Schreyer Honors College (SHC)at Penn State

Apply as a Current Student

Gateway Scholar and Gates Cambridge Scholarship recipient Chris Rae
Gateway Schreyer Scholar Chris Rae received the Gates Cambridge scholarship and will attend Cambridge beginning in October 2015.

Currently enrolled students may apply to join the Schreyer Honors College via the Gateway application process. 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.

Selection Criteria

The Gateway entry process 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 SHC 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 SHC requires Gateway 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 institituion'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 SHC. In some cases, additional criteria for Gateway entry 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 SHC.

Honors College Requirements & Benefits

Gateway Schreyer Scholars are required to attend an orientation in the fall. Students admitted as juniors into the SHC 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 SHC 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 SHC through the Gateway enjoy most of the benefits of SHC 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, Gateway Scholars do not receive the Academic Excellence Scholarship.

For more information about SHC requirements and opportunities, please refer to the SHC Student Handbook.

Admissions Timeline

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.


Gateway Schreyer Scholars can review detailed information about the required Gateway Orientation (GO TIME) 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 a Gateway application. Qualifying Paterno Fellows will be admitted to the Schreyer Honors College through a separate process.

If you are applying to join the SHC via the Gateway process, without the PFP, please submit a Gateway application.


To apply as a Gateway Schreyer Scholar, please fill out the application below. This application is only for current Penn State students.

Gateway Application

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