Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of joining the Wood Honors College?  

A: The major benefits of membership in the Wood Honors College include: 

  • Small Honors classes (15-25 students) that emphasize active learning 
  • Priority scheduling that ensures students' access to the university's top classes and professors  
  • Financial support, including study abroad scholarships and grants to support undergraduate research
  • Leadership opportunities in Honors organizations 
  • Honors housing option in the Honors Residence Hall.  Check out /housing/housing-home/ for more information. 
  • Membership in the Honors Student Organization, which coordinates cultural and recreational events and service projects for Honors students  
  • University Wood Honors College recognition on your transcript and at graduation  

Q: What are the requirements for admission to the Wood Honor College?  

A: Applicants usually have SAT scores of at least 1200 and are ranked in the top 20% of their high school class. While SAT scores, class rank and grade point average are important, other factors, including evidence of leadership and community service, are also considered in admissions decisions. 

Q: What about GPA?  

A: No specific GPA is required for admission to the Wood Honors College. Students who apply to the college typically have at least a 3.5 unweighted GPA in high school. Once admitted to the Wood Honors College, students must maintain a 3.25 QPA overall and in their Honors courses. 

Q: When can I apply to join the Wood Honors College? Is applying as an incoming freshman my only opportunity? 

A: You can apply to the Wood Honors College after you have been offered admission to Shippensburg University. Application information is available here. You will gain the most from membership in the Wood Honors College if you join the college as a freshman.However, first- and second-semester freshmen and transfer students are also welcome to apply. 

Q: How many applicants are accepted each year, and how many students are involved in the Wood Honors College?  

A: Approximately 50 new students are admitted to the Wood Honors College each year. The Wood Honors College currently involves about 170-175 students representing all majors on campus. 

Q: What scholarships are available to Honors students?  

A: Honors students are eligible for a range of university-wide scholarships. Honors students can also apply for special Honors study abroad scholarships, undergraduate research grants, and grants to travel to academic conferences. 

Additionally, two Honors students are selected to represent Shippensburg University at the PASSHE Summer Honors Program every year. Each student receives a full scholarship covering the cost of tuition, room and board, travel, and required field trips. Students have recently traveled to Egypt, Bermuda, and England through the PASSHE Summer Honors Program. 

Q: What classes will I take as an Honors student, and are they more difficult than other classes?  

A: Honors courses are designed to engage and challenge academically talented and motivated students. Students who enter the Wood Honors College as freshmen complete 36 Honors credits, including Honors general education courses, upper-division Honors seminars, and an Honors capstone project. The Honors curriculum is compatible with the requirements of all majors, and many Honors courses double-count for students’ regular general education and major requirements. Honors courses offer a chance to learn and interact in a smaller, less formal setting where students are motivated and energetic. The courses aren't necessarily more work, but they do place more responsibility on students to take charge of their learning. See the curriculum requirements page for more information. 

Q: Will Wood Honors College courses be like Honors courses I took in high school? 

A:  There is usually a significant difference between high school and college Honors courses. In many high schools, Honors courses are just the normal courses “made harder” with extra readings, extra assignments, and extra hard grading of students. But at college, Honors courses are specially “enriched” courses, not normal courses made “harder,” and grading standards are usually the same as in normal college courses. Honors courses strive to avoid the boring lectures/passive learning approach to education. They provide the informal, small class environment that encourages discussion and debate on important topics.  

Additionally, the Wood Honors College offers several unique seminars every year. Recent seminar topics have included “The World of Piracy,” “Viruses and History,” and “Coaster Quest.” These courses are designed to be interdisciplinary and are often team-taught by several professors from different academic disciplines. Many Honors seminars include a research or travel component. Students in “The World of Piracy” seminar traveled to Bermuda to study at the Maritime Museum there. 

Q: What are the main benefits of taking Honors classes instead of regular classes? 

A: Honors courses have smaller classes of 15-25 students. This creates an environment where students can really get to know their professors and their peers, fostering an active, discussion-oriented atmosphere. Additionally, students are able to learn from academically motivated peers, forming a true community of scholars. 

Q: What are the Wood Honors College requirements (aside from attending Honors classes)? 

A: There is more to the Wood Honors College than classes. As a member of the Wood Honors College, students are part of the Honors Student Organization (HSO). Through the HSO, students have the opportunity to create and participate in a variety of service and recreational events that promote the Wood Honors College’s mission of scholarship, leadership, service, and community. All students are required to participate in a number of Honors events each year. Because the Wood Honors College offers so many activities, there is something to match almost every interest.   

Q: Can I be part of the Wood Honors College if I have many other commitments (e.g. job, athletic team)? 

A: Yes!  There are many Honors students who hold part-time jobs or are on an athletic team. When balancing these various responsibilities, it is important to plan ahead to make sure that you can fit everything in.  If you would like to meet with a current Honors student who is also involved in a sport or is working their way through college, please contact honors@ship.edu . 

Q:  Can I study abroad if I am in the Wood Honors College? 

A: Yes!  Because it’s increasingly important for university graduates to have global perspectives and experiences, the Wood Honors College encourages students to study abroad. The Honors director and study abroad director can work with you to find an experience that suits your academic and professional goals. You can apply up to 6 credits that you earn by studying abroad to your Honors requirements, and the Honors students are eligible to apply for a special Honors Study Abroad Scholarship. 

Q: What extracurricular activities are available through the Wood Honors College?  

A: The Honors Student Organization coordinates dozens of cultural, recreational, and service activities each year. Regular events include field trips to Washington, D.C., hikes, Honors Read book discussions, and local and international service projects. The calendar of events has a complete listing of Honors activities.

Q: I plan to attend graduate or professional school. How will the Wood Honors College enhance my chances of being admitted?  

A: The Wood Honors College provides a great deal of support for students who plan to further their education. The college offers grants to students to engage in undergraduate research and attend conferences in their discipline. The college also hosts annual workshops designed to assist students with their graduate and professional school applications. Earning the SU Honors designation on your transcript will demonstrate to admissions committees that you are a dedicated student and well-prepared to begin graduate studies.