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Honors Program



Program Description

The Honors Program was created to offer highly motivated and talented students an opportunity to develop their potential more fully as they study for the associate degree. Honors courses are selected from the areas of: English, social science, arts, communication, humanities, math, biology, movement science and business. Honors sections of these courses follow the Socratic dialogue format and offer enrichment through alternative texts, outside readings, research projects and abstract concept development beyond the traditional course section. Additionally, students complete three honors seminars, the service course and the capstone project.

The Honors Program is open to both full and part-time degree-seeking students

Program Outcomes

Students will:

Learn and integrate: Through independent and collaborative learning, acquire and apply knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences, within and across disciplines.

Question, think and create: Use multiple higher order inquiry and thinking strategies to examine real-world issues, explore creative avenues of expression, solve problems and make consequential decisions.

Communicate: Acquire, create and convey intended meaning using oral, written and non-verbal methods of communication that demonstrate respect and understanding in a complex global society.

Clarify purpose and perspective: Explore one's life purpose and meaning through transformational experiences that foster an understanding of and respect for self, relationships, and diverse global perspectives.

Practice citizenship: Apply principles of ethical leadership, collaborative engagement, socially responsible behavior, respect for diversity in an interdependent world, and display a service-oriented commitment to advance and sustain local and global communities.

For expanded Program Learning Outcomes, please visit the Honors web page.

Keep This in Mind

Students who are are not in the Honors Program but are interested in taking an honors course should contact the Honors Program Coordinator.

Students who already possess a first Honors degree may not seek a second should they pursue a second degree at SUNY Orange.

Admissions Criteria

The SUNY Orange Honors Program uses a holistic process to determine who is accepted. We seek well-rounded candidates who want to earn an honors designation, experience a more collegial academic environment, are prepared to engage actively in the opportunities we offer, and meet the program’s requirements. We help individuals develop into life-long learners who think critically and innovatively, solve problems creatively, understand diverse viewpoints, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively. We willreview all application files until our available seats are filled.

ALL applicants must:

  • complete the Honors Program application;
  • take the required College Placement Assessment in English and math and place into Freshman English 1 without support module OR otherwise be placed into Freshman English 1; **
  • provide one letter of recommendation from faculty, counselors, administrators, or qualified community leaders; ***
  • attend an honors interview / roundtable meeting.

We also recommend (but do not require) having one of the

  • a 90+ high school GPA;
  • a high school ranking within the top 10% of the class;
  • an SAT score of 1200+ on math & verbal sections;
  • an ACT score of 27+;
  • a 3.30+ cumulative college GPA.

Please note: This does not mean only candidates with one of these scores will be accepted. Rather, these are suggestions. If you would like to join us but have a significantly lower than recommended score, apply and provide a short letter explaining your situation, strengths in other areas, and intent.

** Students who already have college credit for ENG 101 and / or ENG 102 need not retake those courses. However, the Honors Program requirement of three or six honors English credits must be made up through other writing-intensive honors courses, as determined by the Honors Program Coordinator.

*** Current SUNY Orange students may replace the formal letter with a short, emailed recommendation from one of their SUNY Orange professors.

We welcome students of all backgrounds and experiences, including (but not limited to): GED holders, home schooled students, veterans, adult learners, part-time, and international students. Please speak with the Admissions office and Honors Program Coordinator to determine eligibility and / or alternative documentation.

Transfer Options

Completion of the Honors Program may enhance transfer and scholarship opportunities to more selective colleges and universities and prepare students for the academic work required for continued pursuit of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Our students have successfully transferred to many prestigious schools including:

  • Smith College
  • Clemson University
  • Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • Vassar College
  • Emerson University
  • American University
  • Cornell University
  • Bard College
  • Johns Hopkins University

Requirements for Honors Designation

In order for students to show the Honors Designation on their transcripts and seal on their diplomas upon graduation, they must have been accepted to and have attained the following in the Honors Program:

  1. Completion of all degree requirements;
  2. Achievement of a 3.5 GPA at the time of graduation, with no semester GPA less than 3.0.