement in Honors coursework and co-curricular activities; attends Honors Capstone Presentations annually
  • models university standards for academic integrity and student conduct

The Honors Program Director, working with the Honors Academic Standards and Policies Committee, reviews students’ academic progress and compliance with these academic standards each semester. Students failing to meet expectations are notified by letter, and placed on Honors academic probation. Students assigned to the Honors probationary status are required to meet with the Honors Director to discuss the circumstances of the student’s probation and the corresponding remediation plan. If the remediation plan requires more than one year to return the student to good standing, students must apply for an extended probation via an academic appeal to the Honors Academic Standards and Policies Committee to avoid termination from the program.

Academic Appeals and Substitutions

Students may appeal for exemptions or substitutions of Honors Program academic standards and requirements through the Honors Academic Standards and Policies Committee. Copies of the appeal applications are available in the Honors Program office.

Program Requirements

The Honors Program Curriculum consists of A) Required HONR courses, B) Optional Honors-designated courses, C) the Honors Community Engagement requirement, and D) the Honors Capstone requirements. Students must also meet requirements for the University General Education Curriculum and for their majors and minors.*

For graduation with Honors, students must plan their course of study to complete a minimum of 18 credits across Groups A-D as follows:

B. Students choose at least 6 credits from the following:

C. Community Engagement Project

Students complete an approved Community Engagement project within the final two years of their course of study. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing one of the following courses:

D. Honors Capstone Project

Students complete an Honors Capstone project within the final two years of their course of study (1 credit).


The Honors Capstone Project includes a) an approved Senior Capstone Project within one or more disciplines, b) a corresponding Honors Capstone Reflection, and c) a formal presentation at one of the Honors Senior SASH symposia (or equivalent). The Senior Capstone Project must be conducted within one or more credit-bearing courses (e.g., a thesis, studio, project-based, or independent study course) and be pre-approved by the Honors Program and a faculty capstone mentor. One credit from the capstone course(s) will count towards the 18 Honors credit requirement.