Opportunities for Highly Engaged & Motivated Students

Honors College

The Honors College is a community of scholars who seek a more engaging academic experience to challenge and develop themselves.

As an Honors College student, you’ll enjoy small honors-only classes, honors housing and priority course registration, as well as weekly academic, cultural and social events. You’ll also be supported by faculty members, honors academic advisors, an honors librarian and honors peer mentors.

All high school seniors who apply for admission to the University at Albany are automatically considered for the Honors College. Eligible transfer students are invited to apply. 

Please visit the Honors College website for more information.


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Pillars Program

The Pillars Program is a new initiative for exceptional high school students. The name of the program ties into our campus architecture (we have 1,248 pillars on the Academic Podium) but also symbolizes the support you’ll receive as a highly motivated Great Dane.

The four pillars of the program are:

Early entrance into a Living-Learning Community

Students in the Pillars Program can enroll in a Living-Learning Community (L-LC) before sign-ups open for the rest of the incoming first-year class on May 1. 

As an L-LC resident, you’ll live with other incoming first-year students who share your interests or intended major.  

Choose from 17 on-campus communities, where you’ll build friendships and a strong support system. Each L-LC houses 18 to 40 students, who take one to two classes together.  

Engagement micro-grant

Students who are involved in their L-LC have the opportunity to earn a $250 micro-grant by meeting the following requirements: 

  • enroll in classes linked to your L-LC 

  • attend Orientation events before classes start 

  • attend at least five weekly L-LC meetings, events and/or programs 

  • participate in community service 

  • participate in one cluster event with related L-LCs and one All World event, which involves all 16 L-LCs 

Students must apply for their micro-grant through the Office of Financial Aid at the end of their first year. Funds can be used for any of the following: 

  • an undergraduate research project 

  • travel related to professional development 

  • an internship or community service experience 

  • study abroad 

  • graduate school prep classes, tests or applications 

Gold Pass

UAlbany offers more than 300 student organizations, 18 Division I athletic teams and numerous campus traditions.  

With the Gold Pass, you’ll be invited or given special access (such as reserved seating) to popular campus events.  

Early Advisement Information Session

Meet with academic advisors before your formal course registration process to learn more about: 

  • the schedule of classes 

  • course enrollment software 

  • General Education program requirements 

  • majors/minors at UAlbany 

First-year students who have been invited to apply for Fall 2022 should submit their application by February 28, 2022.

Please also indicate your first and second Living-Learning Community choices on your application. You’ll be notified of your placement by early March. 

For more information about the Pillars Program, please contact Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions Beth Conrad at [email protected]


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Leadership and Service-Learning Academy 

The Leadership and Service-Learning Academy develops outstanding leaders who understand the imperatives of diversity and self-awareness, who design collaborative relationships to strengthen their communities and who lead with confidence as agents of positive social change. 

This one-year program is hosted by UAlbany’s Center for Leadership & Service and aims to broaden first-year students’ leadership skills through community engagement. 

First-year students who have been invited to apply for Fall 2022 should submit their application by April 25, 2022

For more information about the Leadership and Service-Learning Academy, please contact Admissions Counselor Garrett Manning at [email protected].


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Social Justice Institute

The Social Justice Institute is a leadership training program that empowers students to share their own experiences with societal injustices and become leaders for positive change both at UAlbany and in their communities. 

Fifty incoming first-year students will join a diverse cohort of their peers to discuss existing injustices, understand the importance of coalition building and explore career paths related to social justices.  

As a participant, you will also explore steps for addressing injustices, identify guiding principles, connect with experts, community leaders and alumni, and engage in community service through the University and local agencies. 

First-year students who have been invited to apply for Fall 2022 should submit their application by February 15, 2022

For more information about the Social Justice Institute, please contact Admissions Counselor Channon Burroughs at [email protected]