The Interdisciplinary Honors Program at the University of Washington nurtures students as they become innovators and leaders. In order to apply for the program, you’ll need to write two short essays. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get started on your 2019-20 UW Honors Program application!
Let’s start by reading the prompts closely:
- What is your understanding of the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program and why do you want to be a part of it? (300 words)
- Consider at least two very different subjects you’ve studied in school; tell us how you imagine bringing those together in your first year at UW to engage with a pressing global concern. (300 words)
The first prompt offers you the perfect opportunity to articulate what you’re looking for in college. The second prompt gives you a chance not only to describe two of your intellectual interests but also to explain how your interests are connected to your values. Through your essays, you’ll demonstrate to the reader why UW Honors is right for you, and why you belong in this highly selective program.
Step One: Reflect
Freewriting can be a great way to generate some initial ideas! Before you begin your UW Honors Program application, spend some time reflecting on your education to date and your goals for the future. We’ve provided some questions below to get you started.
- Prompt #1 asks you to reflect on your educational goals. What has been your most rewarding learning experience so far? Why was this experience fulfilling? How will an interdisciplinary education benefit you in your chosen field? Can you think of an academic experience that connected you with a larger community? How did this experience enrich you?
- Prompt #2 asks you to connect your intellectual interests to your values. What big questions keep you up at night? What knowledge do you hunger for? How do you see yourself putting your knowledge into action? What impact do you hope to have on the world or your community?
Step Two: Research
Next, do a deep dive into the resources offered within UW Interdisciplinary Honors. Learn everything you can about the honors community, honors classes, and the experiential learning opportunities. For each of your personal interests, goals, or values, identify 2-3 resources that are unique to UW Interdisciplinary Honors.
Step Three: Core Message
Finally, you’ll develop a core message for each essay that articulates how an honors education will contribute to your personal growth.
Here are some UW Honors essay examples:
- Prompt #1: “Works of literature don’t exist in a vacuum — they reflect the wider sociopolitical context in which they were created. As a future English major, I am seeking an interdisciplinary education in order to learn how to think beyond the page.”
- Prompt #2: “Many people would be surprised to find that an aspiring scientist is also a theatre fanatic, but I believe that my ability to emotionally engage audiences is as crucial to my future career as my ability to process data. Unless we can convince humanity to take the global warming crisis seriously, my generation won’t live to see old age.”
After you’ve crafted clear and thoughtful guiding messages for your essays, the rest of your UW Honors program application will be a piece of cake!