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Prospective Students

In this Section

What is the Honors Program?
What is an Honors Student?
Why Join the Honors Program?
Who Can Join the Honors Program?
What about GPA and SAT/ACT Scores?
How Do I Apply?
What if I Have Some Questions?

What is the Honors Program?

The Honors Program is a small community of about 150 students that was first founded in 1997. We are diverse, nationally and ethnically, with about equal numbers of women and men, representing all majors at Clarkson.  We are passionate about what we do and we are expected to work hard and collaborate closely in order to solve problems.  We know that in order to succeed professionally and to make a difference in the world we have to be innovative, and combine our technical knowledge and creativity in new and sustainable ways.  We hold each other accountable to high standards of personal and professional performance, as we support each other to realize our goals.

What is an Honors Student?

Honors students are self-reflexive learners and critical thinkers, who take individual initiative and work collaboratively to solve problems.  They have excellent written and oral communication skills.  They are engaged across campus and are leaders in clubs, athletics, performance arts, and service organizations.  They seek experiential learning opportunities such as internships and study abroad, and they all conduct original research or creative projects under the mentorship of a faculty member for their Honors Thesis.  Honors graduates typically go on to prestigious graduate/professional schools or take fast track jobs in industry.

Why Join the Honors Program?

The Honors Program takes the undergraduate experience to a whole new level. Clarkson is famous for our hands-on, problem-based curriculum, but Honors gives you even more opportunities to conduct original research or independent projects, to go on internships, coops or study abroad, and to work in teams on real-world problems. Admission to Honors is highly selective, and we form an intimate and supportive "community within a community" of highly motivated and talented students.  We collaborate in our classrooms, make lifelong friends, and we are serious about having fun.

You can find out more about the Honors Advantage at Clarkson.

And you can read what the National Collegiate Honors Council has to say about The Value of Honors Programs and Honors Colleges.

Who Can Join the Honors Program? 

Honors Program at Clarkson University is seeking talented and motivated students who are prepared to tackle its challenging four-year curriculum centered on current and emerging problems in science, technology, and society.  

The Clarkson University Honors Program is looking for students who:

  • are intellectually curious
  • have motivation and take initiative
  • can handle risk and uncertainty
  • show a good work ethic
  • are creative, innovative or entrepreneurial
  • dedicate themselves in leadership and service

What about GPA and SAT/ACT Scores?

We do not have any minimum criteria for admission for first year students, though we are looking for all-round high-achieving students with the potential to make a difference in their field, so you need to have a strong academic record as well as evidence of leadership and service to your community.  The following guidelines may help:

Current High School Students
The Program enrolls about 50 students per year and is highly selective: applicants are usually in the top 5-10% of their graduating class, score highly on standardized tests, and demonstrate outstanding achievement in academics, leadership and service.

Current Clarkson students
Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.75 and demonstrate outstanding achievements in academics, leadership and service while at Clarkson.

Transfer Students
Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.75 and demonstrate outstanding achievements in academics, leadership and service at their previous institution

How Do I Apply?

For all students, admission to the Honors Program requires an application form with short answers and a resume.  Applications will be reviewed and select candidates will be invited for an interview.   

There are several different ways to apply to the Honors Program depending upon your current status:

First Year students (students not already at Clarkson)

Clarkson students (including The Clarkson School Fast Track)  

Transfer students (students that are planning to transfer to Clarkson from another university)

What if I Have Some Questions?

If you still have questions about the program or the admissions process, don’t hesitate to contact us at or 315-268-2290/2320.  


Meet the Class of 2018

Class of 2017 Summary