Academic Catalog

Williams Honors College

Selective Admission

Students who have been accepted to The University of Akron, who are pursuing a bachelor's program as a full-time student, and who meet the Williams Honors College criteria may apply separately for admission to the Williams Honors College. A student may be admitted to the Williams Honors College upon graduation from high school, upon transfer from another college or university, or as a continuing student at The University of Akron.

Selective admission criteria for the Williams Honors College:

  • Separate application for the Williams Honors College
  • Pursuing a bachelor's program
  • High school grade-point average of 3.5 or above and either an ACT score of 27 or above or SAT of 1280 or above

Other applicants, whether transfer students or continuing undergraduates, must satisfy the following:

  • Grade-point average of 3.6 or above
  • Completed fewer than 64 credits of college coursework

Honors Curriculum

Academic Majors

A Williams Honors College student completes the requirements for a major in one of the colleges awarding bachelor’s degrees and enrolls in select honors classes. The Honors Research Project counts as advanced coursework.

Honors Distribution

In place of The University of Akron General Education requirements, a Williams Honors College student completes an individually selected set of courses to meet the Honors Distribution. The Honors Distribution consists of the following four group requirements totaling at least 25 credits:

Group I (The Humanities)

Six or more credits in courses offered by these departments:

  • 2040: Black Experience
  • 3001: Women’s Studies
  • 3002: Pan-African Studies
  • 3200: Classical Studies
  • 3240: Archaeology (depending on the course)
  • 3400: World Civilizations
  • 3400: Humanities in the Western Tradition
  • 3400: History
  • 3220: Latin
  • 3600: Philosophy

Group II (Languages and the Arts)

Six credits of English Composition (Honors) and/or other English; and three or more credits from the other departments listed below:

  • 2020:222 Technical Report Writing  (with certain restrictions)
  • 3300: English
  • 3500: Arabic
  • 3500: Chinese
  • 3500: Japanese
  • 3520: French
  • 3530: German
  • 3550: Italian
  • 3570: Russian
  • 3580: Spanish
  • 7100: Art
  • 7500: Music
  • 7520: Applied Music Lessons
  • 7600: Communication
  • 7700: Sign Language
  • 7800: Theatre
  • 7900: Dance

Group III (The Social Sciences)

Six or more credits in courses offered by the departments below:

  • 2040: Human Relations
  • 2040: American Urban Society
  • 2040: Diversity in American Society
  • 3006: Institute for Life-Span/Gerontology
  • 3230: Anthropology
  • 3240: Archaeology
  • 3250: Economics
  • 3350: Geography and Planning
  • 3700: Political Science
  • 3750: Psychology
  • 3850: Sociology

Group IV (The Natural Sciences and Mathematics)

Three or more credits in mathematics, computer science, or statistics; and four or more credits of science courses, including a lab:

  • 3100: Biology
  • 3150: Chemistry
  • 3230:151 Human Evolution 
  • 3370: Geology
  • 3450: Mathematics (135 or higher)
  • 3460: Computer Science
  • 3470: Statistics
  • 3650: Physics

Each student must complete at least 17 Honors credits of coursework prior to graduation. Students should select an honors section of a course if an honors section is offered. Suggested courses and special cases are noted on the Williams Honors College web page.

Honors Colloquia

All Williams Honors College students participate in the Honors Colloquium series: Humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These one-semester, three-credit courses are interdisciplinary seminars open only to Williams Honors College students.

  • 1870:350 Honors Colloquium: Humanities
  • 1870:340 Honors Colloquium: Social Science
  • 1870:370 Honors Colloquium: Natural Science

Honors Research Project

Williams Honors College students are required to complete an Honors Research Project. This capstone of the WHC student’s academic and pre-professional studies begins with a choice of faculty adviser and submission of a proposal in the junior year. Students work intensively, with the guidance of a faculty sponsor, on a thesis, investigation, production, or problem of the student’s choice. In designing, completing, and reporting on their Honors Research Projects. The students have unique opportunities to apply their learning and test their abilities. Students should register for Honors Research Project course credit, totaling at least two credits but not more than 6 credits, in their major department.

Other Features


Students admitted to the Williams Honors College are eligible for academic scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions, ranging from $500 to $6000. The Lisle M. Buckingham/Orr Prestigious Scholarships, which provide tuition and general fees, room and board, for up to eight continual semesters, is awarded to students who are selected after an interview process.


An Honors Faculty Adviser is available to advise Williams Honors College students in each academic department. With this Honors Faculty Adviser’s guidance, the student plans the Honors Distribution and schedules what is needed to meet departmental, college, and Williams Honors College degree requirements. Professional Honors advisers are also available in the Williams Honors College office to assist with general academic advisement issues, personal and career counseling.

Priority in Registration and Residence Assignment

Williams Honors College students are among the first students to register for classes each semester. In addition, new Williams Honors College students have exclusive access to the Honors complex, which also houses the Williams Honors College offices, computer facilities, seminar, individual and group study rooms, and meeting spaces for the use of commuting WHC students.

Access to Graduate Courses

With the permission of the WHC Faculty Adviser and the graduate program instructor, a Williams Honors scholar may enroll in graduate courses for either undergraduate credit or up to 12 credits of graduate credit.

The Honors Advisory Council

Consisting of faculty representing the colleges granting the bachelor’s degree and the Dean of the Williams Honors College, the Honors Advisory Council is responsible for decisions on the definition of policies and procedures appropriate to the mission of the WHC.