Expectations

Honors students are expected to maintain high grades and high academic and behavioral standards to remain in The Honors College.  The professors, advisors, administrators, and staff members in The Honors College are available to help students meet these expectations. The goal of The Honors College is to have all students who are admitted to The Honors College graduate from The Honors College.

Honors Courses

Students who enter The Honors College as incoming first-year students are expected to take 18 credits in honors courses during their first two years. Students typically take three honors courses each of their first two years. There are some exceptions, however. For example, students planning to study abroad for a semester during their sophomore year may take four honors courses during their first year and two honors courses during their second year.

Students who enter The Honors College at the end of their first or second semester at UAlbany are expected to take 12 credits of honors courses during their second year.

All students must take the required number of credits.  In some cases, it is possible to extend the time for taking honors courses into a student's third year, if doing so advances a student's education plan. Exceptions must be applied for with Professor Haugaard.

Admission to a Major's Honors Program

During their junior year, all honors students must be admitted to the honors program in their major. Students should consult their major department's website to learn about the requirement for admission to their major's honors program and when students should apply.  When and how to apply varies widely among the departments. A list of the requirements for the honors program in all the majors can be found on The Honors College website.

Most majors require a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 to enter their honors program, and some have a higher GPA requirement. Therefore, most honors students will need at least a 3.25 GPA by the end of their sophomore year or by the middle of their junior year to be admitted to the honors program in their major. Students whose GPA is too low to allow them to join their major's honors program will not be able to continue in The Honors College.

A few majors at UAlbany do not have an honors program. Students in these majors should consult with Professor Haugaard during the spring semester of their sophomore year to discuss the requirements they will need to meet to graduate from The Honors College.  In most circumstances, these students will be expected to meet the requirements in their major and complete an honor thesis. 

Students who are in a major that does not have an honors program will be expected to have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a cumulative GPA in their major courses of 3.5 at the end of the first semester of their junior year, to continue in The Honors College.  This is the same basic requirement that students in majors that do have an honors program must meet.

Grade Point Requirements for Continuing in The Honors College

During their first semester as freshmen, honors students must achieve at least a 3.25 GPA. By the end of their freshman year, honors students must achieve at least a 3.30 yearly cumulative GPA (an average of their fall-semester and spring-semester GPAs).

In each subsequent year, honors students must achieve at least a 3.5 yearly cumulative GPA.

Students who do not meet the expected GPA will be dropped from The Honors College.  However:

  • Students who are close to the expected GPA (defined as being within .25 of the expected GPA (e.g., a 3.00 to 3.24 during the first semester) may request that they continue in The Honors College by initiating a meeting with Professor Haugaard.  During this meeting, the issues influencing the student's lower-than-needed academic performance will be examined and strategies for overcoming the challenges caused by these issues will be explored (the focus of this meeting is to explore strategies that will help the student excel during the rest of his or her time in college - which is a goal that we have for every honors student).  If the student is allowed to continue in The Honors College, she or he must meet the yearly GPA expectations until graduation.
  • Students who are not close to the expected GPA can remain in The Honors College if they experienced a significant issue over which they had little control, that impeded their ability to achieve the needed GPA (e.g., a significant illness, a family crisis).  We want to be sure not to penalize students who have experienced these types of issues during a semester. Students experiencing these issues should initiate a meeting with Professor Haugaard.

Extracurricular Activity Requirements for Continuing in Honors Housing

Students in The Honors College should participate actively in the intellectual and social community of The Honors College. During their first and second years at UAlbany, honors students are expected to participate in seven honors activities each semester. These activities are listed on the weekly activity calendar from The Honors College.  About 30 honors events are held each semester, most in the evenings or on the weekends.

It is hoped that students will participate actively in honors activities during their third and fourth years, but there are no requirements for doing so.

Students who do not attend the required number of social activities during a semester will not have the privilege of living in honors housing during subsequent years.