Frequently asked questions about joining Honors.
Below are some of the most common questions we receive when prospective students are thinking about joining the program. Please also visit our requirements section, as well as our advising center to find out exactly what being an Honors student entails.
Because Honors courses are smaller, and are limited to Honors students, they often engage the material in greater depth, and pursue it in greater detail, than other courses. Honors students enjoy the intellectual stimulation of having other Honors students in a small class where the quality of discussion is excellent, and many students report that this enhances their learning.
Yes. During your first year as an Honors student, you may elect to live in one of the dozens of learning communities (LC) offered by the University. Honors students who do not elect one of these will be placed in one of four Honors housing clusters known collectively as the Honors LC. In all but one of these clusters, there are also non-Honors students nearby on the hall. To live in the Honors LC, simply do not select any of the other LC options, and you will automatically be placed in the Honors LC. There are no special living arrangements for Honors students after the first year.
We do not allow this, since the experience of being in a small, discussion-based course with other Honors students is one of the most important features of Honors courses.
No. All Honors students take a minimum of four Honors courses during their four years and a one-credit Honors seminar. Many students take additional Honors courses as electives, and to fulfill other curriculum requirements, which we encourage.
About 1/2 of Honors students study abroad, so it is definitely doable. You should plan carefully to ensure that you make progress on your Honors and major requirements while abroad, so meet with an Honors Advisor when you begin to make your study-abroad plans. Study abroad actually counts toward the Honors “global awareness” requirement and, if you complete our process, it can count for an Honors course as well. Talk to Hanna Richardson well in advance of your trip to initiate that process.
FOR TRANSFERRING IN HONORS COURSES: We are happy to evaluate descriptions or syllabi of your previous coursework for possible fulfillment of our presentation, collaboration, global awareness, and interdisciplinary requirements. As is the case at Syracuse, you must have received a grade of “B” or higher in order for the course to complete an Honors requirement.
FOR TRANSFERRING IN NON-HONORS COURSES: We will accept up to two Honors courses in which you received a “B” or higher to count toward Honors requirements. If you have taken an unusual honors course that is similar to our HNR-prefix courses, we will consider using it to fulfill one HNR-prefix course requirement.
Students currently at SU must meet the following GPA criteria for their college:
- Architecture: 3.2 GPA or higher
- All other colleges and schools: 3.4 GPA or higher.
You also must have sufficient time remaining at Syracuse to complete the Honors requirements. If you are beyond your first year, then you’ll need to come in and talk with an advisor about your plans for completing Honors. We also read application essays carefully for writing quality, and a clear indication that the applicant’s academic, intellectual and civic engagement interests make them a good match for the Program. A high GPA is not a guarantee of admission to the Program.
Our application is due in April, and we will let you know whether you have been accepted to Honors before your May 1 deadline for responding to SU.
Absolutely! We welcome applications after the first and second semester. After that, we ask that you meet with an Honors advisor to assess whether you still have time to complete the Honors requirements.
Transfer students are welcome to apply to Honors. As with any applicant, we evaluate whether there is time to complete the Honors requirements, the strength of the applicant’s writing, and past academic performance. Students who come in as juniors are likely to have difficulty completing Honors, though it is sometimes possible. It’s very important that you work closely with an Honors advisor from your first semester on campus.