Applying to the Honors College
Why be a Member of the University at Albany Honors College Community?
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.
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. Eric Limer at Florescent Expression IV
The Honors College staff coordinates frequent social and cultural events. In the past, these events have included dessert receptions, performing-arts events, movie nights, coffeehouse nights, and tours of the University Museum. The Honors College staff also offers workshops and seminars to support honors students' intellectual and professional growth. Some past sessions have focused on nationally competitive scholarships and preparing for writing an honors thesis.
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.
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 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.
Professors and staff members in The Honors College work with honors students to strengthen their profiles as candidates for some of the nation's most prestigious awards, including the Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships. The Honors College provides experiences that increase a student's chances of receiving these scholarships. Honors College staff members consult with students to determine which scholarships fit their career goals, activities, and academic interests best, help students identify faculty mentors, and refine drafts of their application materials.
Honors students are recognized for their accomplishments with a special designation on their transcript. This notifies potential employers and graduate schools that they have completed a rigorous and demanding undergraduate program.
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.