Join Us Current Penn State Students

The Schreyer Honors College welcomes applications from students currently enrolled at Penn State or those transferring to Penn State from another institution.

The Honors College promotes achieving academic excellence with integrity, building a global perspective and creating opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Our student body is dynamic, diverse and driven to change the world for the better.

The application for current students is available from March 1 through mid-May for those meeting the eligibility criteria outlined below. When the application is available, a link to apply will appear below. The application content below may change and is provided for informational purposes only.

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Schreyer Honors College sign with flowers


In order to apply to the College as a current Penn State or transfer student, you'll need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • At least one full-time semester of study completed at the time of application
  • 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 third-year students and 3.70 or higher for rising second-year students

The criteria above are minimums set by the Honors College. In some cases, additional criteria have also been established by colleges and departments at Penn State and will be noted on the online application.

Paterno Fellows logo

The Paterno Fellows Program (PFP) is a special Liberal Arts enrichment program that includes membership in the Schreyer Honors College for qualifying members.

Entrance to the Paterno Fellows Program is handled through a separate application process.

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More Than Your GPA Application Components

Involvements & Accomplishments

Applicants will need to provide, via Microsoft OneDrive, a list and brief description of your most important involvements and accomplishments since you started college. You can include earlier information, but it won’t weigh as heavily in our evaluation. If you have a resume or CV prepared, you can use that.

CV Resources OneDrive Help

Essay Questions

Each year, the Schreyer Honors College requires potential Scholars to answer at least three essay questions. These standard essay questions have a limit of 500 words or less.

  • Please tell us about a topic in your intended major that you might be interested in pursuing for your honors thesis research or creative project if you are accepted into the Schreyer Honors College. Why is this topic of special interest to you? If you have already taken steps toward research or creative work in this topic, e.g. through a lab placement or work with a faculty member, please provide details.
  • The Schreyer Honors College’s mission emphasizes leadership and civic engagement. What are your personal goals in this area, and how would joining the Honors College fit into those goals?
  • The Schreyer Honors College’s mission also emphasizes building a global perspective and cultivating ethical reasoning, and this question is about the intersection of those elements. What role should the international community play in a global public health crisis?

Some colleges or departments also provide alternative or additional questions for applicants.

Academic Recommendation

As part of the application process, potential Scholars are required to request an academic recommendation letter. Your recommender should be a Penn State faculty member or adviser familiar with your potential honors work in the major.


While not submitted as part of the application, the Schreyer Honors College will pull your college transcript during the review of your application. Your transcript will include your current GPA along with past and current-semester course enrollment. Grades will be displayed where applicable.

  • March 1 Application available online
  • May 15 Application deadline
  • July - August Decisions announced

What We Look For Application Review Process

The faculty and/or administrators in your academic department will evaluate your application and make the admissions decision. That decision will be communicated to you by the Honors College.

The entire application evaluation process is overseen by the Honors College and is based on the following criteria:

  • 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
Schreyer Scholar Rhea Sullivan in a lab
Schreyer Scholar Edka Wong

After hearing about Schreyer from a friend, I was motivated to achieve the GPA to be accepted into the Honors College as a current Penn State student. Schreyer has provided me with leadership opportunities through the Schreyer Honors College Student Council, given me the ability to work closely with faculty, and held me accountable for my education.

Edka Wong ' 18 Political Science

Join Us Current Penn State Students

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