Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the requirements for admission into the Honors College?

How do I apply for admission into the Honors College?

What kinds of students are enrolled in Honors?

What majors fit best with Honors?

Will being in the Honors College separate me from other students?

How many students are in the Honors College?

What is the size of the typical Honors Course?

How are Honors professors selected?

What are the course requirements for the Honors College?

What are the differences between Honors “first-year” and “transfer/current” student course requirements?

How does academic advisement work in the Honors College?

Do Honors students have early registration privileges?

Do I have any choices in the Honors courses I take?

What is an Honors Contract and how can I create one?

I have never prepared a long research paper or major creative project. Will I really be able to complete a Senior Honors Thesis?

How do my academic performance and course credits affect my status in the Honors College and my scholarship(s)?

Are there opportunities for study abroad, internships, conference presentations, and the like associated with the Honors College?

Can I graduate early if I am an Honors student?

What is the Honors Club, and how can I get involved?

Where is the Honors Student Lounge and what will I find there?

What are the requirements for admission into the Honors College?

The Honors College admits two types of students – first-year students (freshmen) and transfer/current Brockport students – and each type of admission has its own requirements.

  • First-year student applications are evaluated based on a holistic approach, including but not limited to SAT/ACT score, high school GPA, honors and other advanced courses, honors and awards, and extracurricular activities. First-year students who are admitted into the Honors College usually meet or exceed at least one of the following criteria: a minimum high school GPA of 94 and a minimum SAT score of 1310 (or ACT score of 28).
  • Transfer and current Brockport student applications are also evaluated holistically. Applicants should not be past their first semester of the junior year and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

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How do I apply for admission into the Honors College?

There are two different applications for admission into the Honors College: first-year student application and transfer/current student application. All students interested in applying for admission into the Honors College should first submit the SUNY Application or Common Application for admission into The College at Brockport. Upon being offered admission into Brockport and accepting the offer, students should then submit the supplemental Honors College application:

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What kinds of students are enrolled in Honors?

Brockport Honors students are a highly diverse group, not just in terms of majors, but also in backgrounds, nationality, ethnicity, race, personality, interests, etc. For example, about 30% of Honors first-year students compete on varsity teams. Others are dancers, artists and actors, mathematicians and scientists; many have leadership roles on campus or are heavily involved in student government, clubs, and residence hall activities. What they have in common is a commitment to academic excellence and a desire to make the most of their college experience.

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What majors fit best with Honors?

Honors students may pursue any major of their choice. The Honors College does not have any built-in biases or special arrangements that would favor one academic discipline over another.

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Will being in the Honors College separate me from other students?

No, Honors students are full participants in the wider campus community! Honors students take a mix of Honors seminars and regular courses, and they connect with friends and roommates both within and outside of the Honors College.

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How many students are in the Honors College?

At present, there are about 375 students enrolled in the Honors College―an ideal size that permits us to maintain high standards, offer a wide variety of courses each semester, and not lose sight of our students as individuals.

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What is the size of the typical Honors course?

Honors courses are among the smallest classes on the Brockport campus, averaging 15-18 students, with a maximum enrollment of 20 students.

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How are Honors professors selected?

Faculty are selected on the basis of their teaching abilities as evaluated by their department chair or the Honors director. Academic departments are often eager to provide their best faculty for Honors courses because they hope to attract Honors students to their programs. Many Honors faculty have received awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship, or other forms of recognition.

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What are the course requirements for the Honors College?

Honors students are required to fulfill a program of study that includes The College at Brockport's General Education program, along with academic major requirements. As much as possible, Honors courses are integrated into each student’s program of study. As of the fall 2015 semester, there are a total of eight (8) Honors course requirements for those who enter the program as a first-year student. A combination of small interactive Honors seminars, conventional courses, and engaged learning experiences are used to satisfy these requirements over a period of three or four years.

Students who enroll in the program as transfers or at the mid-point of their undergraduate education are only required to complete a minimum of three (3) upper-division Honors requirements in order to graduate in the program.

All Honors students are expected to take at least one course per academic year and maintain a 3.25 GPA to remain active in the program. The capstone experience of the program is a senior thesis project (HON 490) that results in a major scholarly or creative work and a public presentation at Brockport’s annual Scholars Day or another academic conference.

Visit the Curriculum page for a complete listing of course requirements for both first-year and transfer/current Brockport students.

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What are the differences between Honors “first-year” and “transfer/current” student course requirements?

First-year students (freshmen) are required to complete eight (8) Honors courses, which include HON 112 “Intro. to Honors,” Honors General Education courses, an Engaged Learning Experience, and the Senior Thesis. Transfer/current students are required to complete three (3) upper-division Honors courses: Honors Contemporary Issues (a Brockport General Education requirement), HON 395 “Junior Colloquium,” and HON 490 “Honors Senior Thesis.”

