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**A limited number of competitive scholarships are offered to incoming First Year students.**

** You must fill out an application in ordered to be considered for the Honors Program.**

**There is no set deadline to submit applications for admission to the Honors Program.  The Honors Admissions Committee meets regularly to review applications.**

The Honors Program accepts applications from prospective high school students, transfer students, and SUNY New Paltz students up through their junior year.

Choose one of the links below to download the appropriate application.

*High School Students & First Semester Freshman Application
*Current New Paltz Students Application
*Transfer Students Application


The Honors Program admission review process is holistic. In addition to SAT scores and GPA, the Honors Program values the following attributes and they are considered during the admission process: creativity, intellectual curiosity, commitment to thinking deeply and broadly about a range of ideas, communication skills, and interdisciplinary orientation. The Honors Program is committed to diversity in admissions (broadly defined to include, minimally, race/ethnicity, family income, gender, life experience, major).  

Fall 2013 Incoming Honors Students Range of Scores

GPA Score Range SAT Score Range High School Average Score Range
3.50-3.90 1310-2150 91-103.9

Application guidelines for incoming freshmen:

  • SAT scores: 1280 or higher (Critical Reading and Math)
  • ACT composite score: 28 or higher
  • High school average: 95 or higher
  • Cover Letter
  • Two analytic writing samples
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • High School Transcript

Application guidelines for transfers and currently enrolled students:

  • An overall college GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Cover Letter
  • Two samples of analytic writing from the past year. Currently enrolled students should include writing samples from courses at SUNY New Paltz.
  • Recommendations from two college professors
  • College Transcript

Guidelines for the cover letter:

Prospective students have an opportunity through the letter of application to explain why they are interested in the Honors Program and why they are a good fit for it. The letter of application should address the following: Why do you want to join the program? What would you bring to the program? What are your goals, both as a student and beyond? Please share examples to illustrate your commitment to values such as creativity, intellectual curiosity, commitment to thinking deeply and broadly about a range of ideas, communication skills, interdisciplinary orientation or other characteristics that would allow you to not only benefit from but contribute to the Honors Program at New Paltz.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three basic requirements for graduating with honors:

  1. Seminars
  2. Community Service
  3. Senior Thesis

1. Seminars:  Most Honors courses fulfill GE requirements. Students starting the program late are not required to take The Individual and Society and may be allowed to skip one or more courses at the discretion of the Director. The Honors Program requirement that Honors students take four honors seminars may be modified in individual cases by a waiver of a maximum of two seminars. The waiver is designed to accommodate students who transfer in as second semester sophomores or juniors, those who are in accelerated programs, and those who have majors with unusually heavy course requirements. Three seminars are sufficient for students entering the Honors Program as second semester sophomores (have completed 45 credits), two for those who enter as juniors (have completed 60 credits).

The seminars are all cross-disciplinary, and on a variety of topics. In the past, we have offered the following seminars:

  • The Individual and Society
  • Education and Poverty
  • 20th Century Work and Image
  • Modern Self and Society
  • Debates in U.S. History
  • Modern Western Aesthetic Theory
  • Racism and the Social Sciences
  • West African History and Perspectives
  • Origins of "Evil Incarnate:  The Grim Adventure"
  • Love and Humanity
  • Education Across Borders
  • U.S. Drug Education and Policy
  • Alternative Epistemologies
  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing
  • Cigarettes and Nylons - Postwar Realities in Occupied Germany after World War II
  • Poetry and Performance
  • Evolution and Humanity
  • Myth Meets Philosophy
  • Digital Diasporas
  • Feminist Emistemology
  • What Causes Cancer?
  • Metropolis to Megalopolis:  New York City Culture, 1865-1929
  • Work
  • The Shaping of American Culture
  • News Media in America

Honors students also have the option to take Honors-designated courses in the major.

2. Community Service: All Honors Students must complete at least 40 hours of community service before graduating (though we hope you would do more!). This service can be done on-campus, at home over the summer, or even in the Honors Center. We have a list of suggested places to do community service.

3. Senior Thesis: Before graduating, all Honors Students must complete a senior thesis project. The specific type of the project can vary depending on your own focus. Students in the natural sciences tend to do laboratory experiments, while students in the Humanities tend to write papers. Art students usually put up an exhibition of their work in the Honors Center.

Students also have a chance to present their senior theses in a special ceremony the day before graduation. The president of the college attends these ceremonies to award you with a special Honors sash to wear at graduation.

Here's a listing of several recent graduate's thesis projects:

"The Great Health" as Interpretive Key to Nietzsche and Zarathustra
- Joseph Bacchi, '13

- Daryn Bleach, '13

"The Collegiate Architecture of Ralph Adams Cram and Eero Saarinen"
- Kathleen Brousseau, '13

"La Traductologie:  une Etude de L'Occupation et sa Traduction The Possession"
- Stephanie Brynes, '13

"Land of the Alone"
- Jaime Burns '13

"Derived-Principle Partiality and Value-Added Rule Utilitarianism"
- Kyle Corkins, '13

"Parental Affect on Young Adult Sibling Relationships"
- Renee deLisser, '13

"Arguments Towards an African-Centered Linguistics"
- Hillary Horowitz, '13

"The Humanities as a Resource for Solving Global Environmental Crises"
- Evan Hulick, '13

"The Ancient Egyptian Origins of Greek Philosophy"
- Mathew John, '13

"Married Israeli Women and the Israeli Rabbinical Courts"
- Marissa Kactioglu, '13

"The Stigmatizing Nature of Disaster:  A Closer Look at Severe Mental Illness
- Erin Kellar, '13

"Comparing Sayyid Qutb and John Locke on Political and Spiritual Liberties"
- Saira Khan, '13

"Communitarian Critique of Political Liberalism"
- Shanshe Khosroshvili, '13

"Living on the Periphery:  A Case Study of Neve Sha'anan"
- Yael Krevsky, '13

"Effects of Accented Speech Backgrounds on Speech Perception"
- Sarath Manuel, '13

"Intelligibility in a Global World:  Cases of Accent Shifts and Management"
- Susan Mason, '13

"The Impact of an Experiential Program on Self-Reported Attitudes Regarding Homophobia"
- Jennifer Maurer, '13

"A Year in Feng Shui"
- Kathryn Miecznikowski, '13

"Animal LIberation and Feminism"
- Kate Montelione, '13

"Air Born"
- Alexander Moser, '13

"National Security vs. Civil Liberties:  America's Enduring Struggle"
- Peter Mulligan, '13

"Lucid Novella 1"
- Anne Petrosino, '13

"Developing as a Practicing Artist and Educator"
- Taryn Pizza, '13

"Understanding Trauma in Youth Who Offend"
- Alexandra Saba, '13

"Sex Trafficking of Girls in Nepal"
- Tara Scarola, '13

- Debra Schaeffer, '13

"Perspective Geometry and its Applications in Art"
- Samantha Schwartz, '13

" Dance on Film:  Evolution of the Moving Body in Hollywood"
- Grace Seghini, '13

"Learning from Queer Students:  Reconceptualizing Support, Development, and Resources for a Diverse Student Body"
- Jasmine Shovlin, '13

"The Evening of Things, a Novel"
- Eli Siems, '13

"An Alternative Perspective of Student Involvement:  Through a Visual Lens"
- Marissa Stephani, '13

"It is only a novel:  The Function of Fiction in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey"
- Tracy Tanoff, '13

"People First Language - Beautiful Individuals"
- Suehyun Yoo, '13


Honors Student Mosaic Series: The Honors Experience from
SUNY NP Honors Program on Vimeo.

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