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Frequently Asked Questions

Want to learn more? Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about the Wood Honors College. If you have any other questions that aren't answered here, please contact us at or 717-477-1604. You can also complete our Contact Us form, and an Honors Student Ambassador will get in touch with you soon. Additionally, if you would like to reach out to a current student directly, a listing of our Honors Ambassadors can be found here!

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

A: Advantages to joining the Wood Honors College include everything from a community of supportive students and faculty to opportunities for academic success, leadership, and service. A full list of Honors advantages can be found here.

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

A: The Wood Honors College considers high school GPA, the academic rigor of high school coursework, application essays, and evidence of leadership and service in its admissions decisions. Successful applicants usually have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.75 on a 4.0 scale. The Wood Honors College is test-optional, so SAT scores are not required as part of your application. Students who submit SAT scores commonly have scores of 1200 and above. The Honors application is posted here.

Q: When is the application deadline for high school seniors?

A: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and we accept applications until our entering class is filled. For best consideration, please submit your application by March 1.

Q: When is the application deadline for current Shippensburg students and transfer students?

A: The application deadline for spring semester admission is January 5, and the application deadline for fall semester admission is May 1.

Q: What scholarships are available to Honors students?  

A: Wood Honors College 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.

Q: What classes will I take as an Honors student?

A: Honors courses are designed to engage and challenge academically talented and motivated students. The Honors curriculum includes Honors general education courses, Honors interdisciplinary seminars and experiential learning projects, 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.

Q: Are Honors classes more difficult than other university classes?

A: 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.

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 regular courses made “harder,” and grading standards are usually the same as in regular 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 unique seminars every year. Recent seminar topics have included “Interconnections Between Science and Religion,” “Social and Ethical Implications of Genetics,” and “Leadership, History, and Social Change.” 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 “Paris: The Global City” seminar traveled to Paris to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the city.

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

A: Honors courses are capped at 20-25 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: Who teaches Honors courses?

A: Honors courses are taught by some of the university's top professors, and they strive to make the classroom a very interactive and discussion-focused space. The Wood Honors College curriculum encompasses material from nearly every department and field, so Honors professors come from a diverse range of backgrounds and are dedicated to the success of their students. Learn more about some of our faculty and staff here.

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

A: Wood Honors College students are members of the Honors Student Organization (HSO). The HSO includes fifteen standing committees, ranging from Activities to Honors Read to Wellness. HSO committees organize dozens of cultural, recreational, and service events each year to support and build community among Honors students. Regular HSO activities include field trips to Washington, D.C., hikes in local state parks, book discussions, and service projects. Students can get involved in many ways, either by participating in HSO meetings and events or serving in a leadership position as a committee chair.

Q: What are the Wood Honors College requirements (aside from completing the Honors curriculum)?

A: Like many other academic and service organizations, the Wood Honors College has a participation policy that requires students to become involved in a number of Honors activities each year, including community outreach and service events. Because the Wood Honors College offers so many activities, there is something to match almost every interest.

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 will 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 Honors students are eligible to apply for the Honors Study Abroad Scholarship. For more information on Honors study abroad opportunities, see our Study Abroad page.

Q: Can I be part of the Wood Honors College if I am a member of one of the university’s athletic teams?

A: Yes! Many Honors students have been members of Shippensburg’s athletic teams, including the basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling teams. If you would like to meet with a current Honors student who is also involved in a sport to discuss how they balance academics and athletics, please contact us at

Q: What are some notable achievements of Wood Honors College alumni?

A: We are proud to have nearly 900 Honors alumni. Our alumni have been admitted to the nation's top graduate and professional schools, won major fellowships to support their graduate studies, and embarked on successful careers in diverse fields, including technology, medicine, law, engineering, finance, media, and education. To learn more about some of our most distinguished alumni, visit this page.

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 Wood Honors College designation on your transcript will demonstrate to admissions committees that you are a dedicated student and well-prepared to begin graduate studies.