28 June 2022

Top Undergraduate Honors Programs (Class of 2027 Edition)

Posted in Your College List, Class of 2027

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.



Catherine He Catherine He is a recent graduate of The Harker School and plans to attend the University of Southern California this fall.
Sinaya Joshi Sinaya Joshi graduated from The Harker School this past May and plans to attend UCLA this fall.
Caden Lin Caden Lin graduated from The Harker School this past May and plans to attend Columbia University this fall.


Popular Undergraduate Honors Programs

College Kickstart LLC

InstitutionStateProfileExtra App?Benefits
American University
AU Honors
Arizona State University
Barrett, The Honors College
Auburn University
Honors College
AL GPA: 3.85
ACT: 29
Baylor University
Honors Program
TX GPA: 3.8
SAT: most 1300+
ACT: most 27+
Boise State University
The Honors College at Boise State University
ID GPA: 3.5 recommended     
Boston University
Kilachand Honors College
Brigham Young University
University Honors Program
Cal Poly Pomona
Kellogg Honors College
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly University Honors Program
CA GPA: 3.75     
City University of New York
Macaulay Honors College
Clemson University
Honors College
SC GPA: 3.7     
College of Charleston
Honors Program
Colorado School of Mines
Thorson First-Year Honors Program
Colorado State University
Honors Program
CO GPA: 3.8 By invitation     
Drexel University
Pennoni Honors College
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
NY GPA: 3.89
SAT: 1445-1500
ACT: 32-35
By Invitation     
George Mason University
Honors College
George Washington University
University Honors Program
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech Honors Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Hutton Honors College
IN GPA: 3.9/3.85
SAT: 1430/1500
ACT: 32/34
Iowa State University
University Honors Program
IA GPA: 3.5
SAT: SAT equivalent to 30 composite ACT, 24 in English
ACT: 30 composite; 24 English
Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College
LA GPA: 3.5
SAT: 1360; 670 EBRW
ACT: 30
Miami University
University Honors Program
Michigan State University
Michigan State University's Honors College
Mississippi State University
Shackouls Honors College
MS GPA: 3.75 (auto accept with minimum test score)
SAT: 1400 (auto accept with minimum GPA)
ACT: 30 (auto accept with minimum GPA)
New York University
NYU Presidential Scholar
NY Top 10% of Entering Class By invitation     
North Carolina State University
University Honors Program
NC GPA: 3.8
SAT: 1350
ACT: 30
Ohio State University
Honors and Scholars Programs
Ohio University
Honors Tutorial College
Oregon State University
Honors College
OR GPA: 3.75 cumulative unweighted
SAT: 1300
ACT: 27
Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Schreyer Honors College
Purdue Univefrsity
Honors College
Rice University
Century Scholars Program
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Rutgers SAS Honors Program
NJ SAT: EBRW score 650
ACT: English 30
San Diego State University
Weber Honors College
CA GPA: 3.7     
San Jose State University
SJSU Humanities Honors Program
CA GPA: 3.0 unweighted
SAT: 575 on SAT EBRW
ACT: 24 verbal
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University Honors Program
CA GPA: typically 3.9+
SAT: typically upper 1400s
ACT: typically 32+
By invitation or application     
Southern Methodist University
University Honors Program
TX Top 10% of Entering Class       
SUNY Albany
Albany Honors College
NY GPA: most 90/100 average in core subjects
SAT: most 1310
ACT: most 28
9% of Entering Class Admitted
SUNY Binghamton
Binghamton University Scholars Program
NY GPA: mid 90/100 and above
SAT: mid 1400s and above
By invitation     
SUNY Buffalo
University at Buffalo University Honors College
NY typically top 10% of incoming freshmen     
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
The Honors Program
NY GPA: 92/100
SAT: 1250
ACT: 28
Top 20% of class
SUNY Stony Brook
Stony Brook University Honors College
NY GPA: 95-99/100
SAT: 1310-1450
ACT: 29-34
Syracuse University
Renee Crown University Honors Program
Temple University
Temple University Honors Program
PA GPA: 3.9 unweighted
SAT: 1415
ACT: 32
Texas A&M University
University Honors Program
TX GPA: 3.5
SAT: 1360
ACT: 28
Top 10% of High School Class
Texas Christian University
John V. Roach Honors College
TX GPA: 3.8 unweighted
SAT: 1450
ACT: 33
Tulane University
