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Top Honors Programs

Honors colleges can be a cost-effective and highly rewarding undergraduate experience for top-notch students. In the best-case scenario, you can enjoy all the benefits of a large university (research opportunities, athletics, and a diverse student body) while still benefiting from an intimate, rigorous, and individualized experience usually reserved for students attending elite liberal arts colleges.

Below, we have compiled a list of the nation’s top honors colleges/programs. The selection was based on the following indicators of program quality.

  • The selectivity of the college/university (overall)
  • The selectivity of the honors program
  • Average honors class size
  • Number of honors classes
  • Availability of honors housing
  • Whether priority registration is offered to honors students

Schools marked with an asterisk (*) rated especially high on several indicators and were ranked among the top 20 honors programs according to our methodology.

Table Updated August 2021

To view additional data columns, click the + icon to the left of the institution's name.

InstitutionACTSATGPA/Class RankHonors-Only LivingPriority RegistrationRequired # of Honors CreditsSenior Thesis/ProjectClass SizeEnrollment (Approx)Exclusive Scholarships
Arizona State University (Barrett)*29 (Average)1347 (Average)3.81 (Unweighted Average)YesYes36Required157,000Yes
Auburn University29 (Minimum)1350 (Minimum)3.85 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes30Required25-301,500Yes
Boston University331515 (Average)Top 3% YesYes24-34Required 15435No
City University of New York (Macaulay)*Test-Blind Class of 2026Test-Blind Class of 202692-96% GPANoYes24+RequiredUNAVAILABLE2,100Automatic (Free Tuition)
Clemson University*30 (Minimum)1380 (Minimum)Top 4% (Average)YesYes24+Optional20 max1,500No
Colorado State University30 (Average)1400 (Average)3.8 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes26Required18-221,800Automatic
Florida Atlantic University27-311210-13603.96-4.40YesN/A120 (All credits taken)Required10:1 ratio500Automatic
Florida State University32-241440-15204.2-4.6 (Weighted Average)YesYes18+Optional15-251,200Yes
George Washington UniversityNo Minimum Criteria No Minimum Criteria No Minimum Criteria YesYes33Yes15-20500No
Indiana University Bloomington32-34 (Minimum)1430-1500 (Minimum)Top 7.5-10%YesNo18+Optional20-254,000Yes
Iowa State University30 (Minimum)1370 (Minimum)3.5 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes12+Varies by major 30 max500Yes
Louisiana State University30 (Minimum)1360 (Minimum)3.5 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes32Required UNAVAILABLE3,000Yes
Miami University - Oxford301340 (Average)4.0 (Average)YesYes24Optional201,600No
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Dorman)*33 (Average)1485 (Average)Top 10%YesNo33Required 15700Yes
Northeastern UniversityUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEYesNo18+Optional19 maxUNAVAILABLEAutomatic
Ohio State University32-33 (Average)1470-1490 (Average)Top 5-10%YesYesVaries by major Varies by major 25 max4,000No
Ohio University (Honors Tutorial College)*30 (Minimum)1370 (Minimum)Top 10%YesYes33-39Required 20-30300No
Oklahoma State University27 (Minimum)1260 (Minimum)3.85 (Weighted Minimum)YesYes30Required 22 max2,100Yes
Oregon State University27 (Minimum)1300 (Minimum)3.75 (MInimum)YesYes30Required12-201,600Yes
Penn State University (Schreyer)*Not Considered Not Considered 4.0-4.33 (Weighted)YesYes35Required 25 max2,000Automatic
Purdue University*32 (Average)1450 (Average)3.9 (Unweighted Average)YesYes24Required 25 max2,800No
Rutgers University - New Brunswick32-33 (Average)1500+ (Average)Top 5-10%YesYes21-40Required 18 max (Seminars)2,000Automatic
Temple University*32 (Average)1441 (Average)3.95 (Unweighted Average)YesYes30+Optional 202,300No
Tulane UniversityUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEYesYes15+Open-ended researchUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLENo
