Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

What are the benefits of being in the Honors College?
How do I apply?
Can I apply to the Honors College using the Common App?
When should I apply/When will I hear a decision?
Are some elements of the application more important than others?
What if I apply and I am not accepted?
What does it mean if I am put on a waiting list?
Does the Honors College offer scholarships?
Can I apply test-optional to the Honors College? 
I have questions about my Honors application. Who should I contact? 

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?

Student Experience

Is special housing available for Honors students?
Is there more to being in the Honors College than just taking Honors courses? 
What do Honors students do outside of the classroom? 

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 College 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 of participating in the Honors College is the chance to engage in a community of intellectually curious 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 receive: 

  • An Honors Faculty Fellow advisor/mentor to supplement your major-area advising (bonus: priority course registration) 

  • Access to Honors classes, which have an average of 17 students and are taught by professors specially selected to work with Honors students 

  • Close relationships with the Office of 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 programming like thematic mentoring cohorts and the Washington Semester 

  • A "home" on campus--Honors-specific housing and 24/7 access to the Honors Center 

  • The prestigious designation of "Honors College Graduate" at Commencement 

How do I apply?

Incoming freshmen and transfer students should apply to the Honors College at the same time you apply to the College of Charleston. You'll be asked if you would like to be considered for admission to the Honors College, and if you select "yes," you will submit a supplemental essay/statement of intent. Learn more about the application process that is right for you: incoming freshman, transfer student, or current CofC student.

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

Can I apply to the Honors College using the Common App?

Yes, you should indicate on CofC's supplement to the Common App that you are interested in applying to the Honors College and will then be able to provide the supplemental essay.  

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

Freshman Applicants 

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

The Honors College notifies students who complete their application by the November 1 priority deadline by December 15. Decisions for regular notification applicants are released on a rolling basis after those applications are completed.  

Transfer Applicants 

Apply by December 1 for spring semester admission or by June 1 for fall semester admission. 

Current CofC Students

Apply by May 15 for fall semester admission. 

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

Each application undergoes a holistic review by various members of the Honors Committee. The committee's priority is to determine whether 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 in the most demanding curriculum available at their school, we recommend focusing on developing an exceptional essay and a professionally formatted resume that displays your interests, involvement, and accomplishments to best set yourself apart from other candidates in consideration.  

What if I apply and am not accepted?

Students who are not admitted to the Honors College are still eligible for admission to the College of Charleston. The Honors College also accepts applications from current CofC students after completing two semesters of coursework at the College. 

What does it mean if I am put on a waiting list?

The Honors Committee may recommend that an applicant be put on a waiting list if they want additional information from a student (usually mid-term grades). In this situation, a student should send any updates, including senior year grades, to honors@cofc.edu for the committee's review. The committee reviews updates on a rolling basis and provides a final decision as soon as they are able.

Does the Honors College offer any scholarships?

Yes, we offer a limited number of selective scholarships to incoming freshmen. If you submit your application and all of your supplemental documents by the Honors priority deadline, you are automatically considered for these opportunities

With few exceptions, all Honors College students receive some form of institutional merit scholarship. For additional information on the general scholarship and financial aid process, please visit the Office of Financial Aid. 

Can I apply test-optional to the Honors College? 

Students applying to the College for Fall 2022, 2023 and 2024 have the option to apply test-optional. If you choose to do so and apply to the Honors College, the Honors Committee will not review any test scores that might be on file. The Honors College has historically used a holistic review process for applicants, and we have never required a minimum test score to apply to the Honors College. If you do choose to submit a test score for admissions consideration, we will review it within the context of your other application materials. There are no different requirements for the Honors application for students applying test-optional compared to those submitting a test score.  

I have questions about my Honors application. Who should I contact? 

You can reach a member of our Honors admissions team by emailing honors@cofc.edu or calling 843.953.1252. We’re happy to help even if it is just to point you in the right direction. 

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

Definitely not! Only about 25% 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 follow in high school, our Honors courses are distinctly different. They are notably more experiential, discussion-based, and writing- and reading-intensive. In fact, here’s what some of our 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 M. 

“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 K. 

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

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

The Honors College 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. About 60% of our students study abroad at least once by the time they graduate.  

Is special housing available for Honors students?

Yes. To learn more about the Honors Living-Learning Community, please visit the Student Life portion of the website. 

Students receiving 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.  

Is there more to being in the Honors College than just taking Honors courses?  

Absolutely! The Honors College is a community of students, faculty, and staff that support and challenge one another. In addition to taking classes together, Honors students volunteer and learn about the Charleston community together in Honors Engaged, study together in the common spaces in Berry Residence Hall or the Honors Center, and hang out at Honors Student Association events, like pumpkin-carving in the fall and a book sale in the spring. For many students, the Honors College is a great source of community and one of the best ways to get plugged into campus and Charleston. 

What do Honors students do outside of the classroom?  

Honors students are some of the most involved students on campus and often take on leadership roles in clubs and organizations on campus in addition to pursuing jobs, internships, and research experiencesEach Honors student’s day-to-day experience is a little different but might include playing on the club soccer team, working in the Center for Student Learning as a math tutor, spending time in a lab working on a research projectvolunteering with oyster habitat rehabilitation, getting ice cream and walking to Waterfront Park, or hosting a movie night in their dorm room. If you want to talk to a current student about their personal experience, email honors@cofc.edu to be connected with one of our student ambassadors. 

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, Emory University Medical and Graduate Schools, 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 Fulbright, Goldwater, Hollings, or Rotary. 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 College 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?

Please email honors@cofc.edu if you would like to set up an individual appointment. Walk-in appointments are acceptable, but students with appointments will be given priority. The Honors College is not available for individual appointments on SaturdaysSundays, or most federal holidays. 

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

Because Honors courses are so small and discussion-based, we don’t offer visiting students the option to sit in on a current Honors class. However, we are pleased to offer students the chance to participate in a regular class during their visit. Please contact the Office of Admission to set up a class visit. 

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 one 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.