Mission Statement


The William Paterson University Honors College, a diverse and vibrant community within the larger university, offers high-achieving students unique learning opportunities led by dedicated faculty who excel as researchers, practitioners, and artists. Structured around our three values of leadership, scholarship, and service, the curricula engage students in meaningful projects with real-world significance and prepares them for prestigious awards, graduate studies, and fulfilling careers. Collaborating closely with peers and faculty mentors, students in the Honors College pursue a chosen track, capped by a thesis project. In prizing collaboration over competition, the Honors College invites students into a cohesive, close-knit community that fosters lifelong relationships. Encouraged to embrace critical thinking, diverse perspectives, and healthy debate, Honors College students graduate prepared to succeed in a multi-faceted and ever-changing world. The end of the program is the beginning of an enriched, accomplished, and compassionate life. 



The goals of the WPU Honors College program are to graduate students with the ability to do the following:

  • Demonstrate the ability to design, plan, and execute a research or creative Honors thesis project that meets professional standards in the field.
  • Apply appropriate methodologies, theories and techniques to analyze or solve complex issues and problems in their own project.
  • Communicate the methods, techniques, and findings of their research or creative Honors project:
    • In a written format acceptable for professional standards.
    • In an oral or visual format acceptable for public presentation according to professional standards.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting the public good.
  • Recognize the professional, sociopolitical, or ethical implications of their work.


Upon completion of the WPU Honors College program students will be able to:

  • Describe fundamental concepts in the field of research or area of creative expression.
  • Apply research or creative expression methodologies, principles, theories and skills to their projects.
  • Orally or visually present their Honors thesis projects explaining methodologies, techniques, theories, or findings in a manner meeting appropriate professional standards.
  • Effectively communicate the methodologies, techniques, and findings of their projects in a written format.
  • Participate in community, civic or global service aimed at promoting the public good.
  • Articulate the professional, sociopolitical, or ethical implications of their work.


Student Success and Achievement  

The University Honors College fosters, recognizes and celebrates students’ academic achievements by developing and promoting student scholarship. The University Honors College will maintain its high retention rates and will encourage Honors College students to develop as leaders by participating in college and university programs including peer mentoring, retention, and recruitment opportunities. The Honors College will exhibit exemplary responsiveness to students by making four-year completion plans more accessible and by hiring academic support staff. 

Economic and Social Mobility 

Furthering the Honors College mission, Honors College faculty and staff will promote student research as a means to student success by incorporating graduate studies preparedness and career-oriented programming, and finding and creating off-campus learning opportunities, including international opportunities. 

Community Engagement and Social Justice

Honors College students will become leaders of college and university programs. Honors students will engage with the community and develop civic learning opportunities. The University Honors College will continue to collect data on student belonging and will promote student engagement with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. The Honors College will encourage students’ awareness of international issues and cultural experience and support faculty in fostering inclusion in the classroom, in course work, and in research initiatives.