Honors program

The goal of the Honors Program is to provide students with the opportunity to generate new and deeper learning either by performing independent research or completing graduate-level coursework. It represents a valuable opportunity for students who do and do not intend to apply for graduate school by letting them be mentored by faculty and allowing them to demonstrate commitment and discipline. The honors program is a gateway to a more profound understanding of statistical concepts and preparing students for leadership roles in academia and in industry. 

Important dates 

The first cycle of admissions will be in Spring 2024. Admissions open the first Friday of May and close the third Friday of May. No extensions will be given. 

Applicants must be enrolled in STAT 342 or must have completed STAT 342 at the point of application

Admission requirements 

This is a constrained capacity program and satisfying the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance. The Department of Statistics will only accept a small proportion of each cohort into the honors program. The minimum requirements are the following: 

  • Minimum cumulative UW GPA of 3.3 

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7 in the statistics, computer science and mathematics major requirements completed through the junior year. 

  • Students must be declared STAT majors and must be enrolled in STAT 342 or must have completed STAT 342 at the point of application.

Requirements to earn Departmental Honors 

Students can choose between the following two options: 

Option 1: Coursework plus ePortfolio option (9 – 11 credits): 

  • One two-course graduate sequence to be chosen from (a) STAT 512 + STAT 513 or (b) STAT 516 + STAT 517 or (c) STAT 535 and either STAT 538 or STAT 548/CSE 547. 

  • Students will be required to maintain a 2.7 GPA in each of the two courses corresponding to their chosen graduate sequence. 

  • At least 3 credits of STAT 499 (independent study) or STAT 495 (service learning) 

  • An ePortfolio of their course-related projects. The ePortfolio will be reviewed and approved by statistics faculty. 

For more information on the ePortfolio, please click here.

Option 2: Thesis option (9 credits): 

  • Nine credits of STAT 499. These must extend over at least 2 consecutive quarters (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring). Most students will work on their thesis over the course of three quarters and take three credits of STAT 499 each quarter. The plan must be discussed with their faculty supervisor and is subject to their availability. This research will culminate in a senior paper and a presentation of that work in the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium held each May, or another venue (such as a national or regional meeting) acceptable to the faculty. 

  • The student may receive up to five credit hours of W course credit for writing the thesis based upon the University of Washington guidelines for W credits and on the discretion of the faculty supervisor. 

For more information on the requirements of a thesis project, please click here.

How to apply 

As part of their application, students will be asked to submit: 

  • their transcripts 

  • a statement of purpose that discusses their career goals  

  • a list of relevant experiences (e.g., internships, projects)  

  • a detailed plan indicating which of the options they would like to pursue to obtain Departmental honors. In particular, according to the option chosen, the following will be needed: 

    • Coursework plus ePortfolio option: At the application stage, students must: (1) indicate which graduate classes they are planning to take and when; (2) outline how they are planning to fulfill the research requirement. If the students plan to use DRP credits to complete the research requirement in this track, we expect them to have completed at least one credit before applyingIf, on the other hand, they are going to use a small project with a faculty member or STAT 495, the name and email of the sponsor/mentor along with a brief description of the project must be submitted at this stage; (3) Include a plan for the ePortfolio and include a a github page containing an initial draft of the ePortfolio with at least two completed projects. 

    • Thesis option: Students who choose the thesis option must already have an advisor when they apply to the Honors program. The student and their advisor must agree on a project and submit a title and a project proposal of 300-600 words as part of their application. Identifying an advisor and agreeing on a project with their advisor is the student’s responsibility.


All applicants will be evaluated using the following criteria: 

  • Academic ability as measured by GPA, factoring in difficulty and breadth of courses completed, frequency of incomplete courses, and number of repeated courses

  • Relevant work and life experience.

  • Motivation.

  • Quality and feasibility of the submitted plan. 

Honors Projects Archive (NA)