08 July 2021

Top Undergraduate Honors Programs (Class of 2026 Edition)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2026

Honors ProgramsHonors programs are a terrific way for academically talented students to reap the benefits of a liberal arts education within the context of a large research institution.

To give you a better sense for how this can enrich your college experience, we’ve compiled a list of undergraduate honors programs from top public and private universities across the nation. We've included admission profiles where available, program benefits, whether an extra application is required and a link to each institution's offering for more details.

Click on Continue Reading to see our list of top undergraduate honors programs now.

 

Top Undergraduate Honors Programs

Many schools offer honors programs/colleges for their students to receive a specialized experience at their university. Honors colleges are a separate and unique college within a larger university whereas honors programs aren’t part of a particular college, rather they are programs you fulfill as you get your degree at another of the university’s colleges.

Either way, the honors experience typically encompasses smaller class sizes, senior instructors, priority registration, active mentorship and access to research opportunities. 

To create the list, we looked for popular and/or highly ranked research institutions across the nation and identified those offering honors programs for incoming freshmen. Both public and private universities were considered. We then compiled admissions profiles and determined which institutions require a separate application for honors program admission.

To give you a sense for the breadth of each program, we've highlighted benefits along five dimensions:

  • Scholarship support
  • Honors housing
  • Honors classes and/or priority class registration
  • Advising and mentorship
  • Career and research opportunities

We've also included a link to each honors program website for more details.

Enjoy!

Authors

Helen Li Helen Li is a recent graduate of The Harker School and plans to attend the University of Toronto this fall.
Claire Luo Claire Luo graduated from The Harker School this past May and plans to attend Stanford University this fall.

 


Popular Undergraduate Honors Programs

College Kickstart LLC

InstitutionStateProfileExtra App?Benefits
American University
AU Honors
DC    
Arizona State University
Barrett, The Honors College
AZ    
Auburn University
Honors College
ALGPA: 3.85
ACT: 29
    
Baylor University
Honors Program
TXSAT: most 1300+
ACT: most 27+
    
Boise State University
The Honors College at Boise State University
IDGPA: 3.5 recommended
SAT: 1240 recommended
ACT: 26 recommended
    
Boston University
Kilachand Honors College
MA    
Brigham Young University
University Honors Program
UT    
Cal Poly Pomona
Kellogg Honors College
CA    
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly University Honors Program
CAGPA: 3.75    
City University of New York
Maucalay Honors College
NY    
Clemson University
Honors College
SC    
College of Charleston
Honors Program
SC    
Colorado School of Mines
Thorson First-Year Honors Program
CO    
Colorado State University
Honors Program
COGPA: 3.8By invitation    
Drexel University
Pennoni Honors College
PA    
Florida State University
FSU University Honors Program
FL GPA: 4.20-4.60
SAT: 1440-1520
ACT: 32-34
    
Fordham University
Rose Hill Honors Program
NYGPA: 3.89
SAT: 1445-1500
ACT: 32-35
By Invitation    
George Mason University
Honors College
VA    
George Washington University
University Honors Program
DC    
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech Honors Program
GA    
Indiana University - Bloomington
Hutton Honors College
INGPA: 3.9/3.85
SAT: 1430/1500
ACT: 32/34
Conditional    
Iowa State University
University Honors Program
IAGPA: average 3.5
ACT: 30 composite; 24 English
    
Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College
LAGPA: 3.5
SAT: 1360; 670 EBRW
ACT: 30
    
Miami University
University Honors Program
OH    
Michigan State University
Miami University's Honors College
MI    
Mississippi State University
Shackouls Honors College
MSGPA: 3.75 (auto accept with minimum test score)
SAT: 1400 (auto accept with minimum GPA)
ACT: 30 (auto accept with minimum GPA)
Conditional    
New York University
NYU Presidential Scholar
NYTop 10% of Entering ClassBy invitation    
North Carolina State University
University Honors Program
NCGPA: 3.8
SAT: 1350
ACT: 30
    
Ohio State University
Honors and Scholars Programs
OH    
Ohio University
Honors Tutorial College
OH    
Oregon State University
Honors College
ORGPA: 3.75 cumulative unweighted
SAT: 1300
ACT: 27
    
Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Schreyer Honors College
PA    
Purdue Univefrsity
Honors College
IN    
Rice University
Century Scholars Program
TX    
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Rutgers SAS Honors Program
NJSAT: EBRW score 650
ACT: English 30
Conditional    
San Diego State University
Weber Honors College
CAGPA: 3.7    
San Jose State University
SJSU Humanities Honors Program
CAGPA: 3.0 unweighted
SAT: 575 on SAT EBRW
ACT: 24 verbal
    
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University Honors Program
CASAT: typically upper 1400s
ACT: typically 32+
By invitation or application    
Southern Methodist University
University Honors Program
TXTop 10% of Entering Class    
SUNY Albany
Albany Honors College
NYGPA: most 90/100 average in core subjects
SAT: most 1310
ACT: most 28
9% of Entering Class Admitted
    
SUNY Binghamton
Binghamton University Scholars Program
NYBy invitation    
SUNY Buffalo
University at Buffalo University Honors College
NYtypically top 10% of incoming freshmen    
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
The Honors Program
NYGPA: 92/100
SAT: 1250
ACT: 28
Top 20% of class
    
