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How to Apply for a College Honors Programs

by Jennifer Allman, Demand Media
    College honors programs often require students to submit an additional application packet.

    College honors programs often require students to submit an additional application packet.

    A college honors program is a challenging yet ultimately rewarding experience for those highly motivated students who need the added challenge for their personal and professional growth. Generally speaking, honors programs offer students smaller class sizes, specialized housing, greater student-faculty interaction and more research and study abroad opportunities. Freshmen, transfer and continuing education students are eligible to apply to honors program. The application process varies among schools, so be sure to carefully consult the requirements when applying.

    Step 1

    Generally, a student must first be accepted to a school in order to apply to an honors program. In most cases, the honors program admissions process is a separate application. Some schools, however, will automatically accept students who meet their requirements, and at that time you can decide if you want to remain in the honors program.

    Step 2

    Review the minimum requirements. Each school will have different specific requirements. For example, UCLA's honors program requires you to have a 4.1 GPA or higher, an SAT score of 2080 or an ACT score of 31, or rank within the top 3% of your graduating class. Overall, you can expect your school to require a high GPA, class ranking and standardized test scores, as well as a record of honors and AP courses taken in high school.

    Step 3

    Fill out the application. Generally speaking, the application itself will be a record of your demographic and academic information. At Fresno City College, you are asked to list the courses you've taken, including your Advance Placement or International Baccalaureate Credits. Be sure you include any letters of recommendation, transcripts and test scores as required.

    Step 4

    Prepare and submit your essay. Honors programs usually require an essay on a given topic, usually something personal that will allow the reader some insight into who you are. For example, at Bowling Green State University, you are asked to write about a meal you would prepare for a given group of people, including the rationale behind your decision. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to write and edit your essay.

    Step 5

    Attend your interview. Many programs require applicants to interview with an admissions counselor or other college employee. Honors programs are looking for students who are highly motivated, have high career goals and have a proven record of academic excellence. Be sure to discuss these things with the interviewer.

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    About the Author

    Jen has been a professional writer since 2002 in the education nonprofit industry. Her work has been featured in the New Jersey SEEDS Annual Report, as well as several Centenary College publications, including "Centenary in the News" and the "Trustee Times." In 2009, Jen earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College.

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