A New Way to Define Excellence

Gleich Honors College defines excellence by the diversity of students welcomed into the program and the quality of their achievements.

Small and highly selective, Gleich enrolls about 15 students entering the University each year. Students receive individual attention through seminar courses typically found only in small colleges, while enjoying the vast range of academic opportunities available only at a major research university.

Apply by March 15, 2024, for priority consideration as an incoming freshman. All other applicants are selected on an ongoing basis.

Dr. Thompson and seven honor students pose on nature trail
Two students hold a plate with a strawberry tart on it
Three students stand around table with kids toys and gifts at charity event
Group of students sitting on chairs and cross-legged on floor smiling
Group of four honors students posing together

The Honors College Advantage

Special Honors College Curriculum

Small, interdisciplinary seminars will help you develop critical and analytical skills, and make you think about the world in new ways. These courses are only open to honors college students and average in size around 15 students.

All Gleich Honors Students have the opportunity to participate in research with diverse methodologies early on their undergraduate experience. This opens the door to additional research opportunities that prepare students for an ever-evolving professional world.

Opportunity to Work Closely with Faculty

Form intellectually stimulating relationships with faculty members who are among the most distinguished in their fields. Partake in a problem-solving/research project with guidance from a faculty mentor with expertise in an area of your choosing.

Personalized Guidance

Receive individualized advising and custom-tailor your academic program. Your advisor will also help you explore Webster's broad range of academic and cultural opportunities outside the classroom.

Gleich Graduate

“I get the unique opportunity to work with a close-knit community of other intelligent and enthusiastic students and staff at Webster University.”

Rayna Friedman, Gleich Honors College alumna

BS in Business Administration, Minor in Spanish, '23

Entrance to Gleich Honors College area

The Gleich Honors College Mission

Entrance to Gleich Honors College area
  • Critically apply different research methodologies to both local and global contexts.
  • Design, present and assess projects and their budgets for meaningful community collaboration.
  • Advocate for students' own academic goals through leveraging available resources and through effective communication.
  • Collaborate across intercultural lines with openness, empathy and curiosity.

Admissions Criteria for Gleich Honors College

Gleich Honors Student Profile

Admission to Gleich Honors College is based on a range of criteria. We are looking for bright, energetic students who have demonstrated an ability to succeed in our rigorous academic program and to take advantage of the research, creative, and cultural opportunities available at Webster University.

Admission is highly competitive. Incoming freshman are notified of program acceptance in mid-May. Other candidates (including transfer students) will be notified approximately two weeks after applications are submitted.

Students accepted into the program will be able to register in advance for classes and spend time together with other Gleich Honors College members in a space dedicated to fostering a close-knit community of high achieving students.

of incoming freshmen admitted to Gleich Honors College

Successful applicants to this program (the middle 50th percentile range) have historically had 3.75-4.0 high school GPAs. If submitting test scores, 1350-1450 SAT composite scores, and a 27-34 ACT composite score.


3.75-4.0 GPA in high school and/or previous institutions

SAT (optional)

1350-1450 SAT composite score

ACT (optional)

27-34 ACT composite score

*Meeting the typical minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to consider applicants with credentials below these minimums.

It is important to have succeeded in challenging courses while showing energy and leadership in extracurricular areas of interest, such as the visual, performing and literary arts, athletics, sciences, community service, or student government.
Marianne and Peter Gleich
Recognizing Marianne and Peter Gleich

“It is our belief that the Gleich Honors College will provide an opportunity to challenge Webster’s talented students today, as well as tomorrow.”

Marianne and Peter Gleich
Marianne and Peter Gleich

Longtime supporters of Webster University

Webster University to Launch Honors College with $1 Million Gleich Donation

Marianne Gleich, an alumna with a degree in French, has been a donor for four decades. She and her husband, Peter, have also established Webster scholarships for French, international business and study abroad programs. In 2019, the Gleichs were recipients of Webster University’s Visionary Award for their long-standing, visionary dedication to Webster and its students and commitment to scholarships and study abroad opportunities.

General Information

Gleich Honors College students major in departments and programs across the campus. Current students are enrolled in majors ranging from Art History to Biological Sciences and Music to Mathematics. The Gleich Honors College curriculum provides a special environment for the part of the undergraduate academic career outside of the major area of study.

Honors College students take leading roles in the intellectual, cultural, and social life of the university, while pursuing their choice of any of Webster University’s 100-plus academic majors, minors and combined-degree programs. The culmination of a student's efforts at Webster University and the capstone of the Honors College experience will be the completion of a senior project under the guidance of a faculty member in your area of study.

