Schwanke Honors Institute: Prep for College and Beyond

Kermit and Kathleen Schwanke Honors Institute: Prepping for College and BeyondJoin other intellectually curious high school students on campus at the University of Montana's Davidson Honors College and engage in a college experience by living on campus in the honors dorm, eating in the FoodZoo dining hall, exploring Missoula, Montana and Glacier National Park while also earning college credit through one of three courses taught by award-winning honors faculty. 

Features of the Progam

During your two weeks at the University of Montana, you attend class in the morning and participate in college readiness workshops or out-of-class engagement activities in the afternoon. In the evenings, you eat in the dining hall, finish homework in your dorm room, and attend social activities. The weekend will include an excursion to Glacier National park. 

On-campus housing with fellow pre-college students and residential staff, who are students of the Davidson Honors College.

Structured days with weekday class meetings, pre-college activities such as college essay writing and study skills, as well as exploration of the many outdoor spaces Missoula and Montana have to offer in connection with the specific course you choose. Students must have completed their freshman year of high school by June 2018. Enrollment in the Institute is limited to 20 students per class, so we encourage you to submit your application today!  Select the application link below to complete the online application:

Application Deadline EXTENDED: May 2018
Please note you will need the following documents to complete an online application:
  1. Student's unofficial high school transcript.
  2. Statement of Interest: In 500 words or less, please describe your interest in participating in the Schwanke Honors Institute. Please be specific in the experiences you have had, what you are interested in learning, and why you would like to participate in this institute.

Printable Schwanke Information Flyer 

Program Curriculum

Below are a few experiences you will have this summer in the Schwanke Honors Institute coordinated by the Davidson Honors College. A choice of three different, 3-credit courses designed to give pre-college students a preview of college academics taught by University of Montana faculty:

Schwanke Course Descriptions

"creative writing in the environment" course, image features yellow flowerCreative Writing in the Evironment

Western Montana is blessed with sparkling rivers, magnificent lakes, and ponds. Creative Writing in the Environment will offer the opportunity to explore these waters afield

and through the written word. Students will focus on their own identifying their own Homewaters, be it stream, lake, pond, or ocean. What draws us to water, that most essential and entrancing of elements? What shapes, defines, and threatens our Homewaters? Read more about the course description and instructor here.

 Sustainability: What's your Footprint?

Sustainability-Course-Picture.jpgShould I drive my car, take the bus, or ride my bike? Does it even matter? Does being “green” mean that I only eat plants and recycle EVERYTHING?? I think solar panels and energy efficient buildings are pretty cool, but how do those things affect my life? Read more about the course description and instructor here. 




National Parks and American Wilderness

"National Parks and American Wilderness" course photo, brown bear in wilderness Americans’ ideas about National Parks and the wild lands they protect have changed radically over time. This course uses secondary readings, historical documents, advertisements, and a visit to Glacier National Park to trace the campaigns to protect and promote American wilderness. We will explore the ideas that spurred the creation of the first parks, the growth of American nature tourism, the construction of park landscapes, and the social consequences of the Park Service’s management. Read more about the course description and instructor here.

Estimated Costs

Estimated cost of the 2-week program is $1500, which includes tuition, lodging, meals and activities. 

  • Tuition: $859.02 (Montana residents and non-residents pay the same tuition)
  • Lodging: approximately $280 (double occupancy for 12 nights)
  • Meals: approximately $270 (breakfasts and dinners only; some lunches are provided, but be sure to bring extra spending money for the afternoons lunch is not provided)
  • Group Activities: approximately $100 (transportation and entrance fees)

Program Scholarships

There are a limited number of tuition-only scholarships which will be awarded on the basis of financial need. Information about applying for a scholarship is included in the application. 

For more information or questions please contact: 
Davidson Honors College – University of Montana – Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: (406) 243-2541 or email: