Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

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Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College Logo.jpg
Established 1999
Dean Ellen Goldey
Academic staff
Undergraduates 330
Location 5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, Florida
Website http://www.honorscollege.edu/

The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College is an academic, residential college of Florida Atlantic University, located at the John D. MacArthur campus of FAU in Jupiter, Florida. The Wilkes Honors College opened in 1999 and offers a rigorous liberal arts education through the platform of a public institution, with a focus on interdisciplinary studies. It currently features a student body of 330, and 32 full-time tenured, or tenure-track faculty, all of whom have terminal degrees in their field.[1] The current Dean is Ellen Goldey.

Students attending the school take all of their coursework (120+ hours) at the Honors College.[2] This is different from honors programs or most other Honors Colleges where students only take a few honors courses or seminars.[3]

The Honors College shares the Jupiter Campus with the Scripps Research Institute and the Max Planck Florida Institute, where many Wilkes Honors College students have been accepted to participate in internships.[4]

Beginning in 2006, the Wilkes Honors College, in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute, hosts the Honors Summer Institute on the topics of science, technology and society for high school juniors and seniors.[5]


The Wilkes Honors College offers a full complement of degree-fulfilling courses taught by its own faculty. The college emphasizes small class size, with a faculty-student ratio of approximately 1:10. Its core curriculum, which makes up about a third of credit requirements for the B.A., focuses on critical thinking and writing skills in a broad range of disciplines. Each student must write a substantial honors thesis under the supervision of two faculty advisors during his or her senior year. These collaborations have led to publications in peer-reviewed journals. An additional graduation requirement is that students complete either an internship or a study abroad.

Majors and Concentrations[edit]

Students receive a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences,[6] with a concentration in a specific area of study.[7] The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College offers majors and concentrations in American Studies, Anthropology, Art (Transdisciplinary Visual Arts), Biological Chemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English Literature, Environmental Studies, History (Interdisciplinary), Interdisciplinary Critical Theory, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Law and Society, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences (Interdisciplinary), Medical Humanities, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Med, Psychology, Spanish, Women's Studies, and Writing[8]

Wilkes Medical Scholars Program[edit]

Wilkes Honors students may apply to a highly selective, early admission program into The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Students in this program receive a B.A. from the Honors College, and an M.D. degree from Florida Atlantic University's College of Medicine in seven to eight years. Students accepted into the Wilkes Medical Scholars Program are guaranteed a spot in the Medical School upon successful completion of the Medical Scholars Program requirements.[9]

Graduate and Professional School Placement[edit]

65% of the Honors College alumni enter graduate school, and have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at institutions such as MIT, Harvard Medical School, the University of Chicago, Georgetown, and UC Berkeley.[10]


All Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College students receive scholarships. The college offers a number of scholarships that cover the full cost of enrolling at the institution. One of the more competitive scholarships, The Henry Morrison Flagler Scholarship, is available to incoming freshman and covers tuition, four summer enrichment programs, and exceeds $72,000 over four years.[11][12]


Research is a guiding principle of the Wilkes Honors College's mission.[13]

Student Theses[edit]

Each Honors student must complete an honors thesis as partial fulfillment of the degree he or she obtains. The theses are composed with the guidance of a primary faculty advisor and a second reader on a topic chosen by the student. Students register for thesis credits during the fall and spring semesters of their senior year, and are turned in prior to graduation.[14]

Students have composed theses in numerous concentrations, including anthropology, biology, marine biology, zoology, chemistry, biochemistry, economics, environmental studies, American history, world history, international studies, law, American literature, English literature, Spanish literature, mathematics, multi-disciplinary studies, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, and women's studies.[15] Some students are able to publish their theses alongside their faculty advisor in peer-reviewed journals.[16]

Symposium/Research Day[edit]

The Honors College Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Research is an annual event that showcases student research in a conference format with talks, a poster session, and a visual arts presentation. Each year, the Chastain Honors Symposium Lecture is given by a faculty and staff chosen keynote speaker, and is open to the public. Past presenters have included The Honorable Carole Y. Taylor, a judge on the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, and Dr. Michael Ruse, Guggenheim Fellow and editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought.[17]

Notable Alums[edit]

  • Jocelyn Skolnik: Executive Director of El Sol, Jupiter's Neighborhood Resource Center in Jupiter, Florida. Recipient of The White House Champions of Change award.[18][19]
  • David Holz: Co-founder of Leap Motion.[20]
  • David Urieta: Communications Director of El Sol, Jupiter's Neighborhood Resource Center in Jupiter, Florida.[21] Co-founder of the One Jupiter Coalition.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ Honors College faculty
  2. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/forms/admissions_honors_options.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/about_faq.php#2
  4. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/about_overview.php
  5. ^ Honors Summer Institute
  6. ^ Honors College academics
  7. ^ Honors College list of majors
  8. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/academics_majors.php
  9. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/admissions_med.php
  10. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/about_gradschools.php
  11. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/admissions_academic_scholarships.php
  12. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/financial.php
  13. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/about_mission_guiding.php
  14. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/academics_honors_theses.php
  15. ^ http://libguides.fau.edu/content.php?pid=373601&sid=3336544
  16. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/about_student_faculty_pub.php
  17. ^ http://www.fau.edu/honors/academics_research_day.php
  18. ^ http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/sep/13/jocelyn-skolnik-receives-white-house-champions-of-/
  19. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/welcoming-america/jocelyn-skolnik
  20. ^ http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-24/david-holzs-leap-motion-wants-to-kill-the-mouse
  21. ^ Dipaolo, Bill (September 11, 2015). "New El Sol spokesman comes from immigrant background". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Art show to honor slain Jupiter teen". www.palmbeachpost.com. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  23. ^ "Guatemalan teen's killing spurs coalition to spread message of unity". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 
  24. ^ "Ciudad se une en solidaridad tras asesinato de inmigrante guatemalteco". elnuevoherald. Retrieved 2015-10-24. 

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