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Undergraduate Bulletin 2006-2007
Bulletin Homepage | Honors College

Honors College

Jeffrey Haugaard, Assistant Vice-Provost, Director of Honors Programs

The University-wide Honors College is designed to strengthen successful components of current programs.


The mission of the University-wide Honors College is:

  • To contribute to the University's goal of attracting an increased number of especially talented students with interests matching the programs of the University at Albany and to retain these students to graduation;
  • To identify other academically talented undergraduate candidates and direct them to honors opportunities on the campus (this is a responsibility that is ideally shared by University teaching faculty and Advisement Services and Educational Opportunities Program advisers);
  • To create a community of scholars—both students and faculty—who work together in a challenging academic environment and to stimulate high levels of academic achievement;
  • To involve more faculty members in honors activities so that they are available individually as mentors to help students become active learners;
  • To create a structured set of academic experiences comprising a clear “honors pathway” through which students can access the opportunities and enriched academic offerings of the University in a systematic and coherent fashion;
  • To enhance the offerings of honors degree programs housed within academic departments, programs and schools;
  • To prepare students to compete successfully in national and international scholarships as well as in admission to graduate and professional schools;
  • To recognize and accommodate the different ways in which students can demonstrate distinctively high levels of academic achievement.

The main office of the Honors College is located in LC 31. (518-442-5333).


The University-wide Honors College is housed in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. It is administered by the Assistant Vice Provost for Honors, who reports to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and the Honors College Governing Board. Members of the Governing Board include the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, College of Computing and Information, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, School of Criminal Justice, School of Social Welfare, or their designees, and six teaching faculty who hold the rank of Distinguished Professor, Distinguish Service Professor, Distinguished Teaching Professor, or hold University awards for excellence in teaching. The six teaching faculty will be appointed by the Provost in consultation with the University Senate’s Governance Council. The Governing Board may create subcommittees for specific purposes, such as curriculum, admission, and standards for “Honors Standing” to be met by Honors College students.. The Governing Board will submit an annual report to the University Senate’s Undergraduate Academic and University Planning and Policy Councils.

Student Body

Initially, 150 new students are to be admitted each year, using the process outlined below:

As they are admitted to the University, University Scholars will be invited to apply for admission to the Honors College.

The Governing Board determines the application process for admission to the Honors College, including criteria for a admission, in consultation with UAC’s Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

University Scholars already in residence at University may apply. Frosh and sophomores who are not University Scholars may also apply. They would be evaluated for admissions on the basis of their work at University at Albany by the AVP for Honors and the Governing Board. Admission is based on GPA, faculty letters as well as evidence of scholarship (e.g., sample of research paper or creative work).


Honors College students are required to take six honors courses before their junior year. (Students admitted after one semester in residence are required to take five courses; students admitted after two semesters are required to take four courses.)

A senior thesis or creative project is required for all Honors College graduates.

At least eight honors courses per semester will be offered for honors students, across disciplines.

  • Honors courses will be designated by the suffix “H”;
  • Honors courses will have a built-in
    e-portfolio component: (The e-portfolio is a tool that students and their faculty mentors can use to archive, access, revise, collate and assess their learning experience, particularly their creative and/or research projects.)
  • For a course to be designated an honors course, it must meet one or more of the following requirements:
  • Provide students with the opportunity for in-depth study of subject-matter that would not be possible in larger classes;
  • Have a research and/or creative component;
  • Have a service learning component.
  • Among the 16+ courses offered every year are:
  • Lower division courses that fulfill requirements for more than one major, especially in disciplines that have very structured requirements for the major.
  • Courses that meet one or more of the requirements in the General Education Program. These will be selected with a view to allow students to fulfill those requirements not typically available within the more common majors and minors.
  • Articulation with departmental honors programs:

  • All Honors College students will be enrolled in departmental honors program;
  • All Honors College students will be matched  with a faculty adviser in the major who will supervise the mandatory thesis or creative project;
  • In departments without an honors program, the Assistant Vice Provost for Honors will help students devise a comparable 12-credit upper division honors curriculum in the major.
  • Courses

    Enrollment in honors courses is open to Honors College students only.

    Up-to-date listing of honors courses is available at