The Honors College is a diverse community of about 1,700 students, all working toward an Honors Baccalaureate degree in their academic major. The HC offers the benefits of small engaging classes, a collaborative learning community, personal advising and unique access to research opportunities that culminate in the honors thesis. While admission to the Honors College is competitive, the selection process is holistic. We value a broad definition of achievement, which considers not only GPA, but also coursework, extracurricular activities and service to community, and responses to the Honors College essay prompt. 

To apply, students must complete the appropriate HC application. 

Minimum Requirements for HC Admission

First-Year Students who are entering from high school (applying to the HC at the same time as they apply to OSU)

3.75 cumulative unweighted high school GPA. Students who don't meet the GPA minimum can qualify with a test score of 1300 SAT or 27 ACT.

Students transferring to OSU from another college or university (applying to the HC at the same time as they apply to OSU)

3.5 Cumulative transfer GPA

Current OSU Students (students who have completed at least one term of classes at OSU as an undergraduate student)

3.5 Cumulative OSU GPA 


The Honors College is currently allowing applications from students who do not meet one of HC the minimum criteria. If you have been impacted by circumstances that affected your ability to meet the HC GPA or test score minimum but wish to apply, you should complete all sections of the Honors College application and ensure that you have provided relevant information on the additional information/circumstances question of the OSU application. All applications will be reviewed holistically and fully considered.  

How to Apply

Students applying to the HC directly from high school apply by filling out the Honors College section of the OSU undergraduate application for admission on OSU's website or on the Common App.

*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 found in the OSU Beaver Basecamp Portal (where students log in to check on the status and materials of their OSU application after they've submitted it). All information must be filled out, even if the questions also appeared on the OSU application.

The deadlines for first-year students to apply to the Honors College are November 1 (early action) and February 1 (regular decision).

If you have missed those deadlines but plan to attend OSU, you can apply to the HC after you complete one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student. Please see the section for "Current OSU Students" for more information. 

Students transferring to OSU from another college or university who wish to apply to the HC should apply by filling out the Honors College section of the OSU undergraduate application for admission on OSU's website or on the Common App. Transfer students who applied to OSU without filling out the Honors College application section and now wish to apply can do so by submitting the Honors College application found in the OSU Beaver Basecamp Portal (where students log in to check on the status and materials of their OSU application after they've submitted it). All information must be filled out even if the questions also appeared on the OSU application.

Incoming transfer students interested in the Honors College should apply to the HC at least 4 weeks prior to their first term at OSU to ensure their HC application can be processed before their first term at OSU. If you are a transfer student who did not apply to the Honors College prior to your first term at OSU but are interested in the HC, please see the section for "Current OSU Students" to learn more about how you can apply to the HC after your first term at OSU. 

Students who are already attending OSU and have completed at least one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student can apply to the HC by filling out the Honors College current OSU student application.

If you are an incoming first-year or transfer student who will be attending OSU in an upcoming term and you did not apply to the Honors College before your appropriate deadline, you can fill out this application after you have completed at least one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student. 

International students who meet HC application eligibility will be invited to apply to the Honors College when they are offered admission to Oregon State University by the Office of International Admissions. Incoming international students who plan to attend OSU and are invited to apply to the Honors College should apply at least 4 weeks prior to their first term at OSU to ensure their application can be processed before their first term at OSU. The link to the application will be available in the email students receive inviting them to apply to the Honors College. 

International students who do not apply to the Honors College before they attend OSU can still apply as a Current OSU student after they complete one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student. See the section titled "Current OSU students" for more information about applying to the HC after you have completed one term at OSU. 

Honors College Tuition and Financial Aid

Honors College students are assessed Honors College differential tuition each term. The HC differential tuition enables the Honors College to provide small honors classes, academic advising, co-curricular activities and other core elements of the Honors College student experience. HC differential tuition is currently $500 per term for full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more credits that term) and $250 for part-time students (enrolled in less than 12 credits that 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 based on their enrollment level that term.   

The HC recognizes that the HC Differential Tuition associated with enrollment in the Honors College can present a financial challenge for some students. The Honors College offers a limited number of need-based scholarships, emergency grants and experiential learning awards to students each year to support full engagement with the HC experience. 

Important Information

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

Selection criteria for an incoming first-year student is based on cumulative un-weighted high school GPA and the response to the essay question. SAT or ACT scores (optional), The strength of courses taken in high school, as well as personal or academic attributes that will enrich the Honors community, are also 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.