Visit the Curriculum page for a complete listing of course requirements for both first-year and transfer/current Brockport students.

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How does academic advisement work in the Honors College?

For first-year students (freshmen), academic advisement is provided in HON 112 “Intro. to Honors.” This 4-credit course satisfies the College’s General Education requirements for Written Communication (C), Oral Communication (Y), Diversity (D), and Perspectives on Women and Gender (W) as well as the academic planning seminar (APS). The HON 112 instructor serves as the primary advisor to first-year students during the first semester of college; however, Honors students who declare a major at the time of admission into the College are also assigned a faculty advisor in their major. Upon completing the first year of college, Honors students should meet with the Director or Associate Director of the Honors College for Honors advisement at least once per academic year to continue to track their progress in the program.

For transfer students, a faculty major advisor is assigned upon enrolling at Brockport and declaring a major. Honors transfers should also meet with the Director or Associate Director of the Honors College at least once per academic year for Honors advisement.

The faculty directors of the Honors College, Dr. Donna Kowal (Director, 219 Holmes Hall, dkowal@brockport.edu) and Dr. Austin Busch (Associate Director, 218 Holmes Hall, abusch@brockport.edu) are available throughout the year to offer guidance on program requirements and opportunities, whicl a faculty advisor from the academi major department provides guidance on major-specific course and career/graduate school planning. Additionally, Honors Peer Mentors serve as secondary advisors, helping new students navigate both college academics and campus life. For general advisement questions, students may be able to get the information they need from Ms. Andrea Vella, Honors College Secretary (219 Holmes Hall, avella@brockport.edu, 395-5400).

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Do Honors students have early registration privileges?

Yes! Each semester, Honors students have the opportunity to register for courses earlier than most other students on campus. Regardless of class status, Honors students may register on the first day of open registration. Students should meet with their advisor(s) as early as possible during the advisement/registration period in order to take advantage of early registration privileges and plan an appropriate course of study. Pay attention to email messages from the Honors College for important announcements about advisement appointments and course registration.

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Do I have any choices in the Honors courses I take?

Absolutely. We strive to offer different courses each semester to maximize your course options. As much as possible, Honors requirements are integrated into each student’s General Education and academic major program of study.

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What is an Honors Contract and how can I create one?

An Honors College Course Contract enables you to convert a traditional course (lower- or upper- division) into an Honors course, under the following conditions:

  1. The course has the potential to enrich your course of study.
  2. The course instructor is willing to work with you to make his or her course a specialized Honors course for you.
  3. You have presented a convincing case to the Honors College Director that the course you have chosen is appropriate and will indeed add value to your current academic course of study.
  4. You have not exceeded the policy of allowing a maximum of two (2) Honors Contracts.

The point of the Honors Contract is to assist students in customizing and enriching their academic curriculum. (However, the disadvantage of pursuing a contract in lieu of taking a traditional Honors course is that you don’t get the experience of engaging with fellow Honors students in a small class setting.)

To pursue an Honors Contract, a completed contract form which is available online in the Honors Blackboard organization (see “Forms” folder) and in the Honors Lounge display board. Contract forms must be submitted and approved by both the course instructor and the Honors Director within the first two (2) weeks of the semester in which you are enrolled in the course.

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I have never prepared a long research paper or major creative project. Will I really be able to complete a Senior Honors Thesis?

Yes, and you will be supported all the way! More than any other course in college, the Honors Thesis (HON 490) is an experience that students recognize as the most valuable of their academic career. It is what we mean by “enrichment” or “swimming in the deep end”—exploring a specific topic of interest to you in great depth, working one-on-one with your faculty Thesis Director, and contributing to your professional development and discipline through your own research, creativity, and analytical work.

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How do my academic performance and course credits affect my status in the Honors College and my scholarship(s)?

All Honor students are expected maintain a 3.25 GPA to remain active in the Honors College. The program does not require a minimum number of credits earned for each academic year—some of our students attend college part time; however, recipients of the Honors Scholarship must adhere to the Terms of Award, which does have a minimum 30-credit completion requirement per academic year.

Students receiving other scholarships may be subject to a higher GPA, along with other requirements. Since each scholarship has different requirements, it is a good idea to consult with the Scholarship Office. For information about the Honors Scholarship or the Extraordinary Scholarship Program, contact Adam Standish at astandis@brockport.edu. For other scholarships, contact Kim Ehret at kehret@brockport.edu.

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Are there opportunities for study abroad, internships, conference presentations, and the like associated with the Honors College?

Yes! The Honors College strongly encourages studying abroad, internships, and conference participation. These opportunities, many of which may also fulfill the Engaged Learning Experience requirement, are a great way to enrich your college experience, both educationally and personally.

