Admission to the Oregon State University Honors College (HC) is competitive. Students who are eligible to apply must complete the appropriate HC application.

First-Year Students – Students applying to the HC directly from high school for fall 2017 admission apply by filling out the Honors College application section of the OSU undergraduate application for admission.

* Note: First-year applicants who applied to OSU without filling out the Honors College application section and now wish to apply can do so by submitting the first-year Honors College application here on the HC web site. All information must be filled out even if the questions also appeared on the OSU application.

Transfer Students - Students transferring to OSU from another college or university who wish to apply to the HC for fall 2017 admission should fill out the Honors College transfer student application here on the HC web site (link will be available January 1, 2017).

Current OSU Students – Students who are already enrolled at OSU and wish to apply to the HC for fall 2017 admission should fill out the Honors College current student application here on the HC web site (link will be available January 1, 2017).

International Students  International students who qualify will be invited to apply to the Honors College after they have been offered admission to Oregon State University.

Minimum Criteria to be Considered for HC Admission

First-Year Students (entering from high school)

3.75 cumulative un-weighted high school GPA or

1300 on the new SAT or

27 on the ACT

Transfer Students (transferring to OSU from another college or university) 

3.5 Cumulative transfer GPA

Current OSU Students (already enrolled at OSU)

3.5 Cumulative OSU GPA 

Application Deadlines & Notification Dates

First-Year Applicants (applying to the HC directly from high school)       

Early round application submission dates

July 25th - November 1st

Early round HC admission decision date

December 31st



Primary round application submission dates

November 2nd - February 1st

Primary round HC admission decision date

March 31st


Current and Transfer Applicants (already enrolled at OSU or transferring from another institution)

Application submission dates

January 1st - March 15th

HC admission decision date

April 30th 

 HC Application Checklist

  1. Identify which type of HC applicant you are and make sure you meet the minimum HC application criteria.
  2. Apply to the HC either on the OSU application (first-year students) or on the HC web site (current OSU students and transfer students). On the HC application you will be asked to provide: 
    • A written response to the HC essay question (450-500 words). Note: Essay questions are updated each year. See below for this year’s essay question.
    • A written description of three extracurricular activities that have had a significant impact on you and/or your community.
    • A list of AP, IB, or college credits you have completed, are taking, or plan to take.
    • Optional: Additional circumstances that should be known by the HC selection committee but have not been shared in another section of this application.
    1. Verify that the OSU Office of Admissions receives official transcripts and SAT/ACT test scores (first-year students only).
    2. Check your e-mail regularly. The HC will communicate with you via e-mail with questions or important updates.

    *All admitted students will be considered for HC scholarships. If admitted, you may be asked to provide additional information to be used in the scholarship selection process.

     HC Admission Selection Process

    Though similar, the selection process for HC admission is separate from admission to the university. Due to enrollment constraints, HC selections are extremely competitive. While many applicants meet the minimum criteria for HC admission, not all of them will be offered admission.

    Selection criteria for an incoming first-year student is based on cumulative un-weighted high school GPA, SAT or ACT scores, plus a response to the essay question. The essay response is weighed equally with GPA and test scores, so give special consideration to this component of the application. The strength of courses taken in high school, as well as personal or academic attributes that will enrich the Honors community, may also be considered.

    For college transfers or current OSU students, selection criteria are based on the applicant's college GPA and the essay response. Personal or academic attributes that will enrich the Honors community are also considered.

    2016 Admitted HC Student- Average Statistics

    3.94 cumulative un-weighted high school GPA 

    2000 on the SAT 

    31 on the ACT

    3.8 cumulative transfer or OSU GPA

    Application Fee

    There is no fee to apply to the Honors College.

    Honors College Tuition and Financial Aid

    Honors College students are assessed "Honors College Differential Tuition" each term. HC Differential Tuition enables the Honors College to provide small seminar-style classes, academic advising, co-curricular activities and other amenities. HC Differential Tuition is currently $431 per term and will appear on each student's billing account for each fall, winter, and spring term that the student is enrolled at Oregon State.  

    The HC recognizes that the HC Differential Tuition associated with enrollment in the Honors College can present a financial challenge for some students. Honors students who are unable to pay the differential tuition in a specific term can apply for a HC Differential Tuition Grant.

    2017 Honors College Application Essay Question

    All Honors College applicants must complete this essay in 450-500 words.

    Note: The essay is an important part of your HC application and should represent your polished writing.  While many college admissions essays invite you to share a personal story, the HC essay has a different focus: it asks you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills.  In 450-500 words, provide your perspective on the issue raised in the prompt.  You may choose to use personal examples as supporting evidence, but the essay as a whole should address the specific and substantive question(s) posed.  In evaluating your response, we will consider your writing skills and ability to think deeply and creatively. 


    “Adaptation is the art form of democracy.”

    Deborah Cartmell, A Companion to Literature, Film, and Adaptation

    By calling it “the art form of democracy,” Cartmell suggests that adaptation is broadly accessible and can be used by many different people to many different ends.  The concept of adaptation can be applied in art forms like film or music as well as in business, science, engineering, psychology, and other fields.  It is not unique to humans; a variety of organisms, objects, entities, and systems also exhibit adaptation.   

    Choose one specific example of adaptation to examine as a case study.  Your essay should 1) briefly explain what is being adapted and how, and 2) analyze in detail how the adaptation changes the meaning, purpose, and/or function of the original.


    Before responding, read all of the instructions above carefully.  Consider both the specific meaning of “adaptation” and the wide range of possible examples, from antibacterial resistance to Game of Thrones to artificial intelligence.  Rather than using one of those, however, identify an example that interests you and provides a strong basis for your analysis.

    If you have questions contact us at or 541-737-6400