Apply as an incoming freshman
The Honors College offers opportunities for you to discover your passions and connect with a diverse student body to develop a standard of excellence. We encourage students from all disciplines and backgrounds to apply to the Honors College.
Admission into the Honors College is competitive, and all applicants are expected to have challenged themselves in high school through their course selections. Students who do not meet these criteria but feel an exception should be made remain eligible to apply as other components of the application (extracurricular, honors, leadership, etc.) may offset the lower quantitative scores. The Honors College recommends the following admissions guidelines:
- A combined SAT score of at least 1330 (both scores are only for mathematics and critical reading, not writing) OR an ACT composite score of at least 29
- At least a 3.5 unweighted high school GPA (4.0 scale)
In addition to the submission of your VCU Common Application application, prospective students must submit an Honors College application. As a first-time user, you will be prompted to create a username and password on the Honors College website. Once you have created a username and password, your application can be saved and completed at a later time. Upon submission of your Honors College application you will receive a confirmation email.
The Honors College will confirm your test scores and grade point average through the materials sent in with your Common Application. You do not need to send additional transcripts or scores to the Honors College.
As you prepare to apply, please consider these application components:
Submission of VCU Honors College application. You will need the following information to complete the application:
- Your unweighted high school GPA
- Date(s) and score(s) for your SAT and/or ACT
- Date(s), subject(s) and score(s) for any Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests you have taken or plan to take
- Upload a Word document listing any dual-enrollment courses. Please list courses that you have completed or are currently taking, and include the college or university affiliation.
- List any extracurricular involvement (leadership, service, honors, awards, etc.)
- Submission of a personal education paper. This paper describing your perspective on your education helps the admissions staff identify your definition of a good education and assess your fit within the goals of the Honors College. It should be two to three pages in length, double-spaced, and address the following topics:
- Major influences on your intellectual development, such as important people, events or ideas.
- Your immediate educational goals and plans for achieving them.
- Your goals and dreams for the future.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Applications to the Honors College from incoming freshmen are accepted through April 30 of the senior year in high school. However, students are encouraged to apply by our priority deadline of February 1. All prospective freshmen who apply to the Honors College by February 1 will be notified of our admissions decision by April 1. Priority applicants must notify the Honors College of their decision to accept or decline their offer by May 1.
Applications received after the priority deadline of February 1 will be considered on a space-available basis. All admissions decisions will be made no later than May 15. Applications received after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on April 30 will not be considered.
Prospective freshmen who are eligible for admission to the Honors College and who complete both an application to the Honors College and the Common Application by the scholarship deadline (currently Nov. 15), will be considered for both university and Honors College scholarships. Honors College scholarships require a supplemental application as well. Additional information will be included in the Honors College acceptance packet regarding Honors College scholarships. Recipients of the VCU Presidential Scholarship are guaranteed admission to the Honors College upon application to the Honors College.
Are you applying for an Honors College Guaranteed Admission Program?
Students interested in applying to the Honors College Guaranteed Admission Programs should begin the Honors College incoming student application and select which Guaranteed Admission Program they are interested in when prompted. Selecting a Guaranteed Admission Program will open the second half of the application, which is only for students applying to a Guaranteed Admission Program. This application must be completed in full with supporting documents by November 15 for consideration for the Guaranteed Admission Program. Students will be evaluated for both admission into the Honors College as well as into the selected Guaranteed Admission Program. Incoming freshmen who are interested in Guaranteed Admission do not need to complete a personal education paper. To learn more about the Guaranteed Admission Program requirements, please visit our Guaranteed Admission page.