The Wilkes University Honors Program offers bright, ambitious students an enhanced and interdisciplinary academic experience. Selected students from across Wilkes majors take part in honors classes and extracurricular activities designed to increase intellectual, professional and personal achievement.
Honors students reside in a living-learning community. Benefits include an annual academic enrichment grant, unique in higher education, which students can use to help fund study-related expenses such as travel or technology. Other scholarship opportunities specific to honors students are also available upon acceptance to this program.
Wilkes University honors students who complete the program will receive special recognition at graduation and a notation of “honors graduate” on their transcript and diploma.
Wilkes University educates students to be lifelong learners and find success while
navigating an increasingly complex and changing world. As a student participating
in the honors program, you will be challenged to push the boundaries of your abilities
as you seek answers to thought-provoking and relevant questions. You will have profound
experiences on this journey through close collaboration with peers and faculty in
small-group settings both in and out of the classroom. Field experiences, research
opportunities, civic engagement, internships and study abroad participation are among
the learning tools available to honors program participants.
Students in the honors program are asked to go beyond pure knowledge acquisition through gaining a deeper understanding of self through reflection. You will learn to systematically ask yourself: What does this new knowledge mean to me and how might I apply to improve my world? To that end, an emphasis on innovation, leadership development and integrity are hallmark goals of the honors program. Informed leaders with strong values can evoke positive change!
As an honors program participant you will be part of a close-knit community of scholars, mentored by a dedicated group of staff and faculty who will create a learning environment rich with growth opportunities. This living-learning atmosphere will provide the support and encouragement needed for you to thrive in your chosen discipline while developing important and necessary interpersonal and professional skills.
The information on this page will provide you with an understanding of the program requirements, admissions process and benefits. Please take a few moments to review this opportunity for greater self-discovery.
Dr. Mark Allen
Interim Director of the Honors Program
Our mission at the Wilkes University Honors Program is to recruit and retain exceptionally talented and highly motivated students by providing an enhanced, interdisciplinary educational experience, which will drive intellectual, professional and personal achievement. Additionally, the Wilkes University Honors Program anticipates raising academic expectations and greatly improving both the institution’s culture and that of the surrounding community.
In addition to Wilkes University’s core values of mentorship, scholarship, diversity, innovation and community, the honors program also looks to instill the following values in its students:
- Leadership — Learning to create personal and professional opportunities to positively influence one’s self and others toward the common good.
- Integrity — Demonstrating the highest level of ethical and moral standards with both determination and humility.
- Self-Awareness — Striving for an accurate assessment of one’s self through reflection.
- Academic Distinction — Pursuing academic excellence by engaging in rigorous and challenging experiences.
In addition to gaining an enhanced educational experience, Wilkes University honors students will enjoy the following benefits:
- a $6,000 honors program grant for each of four years of study
- opportunity to compete for enrichment grants in years three and four to help cover academic costs such as study abroad and research
- available honors housing for first- and second-year, residential honors students
- preferential course selection
- no additional cost for course overload related to honors work, as approved by academic advisors
- additional support for external scholarships, graduate school placement, career placement
- special notation on transcript and recognition at commencement
- field trips, dinners and access to notable speakers visiting campus
- access to a network of Wilkes University Honors Program graduates
Students have enjoyed field trips to New York City and dinners on campus with distinguished speakers. Class experiences include visits to Broadway and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, creating a film, and crafting leadership-themed children’s books that were then read to classes at a nearby school.
Students must first apply and be accepted to Wilkes University. Accepted students with an SAT score of 1,100 or higher or an ACT score of 23 or higher, and/or who rank in the top 20 percent of their high school graduating class, will be invited to submit an online application to the honors program.
- Honors program applicants selected must also take part in an interview.
- Students will be notified of acceptance into the honors program by March of their senior year.
Students in the Wilkes University Honors Program will be required to take the following classes:
- a cohort-based, 3-credit learning experience that will count toward a University core requirement,
- 18 additional credits, including 6 credits at the 300 level,
- 1-credit honors seminar in senior year.
The program is designed to fulfill most honors requirements with existing core or major requirements.
To remain in the program, students must achieve a 3.0 GPA at the end of the freshman year, a 3.2 after the sophomore year, and a 3.3 after the junior year. Students must end the senior year with a GPA of at least 3.4 to graduate with honors. A student will be allowed only one grade of 2.5 in honors courses to receive honors credit; all other grades must be 3.0 or higher.
“At the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Vietnam, I had the opportunity to meet young leaders from 69 countries who had a variety of passions, majors and ideas. All had a desire to help change the world in a positive way. I made friends that I continue to talk to from places as close as Florida and as far as Australia. I also has the opportunity to hear world leaders talk about issues such as human trafficking, the refugee crisis, agent orange and other issues.”
— Faith Banca
"This summer, I represented the Honors Program, Wilkes University and the United States of America at the annual University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hanoi, Vietnam. This life-changing opportunity would have never been mine had I not been a member of the Honors Program."
— Patrice Lonardi
"The program is an amazing stepping stone to succeed as it really gives you a line of advisors that can help you succeed on campus. If you have a project in mind or a change you would like to express, the Honors Program truly makes it a priority to aid your way to success."
— Julie Nong
"The experience I had in Vietnam for the University Scholars Leadership Symposium was a remarkable adventure from the start. The basis for this adventure was to widen my outlook on issues and lifestyles outside of the United States, as well learn from different perspectives from people all around the world. Issues such as Agent Orange were really brought to my attention, being that people still suffer from the effects of the Vietnam War after so many years. Even seeing the daily life of villagers opened my eyes to an extent where I appreciate life more."
— Dhruv Patel
“I have been offered multiple opportunities to become a more cultured individual outside of the classroom setting. The most rewarding experience I’ve had as a member of the honors program thus far is spending the day visiting the 9/11 memorial and museum. The museum was an indescribably beautiful tribute to those who lost loves ones, those who perished, and those who sacrificed their lives, as well as a chilling skeleton of the place where tragedy shook our nation."
— Christine Walsh
Honors Advisory Council
- Joyce Victor Chmil, Director of the Clinical Nursing Simulation Center
- Helen H. Davis, Associate Professor of English
- Suzanne Murray Galella, Associate Professor of Education
- Jennifer Malinowski, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice
- Kayla May, Student Development Activities Assistant
- Morgan Clevenger, Assistant Professor, Sidhu School of Business
- Reka Shayka, Coordinator of Extra-Curricular and Co-Curricular Honors Programming
- Casey Flynn, Honors Graduate Assistant