All honors students have the option of living in honors housing each year they attend UAlbany. Living in honors housing is not required any year, but is available each year.
First- and second-year students* live in two adjoining buildings on State Quad: Melville Hall and Steinmetz Hall. Both buildings have been recently renovated and feature many areas for group and individual study as well as for socializing. Both halls are made up of suites, each of which has a common area and a bathroom. Some suites have two double rooms, some have three double rooms, and some have two double rooms and a single room.
"Joining the Honors College at UA is one of the best decisions I've ever made. The entire Honors College lives together and has become so close over the course of only a month. I've made so many friends here with similar interests, and I love being able to have intelligent conversations about science, religion, and history at the drop of a hat. We all love what we do and I'm so glad that I am able to be part of the Honors Community."
Class of 2015
"Honors housing has provided an environment in which honors students can mingle, converse, and work effectively. Living in an honors dorm in no way separates you from the general population but rather provides you with a foundation of friends from which you can branch out and meet others. The diverse range of majors that honors students are attempting means that you will almost always have someone who can assist you with your work or at least share in the plight."
-Jeffrey H. Knaack
Class of 2010
Third- and fourth-year students* are eligible to live honors buildings in Empire Commons. Empire Commons consists of townhouses, each with their own living room, kitchen, and laundry facilities. Each student has a single room, and two students share a bathroom. Four students live in each townhouse.
"I lived in another dorm my first semester and moved to honors housing my second semester. It makes a huge difference. The people in honors housing are much friendlier and share many of the same interests as myself. They also act as a positive influence since there is always someone studying or working hard. The people you live with and spend tons of time with have to make the same sacrifices as you do for their studies, which makes it easier to turn down a fun activity, because inevitably someone else is in the same boat. Or if they are not, they are willing to help you. Honors housing is a very motivating environment and I definitely recommend it."
Class of 2011
Honors housing is not isolated from the rest of the campus (for example, about 1000 students other than those in The Honors College live on State Quad), but honors housing does provide space where bright, serious students can live and learn together. Many honors activities, such as guest lectures and social events, take place in Melville and Steinmetz Halls. Professor Haugaard lives in a faculty apartment in Steinmetz Hall, and so is available to students in The Honors College most days and evenings.
*Honors housing is based on the student's year in college (based on when the student matriculated at UAlbany) rather than on the student's class standing (e.g., sophomore, junior) which is based on total credits earned.