Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Mahurin Honors College

Craig T. Cobane, Ph.D., Executive Director
Honors College & International Center (HCIC)
Phone: (270) 745-2081; Fax: (270) 745-3568
Website: http://www.wku.edu/honors

The Mahurin Honors College (MHC) is a national leader in honors education for academically motivated and high-potential learners from all communities. Our mission is to foster excellence in all forms of expression through research, experiential learning, critical thinking and international engagement. The MHC shares WKU’s mission to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The MHC values and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion. To this effect, the MHC is committed to creating and sustaining a climate of respect and civility while cultivating interdisciplinary inquiry, intellectual diversity and curiosity.

Participation in the Mahurin Honors College complements students’ academic preparation in their major and minor disciplines, and proves to be an asset when applying for graduate/professional schools and career-oriented jobs. Students can, in almost all cases, complete any baccalaureate degree programs and the Mahurin Honors College requirements without increasing the number of hours required for graduation.

Non-Thesis Track

HON 251Citizen and Self3
Honors Lower-Division (Colonnade Courses)9
HON 275Honors Internship I 13
or HON 300 Honors Colloquium
Honors Upper-Division Electives3
Honors Upper-Division in Major9
HON 402CE / T Proposal Writing Course 21
Total Hours28

Capstone Experience/Thesis Track 

HON 251Citizen and Self3
Honors Lower-Division (Colonnade Courses)9
HON 275Honors Internship I 13
or HON 300 Honors Colloquium
Honors Upper-Division Electives3
Honors Upper-Division in Major3
HON 402CE / T Proposal Writing Course 21
HON 403Honors Thesis / Project I3
HON 404Honors Thesis / Project II3
Total Hours28

Honors in the Major track

The Honors in the Major Track is an option for students joining the Mahurin Honors College in their sophomore or junior year. Eligible students have 45-75 of college coursework completed and/or in-progress and a 3.2 cumulative GPA. Honors in the Major is not an option for current members of the Mahurin Honors College or Gatton and Craft Academy alumni.

Minimum Upper-Division Honors Credit in First major 312
Honors Elective (any level/major)6
Total Hours18

 Can be replaced by 3 hours of Honors elective in any level/major.


 Can be replaced by 1 hour of Honors elective of any level/major.


Must include at least 3 hours of capstone coursework and no more than 6 hours of honors lower-division credit.

Admission Requirements

Please see the Prospective Student section of the Mahurin Honors College website for admission requirements at https://www.wku.edu/honors/admissions/eligibility/index.php.


There are three academic tracks within the Mahurin Honors College: the 28-hour Non-Thesis track, the 28-hour Capstone Experience/Thesis (CE/T) track and the 18-hour Honors in the Major track.   

Students who complete one of these tracks and graduate with a minimum 3.2 GPA are designated as “Mahurin Honors College” or “Honors in the Major” graduates on their final transcripts. Graduates receive distinctive medallions to be worn at Commencement.

Mahurin Honors College Features

Dedicated Course Sections

To facilitate greater faculty-student interaction, enrollment in honors sections is limited to honors-eligible students. Innovative course design, highly motivated students, and outstanding faculty create an intellectually engaging environment promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  


Honors Colloquia are small, collaborative academic seminars with an emphasis on active learning, class discussion, and critical-thinking. Colloquia challenge and engage students through their interdisciplinary nature, providing for a distinctive academic experience.

Augmented Courses

Students enrolled in non-honors upper-division sections may develop an Honors Augmentation Contract with the faculty member, academic department, and the Mahurin Honors College to receive honors credit. This option transforms the course into an honors experience, thus expanding the range of courses in which a student can have an enhanced intellectual experience.

Capstone Experience/Thesis Project

The Capstone Experience/Thesis (CE/T) project is an original research or creative activity in a student’s major(s) and/or minor discipline(s). While the nature and form of the CE/T is flexible, the topic of the CE/T research should reflect the student’s academic, intellectual, and professional goals. Upon completion, the title of the CE/T appears on the student’s official transcript.

Self-Designed Studies

The Honors Self-Designed Studies (HSDS) major and minor permit students to design unique programs of study when WKU’s existing programs do not adequately fit their needs. To better serve the needs of students, there are five separate options for pursuing an HSDS major/minor. For more information about the advantages and opportunities, please see: https://www.wku.edu/honors/academics/self-designed-studies/index.php.  

Priority Registration

Priority registration allows students greater flexibility constructing their schedule by allowing them to sign up for classes before the general student population. Honors students in good standing are eligible for Priority Registration after consulting with their Honors Academic Advisor.


Students may choose to live (space permitting) in an honors co-educational residence hall. A request for honors housing must be indicated on a student’s housing application.


Students are eligible to apply for grants to support a range of engaged out-of-classroom experience. For more information, please see https://www.wku.edu/honors/admissions/scholarships/index.php.