Information for Prospective Students

There are many reasons for bright, high-achieving students to become members of The Honors College at the University at Albany.

An Enriched Academic Experience

The Honors College combines the best of a small-college, liberal-arts experience with features that can only be found at a major research university.

Each semester, The Honors College offers a wide array of challenging courses. These courses introduce students to a range of concepts and perspectives from many disciplines. Honors courses are designed to develop strong critical-thinking, research, and writing skills through active-learning approaches such as in-depth discussions, field experiences, debates, simulations, and small-group projects.

Honors courses are small, with 25 or fewer students in each course. Consequently, students receive extensive and personal attention from professors. Only honors students can enroll in honors courses, which makes for an exciting, stimulating environment in each course.

Check out descriptions of current and past honors courses. Eric Limer at Florescent Expression IV

Beginning as early as their first year, honors students are encouraged to participate in research with a professor, postdoctoral fellow, or advanced graduate student. During their senior year, all students in The Honors College complete a scholarly thesis consisting of original research or creative work. Honors students may present their research at conferences or have it published in academic journals, making them more attractive applicants to highly competitive graduate schools, professional schools, and jobs.

The Honors Community

An environment of engagement, learning, and discovery extends beyond the classroom in the honors community. The students, faculty, and staff of The Honors College are part of a small and dynamic community that is intellectual, ambitious, and involved.

About 30 evening and weekend honors events occur throughout the semester.  Professors come to the honors residence halls and present their current research.  Honors students give presentations on campus and community groups and encourage other honors students to join these groups.  Twice each semester we have open mic nights: Florescent Expression.  Seniors give talks on their honors theses.  We have movie nights and card nights.  Students organize formal and informal events and parties.  There is almost always something going on. 

Professor Haugaard, the Director of The Honors College, lives in a faculty apartment in Steinmetz Hall, which allows him to organize many events in his apartment. 

  • Dessert receptions: during the first part of each year, new students come for dessert and a chat.
  • 4.0 dinners: students achieving a 4.0 the previous semester are invited in small groups for dinner with Professor Haugaard.
  • Breakfast with Professor Haugaard: students can sign up in groups of three or four to have breakfast in Professor Haugaard's apartment.
  • Cook dinner for Professor Haugaard: students who miss being able to cook are encouraged to come and cook dinner for Professor Haugaard on the weekend.

Professors in The Honors College are selected from departments and schools across UAlbany. All have demonstrated a commitment to undergraduate teaching and are actively involved with undergraduates. Receptions, roundtable discussions, lectures, and informal lunches and dinners give students, professors, and staff members in The Honors College opportunities to connect academically and socially.

Honors Housing

Students in The Honors College can choose to live in honors housing, and about 90% of freshmen and sophomores in The Honors College live in honors housing. Living together facilitates honors students' ability to study together, attend the social and educational events that The Honors College sponsors, and form friendships with other honors students. Professors give lectures in the honors residence halls, have meals with students, and attend social and educational events with students.

Research Opportunities

Research is an important part of the experience of each developing scholar in The Honors College. Participating in research enhances each student's chance for being admitted to a graduate or professional school or being offered a job of his or her choice. Some students choose to engage in research with professors in their fields of interest; other honors students conduct their own research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Honors students are given ample opportunities to share their research at local, regional, and national conferences.

You can see the range of scholarship in which the honors student engage by seeing the titles of their senior honors theses.  Most of the theses are available to read and you will be able to learn a lot from them.

Commuting Students

Commuting first- and second-year honors students have an on-campus home in Steinmetz and Melville Halls.  Commuting honors students can gain access to Steinmetz and Melville Halls where most of the other honors students live.  There are lounge areas, study areas, and lockers available to commuting students - and they can meet students from their honors courses.

The Capital Region

Living and learning in the capital of New York gives students many opportunities to serve as interns in government, law, health, finance, education, human-service, business, and many other fields. Students conducting research at the University at Albany also enjoy easy access to the New York State Library, containing over three million items, and to the New York State Archives, containing more than twenty-five thousand cubic feet of records. In addition, honors students have access to the collections in many other museums, libraries, historical societies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. The richness and diversity in the Capital Region also offers many opportunities for service learning, volunteering, and participating in cultural and social activities.