Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Honors College

Prospective Students

Student in classroom audience

Admission requirements and procedures

The Honors College builds on the foundation of our students’ diverse talents to create a community that fosters lifelong learning and academic excellence. This stimulating environment is open to qualified freshmen, continuing students who demonstrate excellence after enrolling at VCU and transfer students who have shown similar ability at other institutions.

To apply, click on the appropriate button below:

For freshman students »

For continuing students »

For transfer students »

Eligibility requirements

Incoming freshman students

All freshmen interested in joining The Honors College must complete an undergraduate admissions application and be admitted to the university, as well as meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Either a combined SAT 1 score of a minimum of 1910, obtained in one sitting, with no score below 530, or an ACT composite score of 29.
  • Have a 3.5 or higher unweighted high school GPA on a 4-point scale.
  • Submission of The Honors College application.
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation.
    • You must include your reference writers’ email address in your application. They will be prompted via email to compose a letter and be given information on how to upload it into your application.
  • Submission of a personal education paper.

The paper is to describe your perspective on your education to help 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.

Recipients of the VCU Presidential Scholarship are also eligible for admission to The Honors College upon application.

Applications to The Honors College from incoming freshmen are accepted from September through April 30 of your senior year in high school. However, you are encouraged to apply by our priority deadline of Feb. 1. All prospective freshmen who apply to The Honors College by Feb. 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 will be accepted until April 30, but applications received after Feb. 1 will be considered on a space-available basis. All admissions decisions will be made no later than May 15. Applications received after midnight 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 an undergraduate admissions application, including the supplemental scholarship essay, by the scholarship deadline (currently Dec. 1), will be considered for both university and honors scholarships. Some honors scholarships require a supplemental application as well.

Transfer students

All transfer students interested in joining The Honors College must complete a Virginia Commonwealth University undergraduate admissions application and be admitted to the university, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • Have achieved at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and completed at least 12 semester hours of college credit from your transfer institution.
  • Submission of The Honors College application.
  • Submission of a statement of endorsement from a current faculty member or advisor.*
    • You must include your reference writers’ email address in your application. They will be prompted via email with instructions on how to upload your statement of endorsement.
  • Submission of a personal education paper.

The paper is to describe your perspective on your education to help 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.

Please note: Transfer student applications are only accepted and processed twice a year. All application pieces must be submitted by Dec. 1 for admission in the spring semester (decisions will be made by Jan. 15 or the first day of spring classes, whichever comes first). All application pieces must be submitted by May 1 for admission in the fall semester (decisions will be made by June 15). All accepted transfer students will be expected to attend a transfer student orientation upon arrival to VCU. The privilege of early registration will be linked to your attendance at this orientation.

Current VCU students

If you are a current VCU student interested in joining The Honors College, you must attend a prospective student orientation prior to admission. These informative one-hour sessions are held once a month at 4 p.m. in The Honors Center Multipurpose Room (1303) at 701 W. Grace St. For the 2013-14 academic year, orientation sessions will be held Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, 2013, and Feb. 7, March 7, April 4 and May 2, 2014. Please note: These sessions are not for entering freshman honors students.

VCU students who have achieved at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in 12 to 53 semester hours of college credit are eligible for admission upon:

  • Application.
  • Submission of a statement of endorsement from a current faculty member or advisor.*
    • You must include your reference writers’ email address in your application. They will be prompted via email with instructions on how to upload your statement of endorsement.
  • Attendance at a prospective student orientation.
  • Submission of a personal education paper.

The paper is to describe your perspective on your education to help 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.

Continuing students who have accumulated more than 53 credits of college coursework may petition the dean of The Honors College to gain admission. Petitioning students must be prepared to offer an explanation for the delay of their application to The Honors College and present a plan for completing the requirements for graduation with University Honors. Appeals should be submitted with 30 days of receiving your Honors College admission status letter. Appeals will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Petitions may be sent via email to honors@vcu.edu.

* The statement of endorsement should include an assessment of the student’s ability to contribute to and benefit from The Honors College. This brief letter should speak to both the applicant’s academic abilities and character and express why the student would be a successful and valuable member of The Honors College community. The statement of endorsement does not need to be in a specific format. We must receive the endorsement before a continuing student application can be processed.

Responsibilities

Once admitted to The Honors College, students are expected to maintain a standard of academic excellence and active involvement in the honors community. In addition to maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA, honors students are expected to participate in Honors College activities by enrolling in at least one honors course per academic year and attending at least three Berglund seminars per semester.