There are approximately 1600 students enrolled, all working toward an Honors Baccalaureate degree in their academic major. The HC offers the benefits of small classes, a residence hall option, student learning centers and personal advising with the research and involvement opportunities of OSU. Demand for entrance into the HC is high and competition strong. We evaluate applicants not only on their academic accomplishments, but also on their level of writing, while considering coursework, extra-curricular activities, and contribution to community. The HC welcomes students from diverse academic, cultural and geographic backgrounds.

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

Minimum Requirements for HC Admission

First-Year Students who are entering from high school

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

3.5 Cumulative transfer GPA

Current OSU Students (already enrolled at OSU)

3.5 Cumulative OSU GPA 


The Honors College is currently allowing applications from applicants whose GPA or test scores have been impacted by circumstances related to COVID-19 and therefore do not meet one of the Honors College minimum criteria.  If you do not meet the Honors College minimum criteria 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 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.

Students who are already attending OSU and wish to apply to the HC should fill out the Honors College current student application.

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 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.

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.

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 $500 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. All Honors College students can apply for HC scholarships through ScholarDollars, including an Honors College Differential Tuition Scholarship specifically for continuing students. Students who are having difficulties paying the HC differential tuition are encouraged to speak with an honors advisor.

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 applicants whose GPA or test scores have been impacted by circumstances related to COVID-19 and therefore do not meet one of the Honors College minimum criteria.  If you do not meet the Honors College minimum criteria 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 2nd (11:59 p.m. PST) 

  • Early Action HC admission decision date: December 31st

* HC admission decisions will be sent to all Early Action applicants at the same time and you'll receive a decision no later than December 31st. 


  • Regular Decision application submission dates: November 3rd - February 1st
  • Regular Decision HC admission decision date: March 31st*

* HC admission decisions will be sent intermittently between February 1st and March 31st. 


Current OSU And Transfer Applicants

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.

“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.


If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected] or 541-737-6400