The Honors College

Faculty Director: Bill Miller
Administrative Director: Gabrielle Tobin
Office: N-3070 Library
Phone: (631) 632-4378
Web site:

The Honors College, the most selective academic program for undergraduates at the University, offers a limited number of exceptional students from each class the opportunity to become members of a special community of scholars. Through the college, they pursue a challenging four-year curriculum designed to promote intellectual curiosity, independence, and critical thinking.


Honors College admissions decisions are based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. Among these are a record of high academic and creative achievement, extraordinary motivation, diversified interests, intellectual curiosity, and sufficient maturity to carry out a challenging program of study. To enter the Honors College as freshmen, students must demonstrate overall academic excellence in high school by such accomplishments as achieving high grade averages in major subject areas, an unweighted cumulative average of 93 or greater, combined critical reading and math SAT scores equal to or over 1300, a record of advanced or college-level coursework, and evidence of writing ability. Demonstrated talents in the fine and performing arts also serve to qualify a student for admission to the Honors College. Similar criteria are applied to students wishing to enter as sophomores or juniors.


Honors College students must fulfill Skills 1, 2, 3, and 4 (see Note below) as outlined in the D.E.C. requirements for the College in which they are enrolled.

A. Honors College students who enter as freshmen must take HON 105, 106, 201, 301, 401, 495, and 496 or their equivalents, equivalency to be determined by the Faculty Director of the Honors College. Students who enter the Honors College after the first semester of the freshman year are required to take a course program modified according to the time spent in the College. (Those entering as sophomores, for example, must take HON 105 and 106 or substitute equivalent courses.)

B. Students who receive a grade of C- or lower in an Honors College course (those with the HON designator) may repeat the course toward Honors College requirements. No HON course in which a grade of C- or lower was received may satisfy an Honors College requirement.

C. Each student entering as a first-year student is required to take four topics courses (HON 110-120). Students entering as sophomores are required to take two topics courses; those entering as juniors are required to take one.

D. Honors College students must take four additional complementary electives within the three disciplinary domains (including at least one course in each) other than that of their major (or one of their majors). The three disciplinary domains are: natural sciences and quantitative disciplines, fine arts and humanities, and social sciences. One of these courses must be from D.E.C. category K. Students are urged to take at least one of these courses in a foreign language at the intermediate level or higher or in the literature of a language other than English. These complementary elective courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. A course used to satisfy a skill requirement cannot also be used to satisfy a complementary elective requirement.

E. All Honors College students must submit a letter of intent describing their senior honors projects no later than the midpoint of the last semester of their junior year, exact date to be determined by the program. A progress report must be submitted at the end of the first semester of project work. An appropriate thesis (single-authored by the student) must be submitted at the end of the second semester and an oral report must be made at the annual Honors College Symposium. The grade on the senior project must be C or higher. These rules apply to students doing their senior honors projects under the HON designator or under a departmental designator. Students must obtain program approval for registration under a designator other than HON.

Note: Students who need to satisfy the Skill 3, Elementary Foreign Language Competence requirement, through coursework must earn a B or higher in the second semester of an elementary foreign language course to satisfy the requirement.