The Honors College

Hui-Ching Chang, Ph.D.
 of The Honors College; Professor of Communication

The Honors College is a vibrant community providing intellectual challenges to talented students who are ambitious in pushing the limits of knowledge in the classroom and beyond, maximizing the opportunities available to them, and committing to civic engagement through leadership, hard work, and responsibility.


The mission of The Honors College is:

  • To contribute to the University's ability to attract  academically talented, serious students with interests matching the programs of the University at Albany and to retain these students to graduation 
  • To develop a sense of community among the students in The Honors College 
  • To facilitate connections between professors and students, so that the professors are available as mentors to help students develop as scholars
  • To offer a structured set of intense academic experiences designed to challenge honors students working in all disciplines
  • To prepare students to compete successfully for admission to graduate and professional schools or for challenging and rewarding jobs  
  • To recognize and encourage the range of ways in which students can attain high levels of academic achievement.


The Honors College is housed in the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education. The main office of The Honors College is located in LC 31, (518) 442-9067. It is administered by the Dean who reports to the Vice Provost 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. The teaching faculty are appointed by the Provost in consultation with the University Senate’s Governance Council. Students are elected by those in their graduating class.

Student Body

  • Approximately 150 students are admitted to The Honors College each year
  • Approximately 125 students are admitted as incoming first-year students
  • Approximately 35 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. Admissions decisions are made by the Dean, in consultation with the Governing Board.


Students admitted as incoming first-year students are required to take 18 credits in honors courses before their junior year. Up to four 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 expose students to different 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:

Students in the Honors College are required to complete the honors program in their major during their second two years at UAlbany, if their major has an honors program. Students in a major that does not have an honors program consult with the Dean regarding the program they will follow during their second two years. A senior thesis or creative project is required to graduate from The Honors College.


Students in The Honors College must earn a 3.30 GPA during their first year and a 3.50 GPA each subsequent year to remain in The Honors College. 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 may request a probationary semester, in consultation with the Dean. 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 College Courses

T UNI 101 Honors Education: History, Theory, & Practice (1)
A 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, 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. S/U graded.

T UNI 102 Introduction to Honors Research (1)
A course for all incoming first-year honors students and all second-year honors students admitted during their first year. Students will be introduced to undergraduate honors research through presentations of their honors theses by senior honors students and by presentations by professors who supervise undergraduate honors thesis. Prerequisite: first-year student in The Honors College or new second-year student in The Honors College.

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. Prerequisite(s): first-year student in the Honors College.

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 are in a "pilot" or experimental phase before being offered as a regular Honors course. 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.