Newcomb-Tulane College Honors Program
University of Alabama
Honors College
AL GPA: 3.5
SAT: 1310 resident, 1360 non-resident
ACT: 28 resident, 30 non-resident
University of Alabama - Birmingham
Honors College
AL GPA: 3.5
SAT: 1300
ACT: 28
By invitation or application     
University of Arizona
Honors College
AZ GPA: 3.92 unweighted     
University of California (all campuses)
Regents Scholars
CA   By invitation     
University of California - Davis
UC Riverside University Honors Program
University of California - Irvine
Campuswide Honors Program
University of California - Los Angeles
Traditional College Honors Program
University of California - Riverside
University Honors Program
CA GPA: 3.8 (UC calculated GPA) and Satisfaction of Entry Level Writing Requirement By invitation     
University of California - San Diego
Revelle Honors College
CA GPA: 3.8 By invitation     
University of California - Santa Barbara
Honors Program
University of California - Santa Cruz
College Scholars Program
CA   By invitation or application     
University of Cincinnati
University Honors Program
OH GPA: 3.6 unweighted / 3.8 weighted
ACT: 32
University of Colorado - Boulder
Arts & Sciences Honors Program
CO Top 10% of the incoming class       
University of Connecticut
Honors Program
University of Delaware
Honors Program
University of Denver
University Honors Program
University of Florida
Freshmen Honors Program
FL GPA: 4.5-4.7
SAT: 1490-1550
ACT: 33-35
University of Georgia
Honors Program
GA GPA: 4.06
SAT: 1517
ACT: 34
By invitation or application     
University of Hawaii - Manoa
Honors Program
HI GPA: 3.5     
University of Houston
The Honors College
TX SAT: 1300     
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Campus Honors Program
IL   optional     
University of Iowa
Honors Program
University of Kansas
University Honors Program
University of Maine
University of Maine Honors College
University of Mary Washington
Honors Program
University of Maryland - College Park
Honors College
MD Averages, not required       
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Honors College
MA Eligibility criteria for incoming freshmen operate on a sliding scale based on GPA and SAT/ACT By invitation to opt-in     
University of Michigan
LSA Honors Program
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Minnesota University Honors Program (UHP)
University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
MT GPA: 3.7
SAT: 1270
ACT: 27
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Nebraska Honors
NE Recommend applying by Early Notification Deadline     
University of New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire Honors Program
NH GPA: 4.25 (weighted, average not required)       
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Honors Carolina
NC SAT: 1450       
University of Oregon
Clark Honors College
OR GPA: 3.9
SAT: 1360
Top 90th percentile of test takers on average
University of Pittsburgh
Pitt Honors College
PA GPA: 3.8
SAT: 1450-1500
ACT: 32-33
Admit about 600 students; profile is average not required
University of Rhode Island
Honors Program
RI GPA: 3.6
SAT: 1300
ACT: 27
University of South Carolina
Honors College
SC GPA: 4.5 - 5.0 (weighted)
SAT: 1430-1520
ACT: 32-34
University of South Dakota
Honors Program
SD GPA: 3.7
SAT: 1220
ACT: 27
University of South Florida
Judy Genshaft Honors College
FL GPA: 4 (recalculated USF GPA)
SAT: 1400
ACT: 31
University of Southern California
Trojan Scholar Society
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
University of Tennessee Knoxville Chancellor's Honors
TN GPA: 3.8
ACT: 28
Admit 400 every year
University of Texas - Austin
Honors Programs
University of Texas - Dallas
Collegium V Honors Program
TX Top 10% of entering class     
University of Utah
Honors College
UT   yes     
University of Vermont
Honors College
University of Virginia
Echols Scholars Program
VA Admit about 200 per class       
University of Washington - Seattle
Honors College
University of Wisconsin - Madison
L&S Honors Program
WI Top 7.5% of College of Letters & Science     
University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming Honors College
Virginia Tech
Honors College
Washington State University
Honors College
West Virginia University
Honors College
WV GPA: 3.7
SAT: 1230
ACT: 26
By invitation     
Yeshiva University
Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program
NY GPA: 3.8 (94/100)
SAT: 1460
ACT: 32
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