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Undergraduate Bulletin 2007-2008
Bulletin Homepage | Honors College

Honors College

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

The 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 developing 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. (518-442-9067).


The University-wide Honors College is housed in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. It is administered by the Assistant Vice Provost for Honors Programs (AVPFHP), 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 with an undergraduate major or minor, or their designees, a number of teaching faculty equal to the number of deans on the Governing Board, and one sophomore, junior, and senior honors student. The teaching faculty will be appointed by the Provost in consultation with the University Senate’s Governance Council. Students will be elected by those in their graduating class.  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, Presidential Scholars and Douglass Scholars will be invited to become students in The Honors College.

If changes are needed to this process, the Governing Board will determine an application process for admission to the Honors College, including criteria for admission, in consultation with UAC’s Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

First-year students at UAlbany may apply to The Honors College at the end of their first semester, and again at the end of their first year.  Admissions decisions will be made by the AVPFHP in consultation with the admissions committee of the Governing Board.



Honors College students are required to take six honors courses before their junior year. (Students who begin as honors students in their sophomore year are required to take four courses.)

A senior thesis or creative project is required for all graduates of The Honors College.
At least eight honors courses per semester will be offered for honors students, across disciplines.

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 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 thesis or creative project;
  • In departments without an honors program, the AVPFHP 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