Texas A&M University - College Station28 (Minimum)1360 (Minimum)Top 10%YesYes30RequiredUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLENo
Texas Tech University29 (Minimum)1360 (Minimum)Top 10%YesYes24+Required 25 max1,500Automatic
University of Alabama30 (Minimum)1360 (Minimum)3.5 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes18Required 15-271,800Yes
University of Arizona31 (Average)1423 (Average)3.89 (Unweighted Average)YesYes18+Required 25 max4,000Yes
University of Arkansas28 (Minimum)1310 (Minimum)3.5 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes12+Required172,900Yes
University of California, Irvine (Campuswide Honors)*32 (Average)1470 (Average)4.2 (Weighted Average)YesYes15-24Required UNAVAILABLE1,000No
University of Central Florida (Burnett)32 (Average)1457 (Average)4.46 (Weighted Average)YesYes24Optional20 max1,800Yes
University of Connecticut*33 (Average)1449 (Average)Top 4% (Average)YesYes15-30Varies by major19 max2,000Yes
University of Delaware*30-331370-14703.99-4.25 (Weighted Average)YesYes21+Optional20-251,700No
University of Georgia*34 (Average)1517 (Average)4.06 (Weighted Average)YesYes27Optional17-202,500Yes
University of Houston29 (Average)1380 (Average)Most in Top 10%YesYes36Optional25 max3,100Yes
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Campus Honors)*UNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEYesYes18RequiredUNAVAILABLE500Yes
University of Iowa30-331400-1500Most in Top 4%YesYes24OptionalUNAVAILABLE2,600Yes
University of Kansas*32.4 (Average)1480 (Average)3.95 (Unweighted Average)YesYes21Optional151,300Yes
University of Kentucky32 (Average)1460 (Average)3.89 (Unweighted Average)YesYes30Required15-202,500Yes
University of Maryland, College Park*33 (Average)1490 (Average)4.5 (Weighted Average)YesNo18Required (some programs)204,000Yes
University of Massachusetts Amherst31 (Average)1411 (Average)4.29 (Weighted Average)YesNo26Required 153,000Yes
University of Michigan32-341435-15403.9 (Unweighted Average)YesYesVaries by department Required 15-182,000Yes
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities32-351440-1540Top 1-4%YesNo30RequiredUNAVAILABLEUNAVAILABLEYes
University of New Mexico28 (Minimum)1320 (Minimum)3.5 (Minimum)YesYes15-51Optional 16-171,700Yes
University of Nevada, Reno30 (Average)1380 (Average)3.85 (Average)YesYes30+Required Seminar size1,200Yes
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill*31 (Average)1444 (Average)Top 6% (Average)YesYes24Optional 271,800Yes
University of Oklahoma30 (Minimum)1360 (Minimum)Top 10% (Minimum)YesNo18Required 19-222,000No
University of Oregon (Clark)*90th percentile+90th percentile+3.9 (Unweighted Median)YesYes54Required 15800Yes
University of Pittsburgh32-33 (Average)1450-15003.8 (Unweighted Average)YesYes12-24Required for (BPhil)182,400Yes
University of South Florida3114184.38 (Weighted Average)YesYes18Required 15-202,000Automatic
University of South Carolina*31-341440-15204.68 (Weighted Average)YesYes45Required 162,000Yes
University of Tennessee32 (Average)1450 (Average)4.0+(Weighted Minimum)YesYes12-25Required (some programs)15-202,000No
University of Texas (Plan II)*30+ (Preferred)1450+ (Preferred)Top 5% (Minimum)LimitedYes48Required 15-17 700Yes
University of Utah30 (Average)1390 (Average)3.9 (Unweighted Average)YesNo24RequiredUNAVAILABLE 2,300Yes
University of Vermont33 (Average)1470 (Average)3.85 or aboveYesYes24Required20 max950No
University of Virginia (Echols)*35 (Average)1540 (Average)Top 3% (Average)Freshmen onlyYesExempt from all requirementsNoN/A800No
University of Washington32-351380-15303.87-3.99 (Unweighted Average)YesHonors courses only19+Optional18-351,100Yes
University of Wisconsin (L&S Honors)Minor ConsiderationMinor ConsiderationTop 5-10%NoNo24+NoUNAVAILABLE 1,200No
Virginia Commonwealth University29 (Minimum)1330 (MInimum)3.5 (Unweighted Minimum)YesYes21Required 20 max1,000Yes
Washington State University26-281260-13203.7-3.9 (Unweighted Average)YesYes34Required15-25700Yes
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