University of Wisconsin–Madison

Honors Program

The UW-Madison School of Nursing offers an Honors Degree for those high-ability students seeking early research involvement with a faculty mentor. Students who successfully complete the Honors Program graduate with distinguished academic performance and receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS) with Honors. In addition, students of the Honors Program acquire an enriched view of nursing science.

All Traditional BSN students may apply to the program. The application process occurs during the first fall of enrollment in the nursing program. Admission to the Nursing Honors Program is based on academic performance and one essay.

  • Application Information

    Applications for the BSN Honors Program will open on October 15th. The deadline to apply to the program is 11:59pm on November 15th. To apply to the Nursing Honors program, students must complete the following essay prompt in less than 500 words:

    “The Nursing Honors Program strives to provide students with the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor on a research project.  If you are selected for the program, what research experience(s) do you hope to gain?  Please explain how your undergraduate engagement in nursing research would enhance your career.”

    Click here to apply

    Admission decisions for the Nursing Honors program will be made in December with decisions released to applicants by January 5th, 2018.

    Questions about the application should be directed to

  • Required Honors Courses
    • N679 Nursing Honors Research Seminar (2 cr) -Provides students with the opportunity to learn more about the generation of nursing knowledge and about School of Nursing faculty members’ research projects. It introduces students to the principles, methods, and ethics of nursing research, strategies to evaluate the quality of research, and the importance of research for improving clinical practice.
    • Health Systems, Policy, Economics, and Research (2 cr) -In this course learning is centered on health systems and nursing research.  Students expand theirunderstanding of core nursing competencies such as safe therapeutic care, technology and healthinformatics by examining how these concepts operate at a systems level to influence care and outcomes. Focus is given to emergency preparedness as enacted in a variety of systems.  Key conceptual elements of the health care system, organization, policy, financing and law and quality improvement and their impact on care and outcomes are examined.  Students expand their understanding of scholarship and evidence-based practice by delving into the process of nursing research.
  • Senior Honors Thesis
    • Senior Honors Thesis (N681 and N682; 1-2 cr) – A two-semester experience in which students actively participate in their faculty mentor’s research program. The senior honors thesis can involve one or more of the following steps of the research process: reviewing the literature; designing nursing interventions for testing; collecting data; analyzing and interpreting data; and preparing scholarly reports, posters, and/or manuscripts. Senior thesis monies are available to students while completing the thesis. Students apply for the funding when submitting their N681 and N682 contracts.Examples of recent honor theses topics include: Improving Quality of Life in CHF Patients, Parenting Styles and Childhood Overweight, Analysis of a Family Strengthening Program, Factors Associated with Multiple Birth Families, Risky Behaviors and Parent/Adolescent Communication, Primary Prevention of Eating Disorders, Pain Assessments and Cognitive Impairments, Hmong Thoughts About Cancer, The Effects of Communication at the End-of-Life.
  • The Mentor Relationship

    Each student in the honors program has an active role in identifying a faculty mentor. Once a student is assigned a faculty mentor, the mentor helps the student understand the research process and provides research-related resources. The mentor also assists with identification and implementation of a senior honors thesis (e.g., involvement in the mentor’s research).

  • Progression Criteria

    Students must complete the program requirements and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 on UW-Madison course work (computed at the end of every semester) in order to remain in the honors program.

For Further Assistance

Taylor Mathewson

Executive Assistant to Deans of Academic Affairs


Lisa Bratzke

Assistant Professor, Honors Program Coordinator