Apply as a Current Penn State Student
Currently enrolled students may apply to join the Schreyer Honors College. Applicants must have at least one completed semester at the time of application. The application is available starting March 1 of each year, and the deadline varies by academic college.
The entry process for current Penn State students is based upon an evaluation of a student’s performance and research potential. The evaluation of all applications is done by the faculty and/or administrators of an academic unit, and is overseen by the Honors College administration. The evaluation is typically based on:
- Academic achievement since beginning college
- Desire, ability and motivation to conduct research or creative projects leading to the completion of an undergraduate honors thesis
- Interest in and aptitude for leadership, civic engagement, and international experiences as an undergraduate
The Honors College requires current Penn State student applicants to have:
- At least one full-time semester of study completed at Penn State at the time of application (transfer applicants may request consideration based on their previous institution's complete record)
- A minimum of four full-time semesters of study remaining before graduation
- A cumulative GPA of 3.70 or higher at the time of application
- An application semester GPA of 3.50 or higher for rising juniors and 3.70 for rising sophomores
The criteria stated here are minimums set by the Honors College. In some cases, additional criteria have also been established by the academic unit (e.g., higher cumulative GPA, specific courses, declaration of major, etc). The online application form includes additional criteria for your academic unit. In all cases, the department or academic college reviews applications and makes decisions which are communicated to applicants by the Honors College.
Honors College Requirements & Benefits
Schreyer Scholars entering in their second or third year are required to attend an orientation in the fall. Students admitted as juniors into the Honors College are required to complete 14 credits of honors coursework and an approved honors thesis prior to graduation. Students must also file relevant progress reports such as annual Schreyer Plans and the thesis proposal. Students admitted as sophomores into the Honors College are required to complete three honors courses for nine or more credits in their sophomore year, along with the requirements described above for juniors.
Students entering the Honors College in their second or third year enjoy most of the benefits of Honors College membership, including priority registration, a wide array of honors courses, the ability to honors-option courses, enhanced access to research and scholarly opportunities, and travel and research support funding. However, Scholars who enter as second- or third-year students do not receive the Academic Excellence Scholarship.
For more information about Honors College requirements and opportunities, please refer to the SHC Student Handbook.
Students typically apply during the spring semester (application will be available March 1) and the applications are reviewed in late spring/early summer. Students and their department supporters will be notified as decisions are made. Successful spring applicants become members of the college in the fall semester.
Schreyer Scholars joining the Honors College in their second or third year can review detailed information about the required orientation on our website. This orientation is held on a Saturday early in the fall semester.
Liberal Arts Paterno Fellows
The Paterno Fellows Program (PFP) is a special Liberal Arts enrichment program that includes membership in the Schreyer Honors College. The PFP has specific requirements for entrance (including major-specific requirements in some majors), and specific responsibilities for Paterno Fellows that go beyond what the SHC requires. If you wish to enter the Schreyer Honors College as a Paterno Fellow, or if you have questions about your eligibility, please contact your Liberal Arts adviser and do not submit an application. Qualifying Paterno Fellows will be admitted to the Schreyer Honors College through a separate process.
If you are applying to join the Honors College as a current Penn State student, without the PFP, please submit an application.
To apply to the Schreyer Honors College as a current Penn State student, please fill out the application below.