Honors Program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre

Penn State Wilkes-Barre prioritizes sustainability in teaching, co-curricular activities, outreach, and operations. The Honors Program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre empowers students to become responsible stewards for a sustainable future. This interdisciplinary scholars program is rooted in an interactive, challenging, and holistic approach to coursework, service, and enrichment. In addition to enrolling in specialized courses, Honors Scholars receive funding, pursue research initiatives, participate in service activities, and broaden their perspective through experiential learning.

Venn Diagram illustrating the three pillars of the Honors Program. Three overlapping circles: Coursework, Service, and Enrichment. "Honors Program" is in the center.


Honors Scholars develop critical thinking skills, learn new research techniques, and create knowledge in small, honors-specific courses.

All Honors Scholars

Honors Scholars who complete these requirements will receive an Honors Certificate at the conclusion of their second year.

  • PSU 8
  • ENGL 30
  • CAS 100A
  • Ethics course
  • Leadership course

Honors Scholars completing a baccalaureate degree at Wilkes‑Barre

Honors Scholars who complete these requirements will receive Honors recognition at graduation.

  • 400-level coursework in major
  • Capstone course

With the support of a cohort of honors students and engaged faculty, Honors Scholars present at university and regional conferences and pursue internships and other immersive experiences.


Honors Scholars expand learning beyond the classroom by engaging with campus and community partners to accomplish significant outcomes. Examples of service-learning activities include:

  • Roadside cleanup
  • Arts at Hayfield
  • Homespun Holiday
  • Food and clothing drives
  • Community Reading Day

Through thoughtful action, Honors Scholars make positive impacts, strengthen decision-making abilities, and increase their capacity to be critical, responsible, and reflective citizens of an interdependent world.


Honors Scholars cultivate engaged learning by participating in enrichment activities, both on campus and in the global community. Some examples of enrichment opportunities include:

  • Peer-mentorship training
  • Travel
  • Graduate-school and career-readiness support

The work of Honors Scholars reaches beyond the classroom, and Honors Scholars recognize that learning is a continuing process. They work to share their academic strengths through peer mentorship; expand the foundations of their academic study by incorporating relevant travel; and prepare for rewarding academic and career growth.   

Why should I become an Honors Scholar?

Honors Scholars thrive in a community of engaged learning that also offers the following benefits:

  • Scholarship funding
  • Travel and research funding
  • Priority registration
  • 2+2 and associate students who complete the program will earn an honors certificate
  • 4-year students who complete the program (including capstone) will earn an honors medal

What do I need to do as an Honors Scholar?

Honors Scholars must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Maintain 3.4 GPA
  • Meet with Honors co-coordinators to review course schedule each semester
  • Complete at least seven honors credits per academic year
  • Complete a capstone experience (Wilkes-Barre baccalaureate-degree Scholars)
  • Participate in service activities
  • Participate in enrichment experiences
  • Present at the Celebration of Scholarship
  • Attend Honors Program meetings

Please note: the Honors Program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is not the Schreyer Honors College, and being an Honors Scholar does not guarantee admission to the Schreyer Honors College.

How to Apply

Honors Scholars will join a vibrant academic community committed to educating responsible stewards for a sustainable future. The Honors Program at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is currently welcoming applications for the 2024–2025 Honors cohort. Applicants must be prospective first-year students who will enroll at Penn State Wilkes-Barre in Fall 2024. Applicants will be evaluated on their academic achievements, commitment to service, and engagement in leadership activities, as well as two reference letters and a 1,000-word essay.

The essay gives applicants an opportunity to consider the impact of sustainability by sharing their thoughts in response to the following prompt: Explain what sustainability means to you and how you will use your education to develop leadership skills that will allow you to make a positive contribution to a sustainable future. (Applicants can learn more about sustainability at Penn State Wilkes-Barre by visiting our Sustainability page.)

Now accepting applications for Fall!