The Honors College

David W. Goldsmith, Ph.D., Director of The Honors College

The Honors College is a supportive community of students, faculty, and staff collaborating to achieve new understanding and meaningful contribution.


The mission of The Honors College is:

  • To attract and retain academically talented, serious students with interests matching the programs of the University at Albany 
  • To recognize and encourage students to attain the highest level of academic achievement and beyond
  • To help students develop as scholars by facilitating connections between professors and students
  • To offer intense academic experiences to challenge honors students in all disciplines
  • To develop a sense of community among the students in The Honors College
  • To prepare students for advanced study in graduate and professional schools, or for a rewarding professional life


The Honors College is under the auspices of The Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education. The main office of The Honors College is located in Catskill 109, (518) 442-3942. It is administered by the Director who reports to the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education and the Honors College Governing Board. Members of the Governing Board include the Deans of all Colleges and Schools at UAlbany, or their designees; teaching faculty equal to the number of deans on the Governing Board; and one sophomore, junior, and senior honors student.

Student Body

  • Approximately 290 students are admitted to The Honors College each year
  • Approximately 250 students are admitted as incoming first-year students
  • Approximately 30-40 students are admitted at the end of their first semester or at the end of their first year. All first-year students at UAlbany can apply for admission at these times. Admission decisions are made by the Dean, in consultation with the Honors College Admissions Committee.


Students admitted as incoming first-year students are required to take 18 credits, including T UNI 101, in honors courses before their junior year. Up to four (including T UNI 101) of the 18 credits may be earned through one-credit seminars. These seminars supplement the 3-credit courses and are often on nontraditional or interdisciplinary topics that challenge students with new ideas and perspectives. Students admitted to the Honors College during their first year at UAlbany are required to take 12 credits in honors courses.

Most honors courses are offered at the 100, 200, and 300 levels. Many are designed to meet one or more General Education requirements and some meet major requirements. Enrollment in honors courses is open to students in The Honors College only. Honors courses are listed within each department's course listing (with a T prefix) and on The Honors College website.

After completing their required honors credits, students in the Honors College proceed to complete the honors program in their major during the latter half of their undergraduate career at UAlbany. Students in a major that does not have an honors program consult with the Dean and the Chair of the chosen major regarding the program they will follow in their next two years. All students in the Honors College demonstrate their intellectual curiosity and proficiency in their major field by completing a thesis or other creative project prior to graduation.


To remain in the Honors College, students in The Honors College must earn a 3.25 GPA during their first semester; 3.30 GPA during their first year; and a 3.50 GPA each subsequent academic year. Students entering The Honors College during their first year must earn a 3.50 GPA each year to remain in The Honors College. Students not achieving the required GPA will be given one semester of probation to bring their GPA back in line with Honors College expectations.  Students may petition for additional time if necessary. All honors students in a major that has an honors program must apply and be admitted to the honors program in their major.

Students who would like to remain eligible for honors housing must attend a required number of honors events during their first and second years at UAlbany. Honors event attendance policy is designed to invigorate the honors community and is subject to change.

Honors College Courses

T UNI 101 Honors Education: History, Theory, & Practice (1)
A required course for all incoming first-semester students in The Honors College. Students will be introduced to university life, the roles of students and professors in the university, basics of research, and working effectively in small groups to promote each other's learning. All first-semester honors students are required to enroll. Open to Honors College students only.

T UNI 110 Honors Writing and Critical Inquiry (3)
Introduction to college-level critical inquiry with a focus on the practice of writing. Based on principles of rhetorical theory, the course emphasizes intensive practice in academic writing as well as writing in other contexts. Students complete various projects in order to deepen their understanding of writing as a vehicle for inquiry and enhance their ability to produce clear and effective prose for different audiences and purposes and in different media. Only one of T UNI 110, U UNI 110, or A ENG 110 may be taken for credit. Must be completed with a grade of C or better or S to meet the Writing and Critical Inquiry requirement. Open to Honors College students only.

T UNI 150 Honors Topics (1)
The Honors Topics seminar addresses: a current/timely topic; specialized contents that are not included in the regular Honors curriculum; interdisciplinary focus that crosses disciplinary boundaries; and topics that integrate classroom learning with practice in the field. Special topics course offerings vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit for a total of three credits when content varies. Open to Honors College students only.

T UNI 250 Honors Advanced Topics (3)
The Honors Advanced Topics seminar may address: a current topic for timely in-depth analysis; feature specialized contents not included in the regular Honors curriculum for new insight; and provide interdisciplinary focus that crosses but also integrate disciplinary boundaries. Special topics course offerings vary from semester to semester. May be repeated once for credit when content varies. Open to Honors College students only.