For UAlbany Freshmen

Applying to The Honors College: Information for UAlbany Freshmen

First-year students at UAlbany who are serious about their academic work and who receive very high grades during their first or second semester are encouraged to consider applying to The Honors College.

The Honors College is a community of developing scholars that includes some of the most academically talented and serious students at UAlbany. Students accepted into The Honors College during their first year take four small, intense honors courses during their second year. They then complete the honors program in their major- which includes producing a senior thesis or creative project.

Honors students have the option of living in honors housing all four years (on State Quad during their first and second years, and on Empire Commons during their third and fourth years). Further, honors students can choose to participate in a wide range of educational and social honors activities during evenings and weekends. Students who graduate from The Honors College have this noted on their official transcript and their honors courses are identified on their transcript.

About 125 students are accepted into The Honors College each year when they enter UAlbany, based on their high school performance. However, because we want to include in The Honors College additional students who do particularly well during their first year in college, we accept 25 – 30 first-year students in February based on their first-semester grades and in June based on their first-year grades.

Students accepted in February can register for honors courses for the upcoming fall semester during the spring pre-registration period. They also can sign up for honors housing in March for the following year and are encouraged to attend honors events during the spring semester. Students accepted in June can register for honors courses over the summer. They can also join honors housing in Melville Hall if space is available. In short, students accepted during their first year become full-fledged members of The Honors College at the start of their second year.

To apply to The Honors College, complete the application below. The application, a copy of your unofficial transcript (which can be obtained from My UAlbany), and the 500-word essay described on the application should be submitted to The Honors College in Lecture Center 31. Applications from students applying after their first semester will be accepted between January 1st and February 1st. Applications from students applying after their first full year will be accepted between June 1st and June 15th.

During each of the past two years, approximately 60 students have applied for the 25 – 30 places in The Honors College available to students during their first year. Although an application with an excellent essay cannot guarantee acceptance into The Honors College, students who submit applications with an essay that is less than excellent are rarely accepted. More information about The Honors College can be obtained from reviewing our website.  Questions about the process of applying to The Honors College can be emailed to

Download the application for The Honors College

For February 1st deadline

For June 15th deadline