Campus Life

UWF honors program enhances the student experience

Making each student one of distinction, the University of West Florida Honors Program is determined to give UWF Honors students every opportunity to thrive and learn through core programs, international travel opportunities and enriched faculty and student relationships.

“The Honors Program is designed to give students educational advancement so that they can be the best academic person that they can possibly be,” said Greg Lanier, director of the Honors Program. “I like to think of Honors students as the university’s academic varsity athletes. We’re here to develop them and give them every chance we can to enhance their UWF experience.”

For students in the Honors program, the enthusiasm to take Honors classes is obvious. Prior to using an online process for registering for classes, students were known to camp overnight in order to be the first ones to sign up for certain seminar opportunities.

“It was as if they were camping out for a rock concert,” said Lanier. “A lot of our course offerings are really special since we are one of the few university programs that have core courses from freshman to senior year.”

In addition to the seminar courses during the school year, the Honors Program also offers summer international seminars, designed to provide on-site learning for 12 to 15 students. This summer the Honors Program is offering “Shakespeare in Italy” which will explore the heritage of Shakespeare and the culture of Rome. Students enrolled in the class will travel to Italy for the seminar and have opportunities to tour the region, including the Vatican Museums.

“The international experience is a life-changing one for Honors students,” said Lanier. “Students come back with new perspectives and many have gone on to take that passion and work for several causes as a result of these courses.”

To be eligible for the Honors program, incoming freshmen are required to have a cumulative, unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher, American College Testing (ACT) composite score of 26 or higher or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) composite score of 1170 or higher. In addition to 27 semester hours of Honors coursework, the program offers students on campus special Honors housing in Pace Hall.

“We are the first true Living and Learning Community on campus,” said Lanier. “It’s an incredible bonding experience since students have common academic pursuits in addition to the extracurricular activities that many of them share together.”

Jennifer Phillips, assistant director of the Honors Program, knows the benefits of the experience since she was a UWF Honors student from 2001 to 2005.

“My collegiate career would not have been the same if I wasn’t in the UWF Honors program,” said Phillips. “The program gives students the chance to truly push themselves academically. Students make lasting friendships and are able to take advantage of social events, community service opportunities and the chance to present at local and national conferences.”

For more information about the UWF Honors Program, visit

Written by Megan Tyson, University Marketing Communications