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Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

What are the benefits of being in the Honors College?
How do I apply?
When should I apply/When will I hear a decision?
What are the requirements to be accepted?
Are some elements of the application more important than others?
What if I apply and I am not accepted?
Will I receive credit for my IB and AP exams?
Does the Honors College offer scholarships?

Classwork

Will I be inundated with work just because I want a more challenging curriculum?
I want to study (insert major here). Can I do that in the Honors College?
What if I am planning to study abroad?
Is special housing available for Honors students?

After Graduation

What sort of graduate schools do Honors College students attend? Do they receive national scholarships or fellowships?
Will having been in the Honors Program benefit me after graduation?

Visiting

There isn't an Honors Information Session available on the date that I want to visit. What do I do?
During my visit to the College of Charleston, I would like to sit in on an Honors class. Is that an option?
Can I talk with a current College of Charleston Honors Student?


What are the benefits of being in the Honors College?

The main benefit to participating in the Honors College is the chance to engage in a community of like-minded students and faculty. You'll be surrounded by fellow students who thrive on the pursuit of knowledge, and are excited about making an impact in their chosen field. You also recieve:

  • Honors Academic Advising to supplement your major-area advising (Bonus: Priority registration)
  • Small classes (only 17 students, on average), taught by professors specially selected to work with Honors students
  • Close relationships with the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, which helps fund YOUR research, and the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, that helps to distinguish you among the sea of college graduates each year
  • Unique scholarly opportunities like the Honors Program in Business and the Washington Semester
  • A "home" on campus-- Honors-specific housing and the Honors Center
  • The prestigious designation of "Honors College Graduate" at Commencement
How do I apply?

You should apply to Honors at the same time you apply to the College of Charleston-- there is a space on the application to elect an interest in Honors.

If you have already applied to the College of Charleston, and did not elect an interest in the Honors College, please email us at honors@cofc.edu to discover your next steps.

When should I apply? When will I hear a decision?

High School Seniors: For priority consideration, you should apply by November 1 and submit all supporting documents by December 1. While the Honors College will consider applicants completed after December 1, admission to Honors is extremely competitive, and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply as early as possible.

Transfer Students: Apply by December 15 for spring semester admission or by June 15 for fall semester admission.

Current College of Charleston Students: Apply by December 15 for spring semester admission or by June 15 for fall semester admission.

The Honors College begins notifying applicants of their status in mid-December to early January. Decisions are then released throughout the Spring, as the Honors Executive Committee meets.

What are the requirements to be accepted?

Generally, our applicants present with an unweighted GPA of 3.86, and an SAT mid-range (Critical Reading & Math Section) of 1300-1400 or an ACT mid-range of 29-31. However, due to the competitive nature of the Honors College, meeting these benchmarks is, in no way, a guarantee of acceptance.

Are some of the elements of the application more important than others?

Each application undergoes a holistic review by various members of the Honors Executive Committee. Our first priority of the committee is to determine whether or not a student is academically prepared to be successful in the Honors College. The next step is to decide if the student is the right fit for the Honors College.

Because the vast majority of our applicants present with above-average GPAs and standardized test scores, an exceptional essay and persuasive and authentic letters of recommendation are the best way to set yourself apart from other candidates in consideration.

What if I apply and am not accepted?

You are still eligible for admission to the College of Charleston. The Honors College also accepts applications from current CofC students after completing one semester of coursework at the College.

Will I receive credit for IB or AP exams?

For general information concerning AP or IB credit, you can see the credit breakdown on the Admissions website.

In regards to the Honors College, this chart will reflect the course equivalencies.

Does the Honors College offer any scholarships?

Yes, we offer a limited number of selective scholarships to incoming freshmen.  As long as you submit your application before November 1 and submit all of your other documents before December 1, you are automatically considered for these awards. Please visit Honors Scholarships for more information on these specific awards.

Usually, Honors students also receive merit-based scholarships through the Office of Admissions, though it is not guaranteed.  For additional information on the general scholarship and financial aid process, please visit the Office of Financial Aid.

