Three students are seen in profile interacting during class Three students are seen in profile interacting during class

The Honors College

Intellectual. Ambitious. Involved.

Achieving excellence. Building community. Inspiring engagement.

The Honors College is where passion meets intellect, purpose meets playfulness and potential meets greatness. Our students get the best of both worlds: the benefits and resources a prestigious Research I institution has to offer, and the small and supportive community the Honors College provides.

"The Honors College opened doors for me that allowed me to access incredible opportunities and tap into an enthusiastic alumni network that guaranteed my future success. The Honors College encourages and creates numerous spaces for students to engage in interdisciplinary discussions at a formative point in our academic careers.” - Caroline Veldhuizen, Class of 2019

The Honors College Model 

The Honors College is a four-year, student-centered program designed to fit all courses of study, so our scholars can tailor the program to their interests.

Honors College students start by taking cross-disciplinary Honors College courses, then move on to their major’s departmental honors program to sharpen their expertise in their chosen field. As they near graduation, they also complete an honors thesis or creative project.   

Honors students exercise their intellect and sharpen social skills through classes, research and experiential learning opportunities. They are well prepared to join the workforce or apply to graduate school.  

Students join The Honors College for a more engaging scholarly community to challenge and develop themselves. So, are you ready to unleash greatness? 


Benefits of the Honors College 

  • Smaller, engaging courses taught by outstanding professors 

  • Research opportunities and faculty mentorship 

  • Weekly academic, cultural and social events

  • Priority class registration each semester

  • Access to Honors Advisors, an Honors Librarian and Honors Peer Mentors 

  • On-campus Honors housing with a vibrant community


The Honors College at the University at Albany
Number of current Honors College students
Percentage of incoming freshmen admitted to the Honors College
Number of first-year students admitted annually to the Honors College
Learn more about the Honors College 

About 250 incoming freshmen are accepted each year (about 9% of the University's entering class). About 30 first-year and transfer students are also admitted annually.

  • All high school freshmen who apply to the University are automatically considered for the Honors College.

  • Prospective students chosen for our program will be notified via email. To reserve their spot in the Honors College, students must submit a short, written response to the prompt.  

  • UAlbany students who are not invited to join the Honors College as incoming freshmen can apply at the end of their first or second semester.

  • Transfer students who will enter UAlbany as second-semester freshmen or first-semester sophomores are also encouraged to apply.

Read more on our Honors College Admissions page.


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

  • Our most distinguished faculty teach in The Honors College and reflect all academic disciplines.

  • Classes are capped at about 25 students and only Honors College students can enroll.  

  • Most of our courses also meet at least one general education requirement.

Read more on our Honors College Courses and Seminars page.

Graduation Requirements 

To graduate from the Honors College, students must complete an Honors thesis or creative project and any requirements for their major’s Departmental Honors Program.

They also must earn a certain number of Honors College credits and maintain a specific Grade Point Average (GPA). 

  • Credits: Incoming freshmen must earn 18 Honors credits. Students admitted to the Honors College during their first year must earn 12 credits.

  • GPA: First-year Honors College students must earn a 3.25 GPA in the Fall semester and a 3.30 GPA during their first year overall. In each subsequent year, students must earn a 3.50 GPA.


Our students have the option of living in Honors College housing each year. 

  • Freshmen and sophomores can choose to live in Steinmetz Hall, Melville Hall and Irving Hall on State Quad. Each suite has its own common area and bathroom.

  • Juniors and seniors are guaranteed housing in Empire Commons, our on-campus apartments.

Read more on our Honors College Housing page.

Student Involvement

Honors College students excel at UAlbany, earning awards and scholarships, as well as participating in important research and service work. 

  • Scholarships and Awards: The Honors College helps prepare students to apply for nationally competitive scholarships, such as the Goldwater, Truman, Udall, Rhodes, Mitchell and Marshall awards. Honors students’ accomplishments are also recognized with campus awards. 

  • Research: Our students are very active in research efforts — they join various research labs and projects, present scholarly results at conferences and publish their papers in scholarly journals. 

  • Service work: Our students volunteer at regional food banks, clean up local neighborhoods, visit veterans, speak at UAlbany admissions events and participate in cancer research fundraisers.


The Honors College community is enriched by high levels of engagements. Some of our events include: 

  • Weekly Speaker Series with faculty and community leaders 

  • Annual Honors College Talent Show

  • Tickets to Center for Performing Arts programs

  • Social events, such as apple picking and ice skating

  • Festive holiday parties  

Read more on our Honors College Events and Activities page.


The Honors College supports its students' academic journeys with various resources.  

  • Honors Advisors work closely with honors students to make sure they meet all the requirements. 

  • Departmental Advisors guide students' discipline-specific course selection once they decide on a specific major(s). 

  • Departmental Honors Directors supervise honors students' development in their chosen disciplines and offer support as they write their senior theses. 

Honors College students also have a strong support team in place, with access to UAlbany Career Center counselors, Honors advisors, thesis advisors, alumni and the Honors Director as they prepare for life after graduation. They receive career advice, application assistance and letters of recommendation. 

After graduation, our scholars are well-positioned to obtain good jobs in their field or continue their education in top graduate and professional schools.

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The Honors College
Catskill 113

University at Albany
Albany, NY 12222
United States