The Honors College is currently allowing applications from students who do not meet one of HC the minimum criteria. If you have been impacted by circumstances that affected your ability to meet the HC GPA or test score minimum but wish to apply, you should complete all sections of the Honors College application and ensure that you have provided relevant information on the additional information/circumstances question of the OSU application. All applications will be reviewed holistically and fully considered.  

First-Year Applicants

  • Early Action application submission dates: August 1st - November 1st (11:59 p.m. PST) 

  • Early Action HC admission decision date: December 31st*

* HC admission decisions will be posted in Beaver Basecamp and sent via email no later than December 31st. 


  • Regular Decision application submission dates: November 2nd - February 1st
  • Regular Decision HC admission decision date: March 31st*

* HC admission decisions will be posted in Beaver Basecamp and sent via email intermittently between February 1st and March 31st. 

 

Note: if you are a first-year student planning to attend OSU and have missed the deadlines to apply to the Honors College, you can apply to the HC after you complete one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student. Please see the section above for "Current OSU Students" for more information. 

 


Transfer Applicants

Applications may be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to your first term at OSU (within your OSU application or in Beaver Basecamp after you have applied to OSU). Admission decisions are posted in Beaver Basecamp and sent via email on a rolling basis.

 


International Applicants

International students who meet HC application eligibility will be invited to apply to the Honors College when they are offered admission to Oregon State University by the Office of International Admission. Incoming international students who have been invited to apply to the Honors College may submit applications at least 4 weeks prior to your first term at OSU. Admission decisions are sent via email. 

 


Current OSU Students (students who have completed at least one term at Oregon State University as an undergraduate student)

Applications may be submitted at any time during the academic year. Admission decisions are sent on a rolling basis, typically by the end of each term. Admitted students can enroll in the Honors College upon acceptance and confirmation.

The Honors College application essay prompt changes each year. Your application will show the correct prompt to which you should respond. When you apply, make sure your essay responds to the prompt listed on your application

The 2022 HC Application Essay Prompt is meant for students applying for a term within the 2022-2023 academic year (Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023), but check your application for the prompt you should use to write your essay. 

The 2023 HC Application Essay Prompt is meant for students applying for a term within the 2023-2024 academic year (Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024), but check your application for the prompt you should use to write your essay. 

 

2022 HC Application Essay Prompt:

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin, "As Much Truth as One Can Bear”

“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.”  – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”  – Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Respond to one of the above quotes in a well-organized and thoughtful essay that

1) analyzes what the quote is saying, and

2) shows how this meaning connects to something specific that's important to you, such as an academic subject, profession, current event, concept, activity, or a passion of yours. Be sure to support your points with examples — and remember to identify the quote you’ve selected!

All Honors College applicants must respond directly to the prompt above in 450-500 words.

Your essay is an important part of the HC application and should represent your best writing. This essay should demonstrate how effectively you organize and communicate your thoughts. We will evaluate your writing skills and ability to think deeply and creatively. Successful responses will offer a unique and specific perspective that will stand out among the many essays the admissions committee will review.

 

 

2023 HC Application Essay Prompt:

Choose one of the quotes below and write a well-organized and thoughtful essay that analyzes the meaning of the quote and connects it to something specific that's important to you, such as an academic subject, profession, current event, concept, activity, or a passion of yours. Be sure to support your points with examples — and remember to identify the quote you’ve selected! 

“It's in the act of having to do things that you don't want to that you learn something about moving past the self.” - bell hooks, Lion’s Roar interview with John Perry Barlow

“One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’” - Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder 

“There can be no growth without curiosity and no adaptability without being able to explore, through trial and error, who you are and what matters to you.” - Bessel Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score

“Silence’s importance is increasing as I’m getting older… we need it for balance, to get our brains empty. Just eating information makes you unable to move.” - Ryuichi Sakamoto, interview in Kinfolk

 All Honors College applicants must respond directly to the prompt above in 450-500 words. 

Your essay is an important part of the HC application and should represent your best writing. This essay should demonstrate how effectively you organize and communicate your thoughts. We will evaluate your writing skills and ability to think deeply and creatively. Successful responses will offer a unique and specific perspective that will stand out among the many essays the admissions committee will review. 

 


If you have questions about the HC application essay prompt, please contact Honors College Admissions at [email protected] or 541-737-6400