Welcome from the Dean
It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, Florida’s top-rated public honors college, located on the John D. MacArthur campus in Jupiter. The Wilkes Honors College (WHC) recently received the highest rating in a comprehensive review of forty public honors colleges conducted by Inside Honors . We achieved this rating by combining academic excellence with unparalleled opportunity and access for our students.
Excellence: The Wilkes Honors College sets the standard for excellence in Honors education. Our college has its own dedicated honors faculty and interdisciplinary curriculum and keeps a 15 to 1 (or lower) student to faculty ratio, with all students completing an honors thesis under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. The college provides the intimacy of small class sizes and close mentorship from professors, with all the additional benefits of being part of the vibrant Florida Atlantic University community.
National Merit Finalists have continuously attended the WHC since 2000, and approximately 60% of our graduates go on to graduate and professional programs (especially medicine and law), such as Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Other graduates take great jobs in research, teaching, non-profits, government, and business. I encourage you to visit our alumni spotlights page to learn about the achievements of some of our former students.
Access: At a time when the costs of a college education are rising at unprecedented rates, the Wilkes Honors College maintains an affordable in-state tuition. Most WHC students receive a merit-based scholarship, and many receive need-based aid. Endowment earnings totaling $1.3 million annually are distributed as scholarships to our students. During Flagler Scholars Day, top students compete for one of five Henry Morrison Flagler Scholarships worth $72,000 over four years. Approximately 15% of our students are the first in their family to attend college, and over 50% are from underrepresented groups. Furthermore, approximately 33% of our students are Pell-eligible.
The majority of WHC students graduate with no debt, and the average debt among the rest is typically $10,000 less than the national average for public universities. We provide an affordable pathway to the American Dream for bright, curious, and diverse students who might otherwise be unable to afford it.
Opportunity: The Wilkes Honors College provides boundless opportunities. On the John D. MacArthur campus in Jupiter, our students work alongside the world’s top-ranked, stand-alone scientific institutions for biomedical research – Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology – as well as FAU’s world-renowned scientists and labs, including at FAU’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute. The future of brain science starts right here in Jupiter’s own research triangle. Our students also have access to cutting-edge research and field work through Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and pathway programs to many FAU graduate, medical, and nursing programs.
Our students have their pick of stellar WHC arts, humanities, social science, and natural science faculty mentors to guide them on their intellectual journey. As a result, our undergraduates have published or co-published over 100 peer-reviewed publications with their faculty mentors, including essays, poetry, and science articles.
At the Wilkes Honors College, we are educating tomorrow’s change-makers and working with them to tackle real world problems using interdisciplinary knowledge and teamwork. From social entrepreneurship, internships, and study abroad, to applied research and a living/learning community, our students are directly engaged in the South Florida community and beyond.
Our students live on campus during their first two years, which lets them build strong social bonds and focus on their academic progress as they transition to college life. I encourage you to visit our campus to learn more about what makes the WHC such a special place.
Justin Perry, Ph.D.
Dean, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Florida Atlantic University