Honors College Overview
"National experts on honors colleges can name only one that is both university-affiliated and a free-standing liberal-arts institution: the Wilkes Honors College, operated by Florida Atlantic University on its Jupiter, Fla., campus. Established by the Florida Legislature in 1999, it hires its own faculty members, has autonomy over its curriculum, and focuses almost solely on the liberal arts and sciences."
– “University Honors Colleges Pitch the ‘Liberal Arts Experience’ ” by Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 28, 2010
The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, which opened in the Fall of 1999, is the first public honors institution to be built from the ground up in the United States. Its intellectual foundation is a belief in liberal arts education as the best preparation for a full and productive life. As a public institution, the Honors College offers a quality education at a small fraction of the cost of a private liberal arts education, making it an outstanding value.
In addition to the Wilkes Honors College, FAU at Jupiter also offers upper-division and graduate degree programs from the Colleges of Education, Science, Arts and Letters, and Architecture, Urban and Public Affairs.
“I’ve realized that at the HC, I found mentors not only in professors, but also in my classmates.” - Rachel Blythe, HC Alumni
The Honors College is on FAU's 135-acre John D. MacArthur Campus, located in Jupiter, along Florida's famous Treasure Coast. Jupiter boasts near-perfect temperatures year round, breathtaking natural beauty, and an abundance of cultural activities that make it one of the country's most desirable areas to live.
The campus consists of six classroom and office buildings, including a library, two residence halls, a dining facility, and a 40,000 square foot science facility. The Honors College shares the campus with two of the world's premier biotech research centers, Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute, which can provide incredible internship opportunities for Honors College students.
The campus also offers a swimming pool, football/soccer field, sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, and is adjacent to an 18-hole public golf course. It is situated in the heart of Abacoa, a 2,055-acre, master planned, mixed-use community featuring a Main Street-style Town Center and Roger Dean Stadium, the spring training headquarters for the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals as well as the home of the Jupiter Hammerheads minor league baseball team.
The Academic Environment
With one faculty for every 14 students, classes are small, and learning is pursued in formal and informal settings. Students have the opportunity to work on research projects one-on-one with outstanding faculty holding Ph.D.'s from leading universities. Student/faculty collaborations have resulted in publications in scholarly journals and our graduates have gone on to some of the top graduate and professional programs in the country. We invite you to see some of our success stories by perusing our alumni profiles. You can also see some of our student profiles.
A number of universities offer honors programs or honors colleges. But unlike the honors options at almost all of these other universities, the Wilkes Honors College allows you to take all your classes within the Honors College, and your professors are faculty whose full-time appointments are to the Honors College: we provide an all-honors education at an all-honors college.