Will I be inundated with work just because I want a more challenging curriculum?

Definitely not! Only about 30% of your coursework will be through the Honors College. And rather than the “same class, more work” model that most AP, IB and Honors curricula follows in high school, our Honors courses are designed differently than non-Honors classes by the same name.  In fact, here’s what some of our current students say about their experience in Honors courses:

“[There is an] Intense focus on interdisciplinary education and hands-on involvement through research and internships.” –Dylan Mazelis, Class of 2015

”The academics, especially Beyond George Street, have been very helpful in establishing a foundation for my future goals and post-graduation plans. Through BGS I learned how to become a successful and assertive student in planning, communicating with professors, and establishing a network for myself. This has provided me with the confidence to go out and establish myself within my major department and take advantage of all of the opportunities provided to me” –Elizabeth Kelley, Class of 2015

“My classes are small enough for me to really engage with my professors, who all know me by name.” –Joseph Quisol, Class of 2016

I want to study (insert major here). Can I do that in the Honors College?

Honors complements each and every major offered at the College of Charleston. Pre-Health students enjoy the privilege of our close relationship with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC is located just blocks from the College of Charleston), Arts, Humanities and Social Science students reap the benefits of a city as culturally engaged as Charleston, and Business students have the opportunity to participate in the Honors Program in Business, facilitating meaningful connections within their discipline.

What if I am planning to study abroad?

Great! Many students who study abroad consider it a cornerstone of their college experience and that is no different for Honors students. Nearly half of our graduating cohort in 2013 studied abroad.

Is special housing available for Honors students?

Yes. Currently, Honors students are housed in the Buist wing of River Residence Hall. However, next year our Living-Learning Community will be housed in Berry Hall. This move means we will be able to accomodate more students with the desire to live in Honors housing, and we can continue to integrate classroom space and faculty and staff ofices with a residential experience.

Students recieving a scholarship through the Honors College are required to live in Honors housing for their first year and are therefore given first priority for placements. Following that, placement in Honors housing is completed based on when you submit your enrollment and housing deposits. 

What sort of graduate schools do Honors College students attend? Do they receive national scholarships or fellowships?

Our students matriculate to some of the finest institutions in the country for their post-graduate study. Recent acceptances include Yale Law School, Harvard Medical School, New York University Law School, George Washington University, Columbia University, American University, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine.

Additionally, numerous graduates (and current students!) have received national recognition through awards like the Fullbright, Goldwater, Marshall or Rhodes. One of the largest benefits of participating in the Honors College is the close relationship with the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards.  For more information on the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, and to learn more about CofC students who have earned such prestigious distinction, please visit their website.

Will having been in the Honors Program benefit me after graduation?

The distinction of an “Honors College” graduate on a resume or CV is only ever a benefit. This can demonstrate to prospective employers or graduate schools that you have gone above and beyond expectation, and that you choose to challenge yourself in new ways.

Aside from just the distinction in name, the Honors College instills a sense of enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge. Your education is “learning how to learn” rather than a set of particular skills or a trade, and therefore you can adapt easily in any industry.

There isn't an Honors Information Session available on the date that I want to visit. What do I do?

A representative from the Honors College is available from 10am-12pm from Tuesday-Thursday. Please email honorsvisit@cofc.edu if you would like to set up an individual appointment on one of those days. Walk-in appointments are acceptable, but students with appointments will be given first priority. The Honors College is not available for individual appointments on Saturdays or Sundays.

During my visit to the College of Charleston, I would like to sit in on an Honors class. Is that an option?

At this time, we do not offer visiting students the option to sit in on a current Honors class. However, because we know that experiencing a classroom environment is often times integral to the visit experience, we are pleased to offer students the chance to participate in a regular class during their visit. Please contact the Office of Admission, should you want to sit in on a class.

Can I talk with a current College of Charleston Honors Student?

Certainly. If you would like to speak with someone during your visit, please let us know at least 1 week in advance. If you would prefer to be contacted by email or phone, please contact honors@cofc.edu and a current student will be in touch with you.