  • Study Abroad – International Education is a great way to enrich your college experience, and the flexibility of the Honors College makes this an easy choice. Among the study abroad programs offered through The College at Brockport, “Experiencing the Culture and History of Central Europe” (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland) is an Honors summer study abroad program that is co-coordinated by the Director of the Honors College, Dr. Donna Kowal. To explore the full range of study abroad programs offered by The College at Brockport, visit the Study Abroad web site.
  • Internships – In keeping with the Honors philosophy, internships are a personal option. Internships can help you reach your personal and career goals and much more. By completing an internship as an undergraduate, you learn valuable professional skills, boost your confidence, reflect on strengths and weaknesses, and can apply your coursework to the professional world. You might even get a job offer! Visit the Career Services web site for additional information.
  • Conferences and Associated Events – Attending and/or presenting at a conference, whether local, regional, national, or international, can be an exciting and profound learning experience for students. Presenting at a conference or related event may fulfill a portion of the Honors Senior Thesis requirement. Here are a few examples of some of the conferences that Honors students have recently participated in:

Scholars Day (local) – This is an annual event that takes place during the spring semester at The College at Brockport. As an Honors student, you will have many opportunities to participate in the annual Scholars Day event, which showcases the scholarly and creative achievements of students and faculty. In fact, all first-year Honors students who reside in the Honors House Living Learning Community participate in a Scholars Day Honors poster session and learn how to create a professional research poster.

SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) (state-wide) – Started in 2015 and hosted by a different SUNY institution each year during the spring semester, SURC brings together undergraduate student researchers and faculty mentors from across the state for a full day of panel presentations, artistic displays, poster presentations, a keynote speaker, a SUNY Graduate School Fair and Career Fair, and professional development workshops for students and faculty. SURC aims to create opportunities for learning, engagement, collaboration and discussion outside of traditional classroom settings.

Rochester Academy of Science (RAS) Annual Scientific Papers Session(regional) – An affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), RAS is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing its members and the community with a means to study and learn about astronomy, anthropology, the life sciences, minerals, and fossils. RAS hosts a scientific papers session each fall semester at a different regional college.

National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) – Established in 1987, NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, this gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum. Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.

National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Conference (international) - Established in 1977, the NWSA has as one of its primary objectives promoting and supporting the production and dissemination of knowledge about women and gender through teaching, learning, research and service in academic and other settings. The NWSA leads the field of women’s studies in educational and social transformation. The annual conference regularly draws more than 1,600 attendees and is the only annual meeting in the US (and Canada) exclusively dedicated to showcasing the latest feminist scholarship.

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Can I graduate early if I am an Honors student?

Yes, if you wish to. Because many Honors students enter with community college transfer or high school AP credits, it is often easy for them to graduate early. However, most students in Honors prefer to stay in college for the typical four years to broaden or deepen their academic preparation — for example, by completing a second major, a minor, a semester abroad, an internship, a teacher certification program, and so forth. Others choose to pursue one of Brockport’s dual-degree diploma programs that combine undergraduate and graduate study, completing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years.

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What is the Honors Club, and how can I get involved?

The Honors Club is a student-run, Brockport Student Government affiliated organization. According to the Club’s constitution, “The purpose of the Honors Club is to sponsor and promote programs and events that benefit The College at Brockport academic community, address issues of current concern, and stimulate personal achievement in both students and faculty. Honors Club activities are governed by a strong commitment to creating a true learning environment on the Brockport campus through personal involvement and the interchange of ideas.”

Each year the following Honors Club officers are elected by Honors College members: President, Vice President (President-elect), Treasurer, and Secretary. Students are also elected to represent the senior, junior, sophomore, and transfer classes. All Honors Club officers must be enrolled at least six (6) credit hours per semester during the tenure of their office and maintain a 3.25 GPA to promote a standard of high academic excellence among the leadership of the Honors Club.

All students are welcome to attend Honors Club meetings and participate in the events and activities held throughout the year. Additional information about the Honors Club is available at myBrockport.

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Where is the Honors Student Lounge, and what will I find there?

One of the privileges of being an Honors student is the exclusive use of the Honors College Student Lounge, located in 218 Holmes Hall. The lounge includes computer stations and spaces to study or just hang out. In order to use the Honors College Lounge for group training/meetings, please book it well in advance with Ms. Andrea Vella, Honors College Secretary, (585) 395-5400, avella@brockport.edu.

When using the lounge, please be mindful of the other students in the room who may be studying or working on a research project. Avoid lengthy cell-phone conversations. Also, keep the lounge clean and free of clutter at all times. Leave no trace

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Last Updated 4/4/18

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