Honors College Orientation

Students who are accepted into the Honors College as high school seniors attend two summer orientations: University-wide First-year Orientation and Honors College Orientation.

Attending two orientations prepares our students for their first year on campus and allows them to form friendships early.

About the Honors College Orientation

Incoming Honors College students move into their residence halls two days before other first-year students arrive on campus and are assigned to an Honors College orientation group. Each group is led by a current Honors College student, who stays in touch with their group of new students throughout the academic year. 

Day One: Moving in 

Students move into their residence halls in the morning and attend the Dean’s inaugural honors lecture with their families in the afternoon. Students and their families have dinner together before parents and siblings head home. Then, in the evening, orientation groups gather for the first time. 

Day Two: Getting to know campus 

Orientation groups complete a scavenger hunt and a low-ropes course to get to know each other and campus better. Students meet with departmental honors program directors and honors advisors, attend a session on using technology at UAlbany and then have dinner with their new suitemates.

Day Three: Getting to know Albany 

In the morning, students embark on bus tours of downtown Albany and stop at one of three locations: the State Capitol, the State Museum or the Corning Tower and Farmer's Market. In the afternoon, students meet with their resident assistants (RAs) and attend Convocation.


Three students with backpacks walk along a campus pathway next to a fountain.


Honors College Housing

All Honors College students have the option of living in honors housing each year they attend UAlbany. Walk through our residence halls at almost any hour and you'll find our students studying or hanging out with each other.

The Honors Advisor comes to Steinmetz Hall for scheduled advising appointments, while faculty and staff visit our community regularly. International Education advisors also visit Steinmetz Hall to discuss study abroad programs and other opportunities.

Most of the Honors College’s activities, such as guest lectures and social events, also take place inside Steinmetz and Melville Halls.

Honors College housing is based on when the student enrolled at UAlbany (first-year, second-year, etc.), not the student’s class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.). Student must stay active and engaged in Honors College events each semester in order to qualify for honors housing.

Visit the Residential Life website for additional information.

First- & Second-Year Students

Students live in suites, with their own common area and bathroom. The suites have either two double bedrooms, three double bedrooms or a combination of a single bedroom and two double bedrooms. 

More than 90% Honors College freshmen live in honors housing. Learn more about State Quad.

Third- & Fourth-Year Students

Third- and fourth-year students can live in select Honors College buildings within Empire Commons, an on-campus apartment complex. 

Each apartment has its own living room, kitchen and laundry facilities, as well as two bathrooms and four bedrooms. Since four students live in each apartment, students have their own room and share a bathroom with one other person. 

Take a virtual tour of Empire Commons.

Commuter Students

Honors College students who commute to campus are given swipe access to Honors buildings on State Quad. They are welcome to attend honors events and socialize with other honors students. 

The Commuter Student Lounge — located in Melville Hall — has tables, chairs, whiteboards and lockers for their use.


Five students sit and talk at a picnic table outside under trees with fall foliage.


Events & Activities

The Honors College community is enriched through a wide variety of co-curricular events. Our events expand students' intellectual curiosity and engagement beyond the classroom context, and foster a sense of community and togetherness.

Examples of Honors College events include:

  • Speaker series, with UAlbany professors and other experts discussing their research and academic endeavors

  • Trips to local attractions, such as the New York State Museum, New York State Capitol and the Empire State Plaza ice skating rink

  • Performances at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center