You are here

Arete—The KWU Honors Program

Be a Wesleyan Fellow!

Known as Wesleyan Fellows, students enrolled in Arete—The KWU Honors Program will sharpen their already excellent creative thinking, critical analysis and problem-solving skills while developing a greater intellectual curiosity and engaging in a free exchange of ideas with their professors and fellow students. They will improve their ability to think and work independently while communicating effectively in both the spoken and written word. And they will appreciate the world's rich panorama because, by developing the ability to think outside of the box, they can see things from a variety of perspectives.

Applicable to all undergraduate academic majors

"Arete" is the ancient Greek embodiment of excellence, morality, and virtue. It is the value of pushing oneself to be all that one can be. And it is implied in Kansas Wesleyan University's calling to "develop both intellect and character, to stimulate creativity, discovery, [and] to nurture the whole person—body, mind, and spirit" (quoted from the KWU Mission Statement). Arete—The KWU Honors Program seeks to bring out and to develop these characteristics to their fullest among our students.

Why pursue admissions to the Honors Program? Personal engagement, intellectual involvement and a sense of community!

The Honors Program is an interdisciplinary program featuring unique courses, seminars, colloquia and the opportunity for independent research or performance that support the mission of the program and Kansas Wesleyan University. Course size is generally smaller with more in-depth study and includes a variety of viewpoints from faculty and guests across the academic disciplines. Courses often have significant reading assignments and are conducted to encourage academic rigor.

What do our past and current Wesleyan Fellows say?

  • “For anybody wanting to challenge themselves, the Honors Program is quickly becoming an effective outlet to prepare students for leadership in our world.”
  • “The Honors Program has provided me the critical thinking skills that I will be able to use the rest of my life.”
  • “The Honors Program has challenged me in many ways by helping me dive deeper into different topics that are outside my major. The classes have greatly increased many of my skills that help me in all of my other classes, such as research, critical thinking, reading analysis, and much more.”
  • “I really like the small class sizes because it allows the learning to be individualized and I get to share my thoughts more. I also like that I am encouraged to think out of the box.”
  • “If you’re seeking to challenge yourself as a student and as an individual, then the Honors Program is for you.”


Admission to the Honors Program is by invitation through nomination by faculty and approval by the Honors Program Committee. Students interested should contact the Admissions Office or their faculty advisors. Typically, students who are invited to join the program have an ACT composite score (or equivalent) of at least 25 and a high school (or college) cumulative GPA of 3.5.

Arete Application Forms


  • Mentoring relationships with faculty, administration and local professionals
  • Additional assistance in employment and graduate school applications and scholarships
  • An “Honors Program” designation on your transcript
  • Opportunities to meet speakers, guests and performers hosted by Kansas Wesleyan University
  • Opportunities to use leadership skills in campus issues of interest
  • When appropriate, opportunities to engage in research with faculty
  • Credit in Liberal Studies Electives Section (dependent on content)
  • Priority registration each semester
  • Recognition as a "Wesleyan Fellow"


Courses are available each semester and vary in topic, rotated to emphasize different areas of knowledge. Topics will include such themes as: Leadership; Critical Analysis; Global Awareness; and Impacting the Future. To take an honors course, a student must be a Wesleyan Fellow or have special permission from the course instructor.

Honors Program Requirements and Course Descriptions

All Wesleyan Fellows must: 

  1. Be accepted into the Honors Program.
  2. Be a member of the Honors Program in good standing at the time of graduation.
  3. Complete the entire 18 credit sequence, in the order listed in the Program Requirements and Course Description above.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Mike R. Russell, Honors Program Director.

Honors Program Courses for the 2020-2021 school year: