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Need a Challenge? Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University

What do you want to get out of your college education? If you said you want to learn differently and challenge yourself to reach your full potential: you might want to check out an Honors College like the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors  College at Florida Atlantic University! My College Guide got in touch with Kerry Rosen, Admissions Counselor at the Honors College, for answers!

The Honors College at Florida Atlantic University

Courtesy of Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Isn’t college hard enough already? Why consider a Liberal Arts Honors College like the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University ?
Honors colleges and programs aren’t necessarily harder – but they do require a different kind of academic work, academic work that stresses critical thinking skills rather than mere memorizing.  The Wilkes Honors College at FAU is a place for students who are interested in becoming better readers, writers and thinkers, so that they will be better prepared for graduate and professional programs and a life-time of learning.

The Harriet L Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University calls itself an all-honors education at an all-honors college. What does that mean?
At Wilkes, students take all four years of courses at the honors level – something unique for honors programs that are part of larger universities.

What are some of the unique features of the Honors College ?
The curriculum at the Wilkes Honors College stresses learning that crosses the lines of traditional disciplines and requires that students take a certain number of team-taught courses.  Some examples of this would include:  The Aging Process (Psychology/Biology), Ethno-mathematics (Math/Anthropology), and Punishment (Philosophy/Political Science).

And on the non-academic side, our students live in modern residence halls that offer single bedrooms in four-person suites!

Are there any special annual events or programs that Honors College students particularly look forward to? Every spring we have a Research Symposium, where students present their research and creative projects.  We also have student art exhibits at our campus museum and a whole raft of social activities and traditions such as the Homecoming Carnival and the annual Student-Faculty Softball Game.  We have a wonderful 18-hole disc golf course that is heavily used and because we’re located in sunny South Florida , students can play year-round.  Ultimate Frisbee and soccer are other popular activities on campus.

Did we see something about a Senior Year thesis paper?
Every student completes a senior thesis before graduation.  This is a major project in their area of academic concentration and is the culmination of their four years of study.  Upon completion, the theses are published and placed in the library; they are also available electronically on our college website for other scholars to use.  Many of these theses actually are published in professional journals. We also require all students to complete an experiential learning component, which can be either a study-abroad experience or an internship or both.

Students at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University

Courtesy of Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Do you have any advice for a college bound high school student who thinks they might be interested in an Honors College like Florida Atlantic University’s?
They should come and visit – meet current students and faculty, see how they think they will fit in, and see if this kind of education is what they are seeking for themselves.

Is there anything they can do to prepare themselves and to gain a better chance of acceptance?
We are looking for students who have demonstrated that they have a good chance of being successful here, those who are interested in learning and being active participants in their own learning.  We consider the student’s transcript, test scores, resume as well as a sample of their academic writing.

What about college scholarships?
We offer an amazingly wonderful education at a great value – public school tuition AND generous academic scholarships, the latter including a limited number of out-of-state scholarships for non-Florida students.

Anything else that My College Guide college bound readers should know?
It is important that students and their families understand that liberal arts actually include sciences!  The Wilkes Honors College and other liberal arts colleges not only offer programs in the humanities and social sciences, they also offer strong programs in the natural and physical sciences and prepare students exceedingly well for medical school and graduate programs.

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