Cultural and Social Activities

Go on field trips to museums, theatres, and other places of interest. Attend musical presentations and guest lectures. St. Louis offers unlimited cultural programming within a few miles of campus.

Students walking along nature trail

Honors College students will have the opportunity to attend diverse student events throughout the semester.  Recent events have included:  Beyond the Grave tour of St. Louis, time management workshops, Forest Park tours, St. Louis City tours, City Museum events.

At the core of the Honors College curriculum is a series of five honors courses taught by leading scholars in a broad range of academic disciplines. These courses emphasize the development of skills in critical thinking, persuasive writing and intercultural competence.

All Gleich Honors Students have the opportunity to participate in research with diverse methodologies early on their undergraduate experience. This opens the door to additional research opportunities that prepare students for an ever-evolving professional world.

Students have also explored activities in painting, ceramics, photography, computer art, music performance, music composition, theatre, dance, poetry and novel writing, journalism, and television production.


Webster University logo

Karla Armbruster

Professor of English

Karla Armbruster is the co-editor of two collections of criticism: "The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place" and "Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism." She is also executive secretary of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, having held several other leadership positions within that organization in the past.

Most recently, she has become very interested in animal studies and is working on a book on literary and popular representations of dogs. This project combines personal narrative, literary and cultural analysis, and scientific information on canine behavior and genetics in order to examine the ways we position dogs on the border between culture and nature. In the process, it explores how our representations of dogs inform not only our relationships with real dogs but also our engagement with the wildness of the natural world. For a taste of this project, read a talk Armbruster gave on “Dogs, Dirt, and Public Space” at a gathering sponsored by the Animals and Society Institute at Duke University in 2009.

Armbruster's interests are also reflected in her courses; for example, her Perspectives course on Werewolves, Seal Wives, Grizzly Men and Other Metamorphoses (now offered as Human-Animal Transformations) won the 2011 Distinguished New Course Award from the Humane Society of the United States and the Animals and Society Institute.

Ryan Groeneman

Ryan Groeneman

Professor of Biology

Ryan Groeneman holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from the University of Missouri.

Research in the Groeneman group focuses on the chemistry of the organic state in terms of both photoreactivity and thermal extension within these molecular solids. The photoreaction we investigate is based upon the solid-state [2 + 2] cycloaddition reaction. They utilize this light induced reaction with the goal of synthesizing unique molecules that contain cyclobutane rings. Within the area of thermal expansion, Groeneman researches the ability to control the direction and magnitude of the tensors of expansion by varying the type and strength of non-covalent interactions that sustains these solids. In a similar manner, he also investigates the role of motion capable and incapable components play on the overall thermal expansion within these molecular crystals.

Office Browning Hall 335
Phone 314-246-7466
Email ryangroeneman19@webster.edu

Gad Guterman

Gad Guterman

Chair of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts

BA, Theatre and Economics (double major), Cornell University, 1996; MA, Educational Theatre, New York University, 2000; PhD, Theatre, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2011; at Webster since 2011.

Gad Guterman joined the faculty of the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in 2011. He is the author of Performance, Identity, and Immigration Law: A Theatre of Undocumentedness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The book considers how contemporary US theatre has presented so-called undocumented immigrants and, more broadly, how legal labels participate in processes of identity. Guterman's essays, focused generally on connections between theatre and law, have appeared in Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and in the collection American Multicultural Identity (Salem Press, 2014).

Most recently, he contributed an article and a translation to Theatre and Cartographies of Power: Repositioning the Latina/o Americas (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018). From 2004 to 2011, he served as the Education Director for the Vineyard Theatre in New York City, an Off-Broadway company dedicated to producing new plays and musicals. He is the author of a play for young actors published by Eldridge Plays, My Uncle Shakespeare, and has directed productions for Missoula Children's Theatre, Boston Children's Theatre, and the John Harms Performing Arts Center, among others. Recent credits include The Little Prince (director, Webster University, 2019), Greek Myths: Heroes and Monsters (director, Imaginary Theatre Company, 2019), the Romeo and Juliet Green Show (director, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, 2018), and the Briefs Theatre Festival (dramaturg, 2014–17).

