Honors Program

Honors student presenting their research

Are you looking for a program where your intellectual curiosity is encouraged and rewarded? Where discussion is the norm? Where your individuality is respected and accepted? Where the atmosphere challenges you to be the best you can?

The Honors Program empowers students to be active and engaged in their experience at Westfield State University, fostering their academic, personal, and professional development in an innovative, dynamic, and inclusive learning environment. We are a diverse community of intellectually curious learners and leaders inspired to explore and develop our passions through small, student-centered classes, faculty, and peer mentorship, project-based learning, research and creative work, civic engagement, presentation opportunities on and off-campus, and social activities. Opportunities for personal growth, community building, and critical thinking abound!

Students in the Honors Program work closely with faculty members and are encouraged to present their projects at local, regional, and national conferences. Honors students are personally advised by Honors Program administrators and peers. Honors students register early for all courses, not just honors courses.

Honors classes are different:

  • More personalized: Honors classes are typically capped at 15 students, whereas most core courses have 25-35.
  • More interactive. Honors courses are intellectually challenging and student-centered with an emphasis on discussion and hands-on learning.
  • More experiential: Honors courses offer special features such as guest speakers, field trips, and independent research projects.

Honors students complete a Senior Honors Project:

  • In-depth research or creative work: Complete an extensive, independent project over two semesters on something you’re passionate about.
  • Individualized mentoring: Work one-on-one with a professor who will guide you through the year-long process. Develop a mentoring relationship that will launch you into your professional or academic future.
  • Professional Development: Present your work on campus and beyond and develop a work sample that will impress future employers and graduate schools.

What does it mean to be an Honors Scholar?

The Westfield State University Honors Program is part of the Commonwealth Honors Programs consortium, which sets guidelines for Honors Programs across the Massachusetts public higher education system. To graduate as an Honors Scholar, which includes recognition at graduation and a notation on your transcript, you need to complete 18 credits of Honors work. Honors students take Honors sections of Common Core courses as well as upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminars. 

Commonwealth Honors Scholar: To earn this highest academic distinction awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you must:

  • Take at least 12 credits of honors courses, at least one of which will be a 3-credit upper-level interdisciplinary Honors seminar.
  • Complete a six-credit Senior Honors Project, working closely with a Faculty Advisor in your department. Use these links to access the Senior Honors Project Handbook: Fall-Spring timeline or Spring-Fall timeline
  • Achieve a B or higher in all of your Honors coursework.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher.

Applying to the Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program are academically motivated. Most had high school GPAs above 3.5 and were involved in extracurricular activities and leadership. Incoming, transfer, and, current students are eligible to apply.

Current and transfer students are invited to apply to the Honors Program using the link below.

      Fall 2024 Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
              Spring 2025 Application Deadline: November 15, 2024

      Application for current & transfer students

Transfer students who graduate from a Commonwealth Honors Program at a Massachusetts community college are guaranteed admission to the Honors Program at Westfield State University and must contact the Honors Program Director to make their status official at honors@westfield.ma.edu . Transfer students from other institutions should complete the transfer student application form.

Contact Us

Dr. Hillary Sackett-Taylor
Chair of Honors Program

Gretchen Konrad
Honors Program Administrative Assistant