Academic Resources

  • Honors Program

    The Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan '55 Honors Program, the Commonwealth Honors Program at Worcester State University, gives high-performing and motivated students opportunities to realize their academic potential and achieve their future goals. We promote scholarly excellence among both students and faculty through our curriculum and events programming. We are a strong community dedicated to sustaining the intellectual and social development of our students and enhancing life at Worcester State. Our program is part of the Massachusetts Commonwealth Honors Program and a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

  • Program Requirements

    As an honors student, you will be required to complete 7 honors courses (21 credits). If you join the program after your first year, you’re required to complete 6 courses. Honors courses generally fulfill Worcester State’s LASC or major/minor requirements and must be passed with a minimum grade of B. Honors classes may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. Honors students in good standing must attend at least 2 honors events per semester and maintain a 3.2 GPA.

    Commonwealth Honors Project

    We encourage all honors students to complete a Commonwealth Honors Project during their junior or senior year to earn the added designation of “Commonwealth Honors Scholar.” These projects typically encompass significant original research, artistic achievement, or civic engagement and are presented in a public forum such as an undergraduate research conference or our campus-wide Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity. Being a Commonwealth Honors Scholar will bring you additional recognition at graduation, and—more importantly—provides you a chance to integrate your college learning in a meaningful capstone experience and to prepare for graduate study or your career goals.

    Prospective Students

    First-Year Students

    Potential honors candidates are identified during the Admissions process, based on high-school GPA and SAT scores. If you are deemed a qualified candidate, you'll be invited to opt into the program as an incoming first-year student. There is no special application form.

    Transfer Students

    If you are a transfer applicant who has demonstrated a strong academic record at a previous college or university (college GPA of 3.5), you may apply to the Honors Program. In addition, if you were enrolled in an honors program at a Massachusetts public community college or state university, you will be automatically eligible for our Honors Program. Up to 3 of your previous honors courses will be transferred into our Honors Program and count toward completion of the 6 required honors courses. If you are an interested transfer student, please complete our online form.

    Full-Time, Enrolled Worcester State Students

    If you are an enrolled Worcester State student, you may apply to the Honors Program with a college GPA of 3.5 or higher after your first semester. If you're accepted, you will be required to take at least 6 honors courses. If you are interested in applying, you should complete our online form.

    Accepted Students

    If you have been offered a place in the Honors Program along with your admission to Worcester State, do not forget to accept your invitation for the Honors Program. This is a step separate from the process of your basic enrollment at Worcester State. Once you have accepted your invitation to join the Honors Program, you will receive information about the Honors orientation day, which takes place over the summer prior to your first semester at college. In addition, please note that your first-year fall schedule should include Honors College Writing and Honors First Year Seminar sections, rather than regular college writing and first-year seminar sections.

    Residence Life and Housing

    We work closely with the Residence Life and Housing Office to cluster our honors students together in the first-year residence halls. We also offer an Honors House living-learning community for sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Wasylean Hall.

    Meet the Staff

    Cleve Wiese, Director, hwiese@worcester.edu

    Nicole Rosa, Assistant Director, nrosa@worcester.edu

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How does the program work? Does it mean taking extra courses?

    The Honors Program is a track within Worcester State's existing academic programs. It is not a stand-alone curriculum. You should take a minimum of 7 honors courses during your college career if you enter the program during your first semester at Worcester State (a minimum of 6 if you enter after your first semester); however, all of the courses you will take for honors should also count either towards the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum (LASC), your academic major, or your minor.

    What does a typical freshman fall schedule look like?

    All first-year honors students take 2 courses: an all-honors First-Year Seminar plus the Honors College Writing course EN 202. Many first-year students also take additional honors classes during the Spring semester.

    Will I have an honors advisor?

    The Honors Program provides guided navigation through the university system throughout your 4 years. Honors students have Honors Program advisors in addition to an advisor in their major. And, of course, you have access to all of Worcester State's Academic Success resources.

    What are the co-curricular elements of the Honors Program?

    The Honors Center has a designated library room used for study and collaboration, program planning and meetings, etc. In addition to the speakers and events on the Worcester State campus calendar, we plan a lively series of social and cultural events throughout the year just for honors students. Popular honors traditions include the President's Dinner and Theatre nights, the fall Boston day trip, and the spring overnight trip to New York City.

    What are the long-term benefits of the program?

    Your honors participation is recognized on your transcript and at graduation. An enhanced academic record will strengthen your future graduate school and employment applications. The Commonwealth Honors Project is your chance to conduct and present independent research, synthesize your honors and college studies, and experience integrated learning by bringing it all together as a junior or senior and earning Commonwealth Honors Scholar distinction.

    Are there Honors Scholarships?

    Academic scholarships are not administered by the Honors Program, although we are proud to report that many honors students are awarded scholarships. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about the range of scholarships that are available.

    In addition, all eligible honors students are guaranteed generous grants to support their research, travel, and study abroad programs while enrolled at Worcester State.

    Is there Honors Housing?

    First-year honors on-campus residents are informally clustered together in their first-year residence hall. Honors House in Wasylean Hall is an available option for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

    What if I'm a commuter student?

    You won't be alone. About half of our students commute to campus and participate in our academic, cultural, and social events. All honors students are welcome and encouraged to attend events hosted by Honors House.
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    If you are a current Worcester State student or faculty member, please visit myWSU for detailed information such as forms and events.