Kelly Heath

Kelly Heath

Director of Study Abroad

Kelly Heath is the Director of Study Abroad in the Office of Study Abroad at Webster. In this role, she manages the daily operations of the Office of Study Abroad and oversees study abroad programs and services for the university. She is involved in various university committees, including the Division of Global Education Advisory Committee, the International Studies Committee and the Accessibility Committee, as well as initiatives that help provide more equity and access to education abroad for Webster students. Heath completed her BA in Spanish at Bates College, with a study abroad experience in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and Salamanca, Spain, and received a master’s degree in higher education (MEd) with a focus in student affairs administration from Loyola University Chicago, with a study abroad experience in Rome, Italy. Heath also received a CELTA certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language in Sevilla, Spain, and taught English there for two years.

June Kyu Park

June Kyu Park

Assistant Professor of Film, Television and Video Production, Media Arts

Kyu Park, born in Korea, is a transnational film director, producer and cinematographer. He makes fictional narrative, as well as experimental and documentary films that focus on ethics and morality in social context. His works have been screened at several international film festivals and exhibitions, including the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in France; the Montecatini Film & Video Festival in Italy; the Bucheon International Film Festival in South Korea; and the Syracuse International Film Festival in the United States. A short film, "Drama," directed by Tian Guan, in which he worked as a cinematographer, has won Best Live Action Short in the 30th Warsaw Film Fest, 2014, and Best Short Fiction in the Los Angeles Film Festival, 2015. It also screened at Slamdance, Palm Springs and elsewhere.

MFA in Film, May 2015, Syracuse University, New York
BFA in Film, February 2010, Yong In University, Gyounggi-do, South Korea
Certification of Screenwriting, December 2004, Korea Screenwriters Association, Seoul, South Korea

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

Professor of French and Global Studies

Emily Thompson earned a BA in history and in French from Duke University in 1991. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a PhD in French literature in 1996. She teaches courses in French language, Francophone literatures and cultures, and global studies. She also teaches a Global Cornerstone Seminar for the Gleich Honors College on place-based learning and civic engagement. She serves as a member of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Academic Committee and Executive Council. Professor Thompson’s research interests focus on sixteenth-century French literature, specifically the evolution of the nouvelle and the history of the book. She won the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Office Browning Hall, ISB 403
Phone 314-968-7050
Email thompsem@webster.edu

Bruce Umbaugh

Bruce Umbaugh

Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Global Citizenship Program

Bruce Umbaugh is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department. He became a philosopher to understand things deeply and in ways that allow action to make the world better. His research has addressed relativism and rationality; the ethical implications of technology design; and privacy, free expression, and identity in online environments. His book on the thought of George Berkeley defends idealism in light of all the latest scientific knowledge. Most recently, he has been exploring how ethics of care may be fundamental to all the best practices for helping students to learn.

Umbaugh has been a full-time faculty member at Webster since 1994. He has been recognized with the inaugural Learning Happens Everywhere award as well the William T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has taught Cornerstone and Keystone seminars, as well as introductory courses in philosophy and courses such as Theory of Knowledge, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy and Technology, and Global Information Ethics. He currently serves as Director of Webster's Global Citizenship Program and as Past President of the international Association for General and Liberal Studies.

Umbaugh earned an AB in Philosophy degree from the Honors Tutorial College of Ohio University, and an MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Maryland.

Pearson House lower level
Phone 314-968-7172
Email bumbaugh@webster.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

The Gleich Honors College curriculum is completely independent of your major (at present, our students represent all six schools and colleges and many different majors). It is designed to complement your major of choice and fulfill Webster University Global Citizenship requirements.

Yes. You are expected to maintain a GPA of a 3.0 to remain in good standing.

This is a common misconception. Honors courses are designed to give students an intellectually stimulating college experience that requires them to analyze lessons in a different way than non-honors courses. Although the number and scale of assignments are not necessarily greater, a higher standard of quality is expected.

Although the Gleich Honors College classes and mini-courses are only open to students within this program, they make up only about one quarter of your academic credits. All other classes will be taken with regular Webster University students. This gives the Gleich Honors College students an opportunity to feel a sense of closeness and community with their fellow Gleich Honors College peers, while encouraging potential friendships outside the Gleich Honors College as well.

To graduate from Webster University, you need to do two things: complete the requirements for your chosen major (as determined by the faculty and catalog for that department and major), and satisfy an additional set of university requirements that are unrelated to your major. At Webster University, those university requirements are called Global Citizenship courses. The Global Citizenship courses includes categories of courses covering the full range of the academic disciplines offered at the university. The Gleich Honors College curriculum replaces some of the requirements of the GCP coursework.
News and Events

Gleich Honors News