SUNY Stony Brook
Honors College
NYGPA: 95-99/100
SAT: 1310-1450
ACT: 29-34
    
Syracuse University
Renee Crown University Honors Program
NY    
Temple University
Temple University Honors Program
PAGPA: 3.94 unweighted
SAT: 1448
ACT: 32
    
Texas A&M University
University Honors Program
TXGPA: 3.5
SAT: 1360
ACT: 28
Top 10% of High School Class
    
Texas Christian University
John V. Roach Honors College
TXGPA: 3.8 unweighted
SAT: 1450
ACT: 33
    
Tulane University
Newcomb-Tulane College Honors Program
LA    
University of Alabama
Honors College
ALGPA: 3.5
SAT: 1310 resident, 1360 non-resident
ACT: 28 resident, 30 non-resident
    
University of Alabama - Birmingham
Honors College
ALGPA: 3.5
SAT: 1310
ACT: 28
    
University of Arizona
Honors College
AZGPA: 3.89 unweighted
SAT: 1423
ACT: 31.1
    
University of California (all campuses)
Regents Scholars
CA    
University of California - Davis
UC Riverside University Honors Program
CA    
University of California - Irvine
Campuswide Honors Program
CA    
University of California - Los Angeles
Traditional College Honors Program
CAGPA: 4.1
SAT: 1450
ACT: 31
    
University of California - Riverside
University Honors Program
CAGPA: 3.8 (UC calculated GPA) and Satisfaction of Entry Level Writing RequirementBy invitation     
University of California - San Diego
Revelle Honors College
CAGPA: 3.8    
University of California - Santa Barbara
Honors Program
CABy invitation     
University of California - Santa Cruz
College Scholars Program
CABy invitation or application    
University of Cincinnati
University Honors Program
OHGPA: 3.6 unweighted / 3.8 weighted
ACT: 32
    
University of Colorado - Boulder
Arts & Sciences Honors Program
COTop 10% of the incoming class    
University of Connecticut
Honors Program
CT    
University of Delaware
Honors Program
DEGPA: 4.14-4.25
SAT: 1370-1460
ACT: 30-33
    
University of Denver
University Honors Program
CO    
University of Florida
Freshmen Honors Program
FL GPA: 4.6-4.7
SAT: 1490-1550
ACT: 34-35
    
University of Georgia
Honors Program
GAGPA: 4.06
SAT: 1517
ACT: 34
By invitation or application    
University of Hawaii - Manoa
Honors Program
HIGPA: 3.5    
University of Houston
The Honors College
TXSAT: 1300    
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Campus Honors Program
ILoptional    
University of Iowa
Honors Program
IA    
University of Kansas
University Honors Program
KS    
University of Maine
University of Maine Honors College
ME    
University of Mary Washington
Honors Program
VA    
University of Maryland - College Park
Honors College
MDAverages, not required    
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College
MA    
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Honors College
MAEligibility criteria for incoming freshmen operate on a sliding scale based on GPA and SAT/ACTBy invitation to opt-in    
University of Michigan
LSA Honors Program
MIGPA: 3.9
SAT: 1435-1540
ACT: 32-34
    
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Minnesota University Honors Program (UHP)
MN    
University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
MTGPA: 3.7
SAT: 1270
ACT: 27
    
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Nebraska Honors
NERecommend applying by Early Notification Deadline    
University of New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire Honors Program
NH    
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Honors Carolina
NCSAT: 1450    
University of Oregon
Clark Honors College
ORGPA: 3.9
SAT: 1360
Top 90th percentile of test takers on average
    
University of Pittsburgh
Pitt Honors College
PAGPA: 3.8
SAT: 1450-1500
ACT: 32-33
Admit about 600 students
    
University of Rhode Island
Honors Program
RIGPA: 3.6
SAT: 1300
ACT: 27
    
University of South Carolina
Honors College
SCGPA: 4.68
SAT: 1440-1520
ACT: 31-34
    
University of South Dakota
Honors Program
SDGPA: 3.7
SAT: 1220
ACT: 27
Top 15% of High School Class
    
University of South Florida
Judy Genshaft Honors College
FL GPA: 4 (recalculated USF GPA)
SAT: 1400
ACT: 31
Conditional    
University of Southern California
Trojan Scholar Society
CA    
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor's Honors
TNGPA: 3.8
ACT: 28
Admit 400 every year
    
University of Texas - Austin
Honors Programs
TX    
University of Texas - Dallas
Collegium V Honors Program
TXTop 10% of entering class    
University of Utah
Honors College
UT    
University of Vermont
Honors College
VT    
University of Virginia
Echols Scholars Program
VAAdmit about 200 per class    
University of Washington - Seattle
Honors College
WA    
University of Wisconsin - Madison
L&S Honors Program
WITop 7.5% of College of Letters & Science    
University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming Honors College
WY    
Virginia Tech
Honors College
VA    
Washington State University
Honors College
WA    
West Virginia University
Honors College
WVGPA: 3.7
SAT: 1230
ACT: 26
By invitation    
Yeshiva University
Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program
NYGPA: 3.8 (94/100)
SAT: 1460
ACT: 32