Incoming Freshmen


The College of Charleston Honors College provides highly motivated students with the opportunities and challenges they are seeking to make the most of their college experience. Honors students benefit from small, discussion-based courses in a wide range of disciplines; early and frequent access to research, internship, and study away opportunities; personalized mentoring with an Honors faculty member; priority course registration; and a vibrant living learning community.

Students can apply to the Honors College simultaneously while applying to the College of Charleston through the CofC admissions portal or CofC's supplement on the Common App

Ready to apply?

Honors Application Materials

1) Applicants are required to submit a supplemental essay on their application to the College of Charleston Honors College. The essay prompt for incoming freshmen applicants for Fall 2024 is below. Responses should be 500-650 words in length. You can review a list of Honors-specific essay tips here.

Consider the following individual identity descriptors: creator, doer, explorer, change agent, seeker. Choose one of these descriptors that best encapsulates your core identity. Provide 2-3 concrete examples of how the descriptor you chose reflects your identity. How might this core identity translate into action as a scholar citizen at the College of Charleston? In what ways do you hope to develop your core identity during college? 

2) Applicants to the Honors College have the opportunity to submit an additional essay addressing the following prompt. This is an optional essay and is not required. Applicants are encouraged to respond if they feel that doing so will help to reflect their individual circumstances and add pertinent details to their application. Responses should be no more than 500 words in length.  

Describe a significant obstacle you have encountered as a member of a diverse community. How has this obstacle impacted your personal growth? How might your response to this obstacle contribute to your development as a successful student in the Honors College at the College of Charleston?

What We Look For

Honors College applications are reviewed holistically, and the Honors Committee considers:

  • The rigor of your high school coursework and your performance in the classroom
  • Your response to the supplemental essay (required) and optional essay (if submitted)
  • Demonstrated leadership and community engagement listed in the activities section of the application
  • Test scores (if submitted)


Honors Priority Deadline: The priority deadline is also the Early Action deadline for the College of Charleston! Apply by November 1 and receive your Honors decision along with your CofC decision by December 1 for South Carolina high school applicants and by December 15 for non-South Carolina high school applicants.

Honors Deadline: Apply by January 15 and receive your decision by March 1.

  • Have you already been accepted to the College of Charleston and now want to apply to the Honors College? Submit your Honors essay via your CofC applicant portal by January 15 to receive your Honors decision by March 1.
  • Did you know that current CofC students can apply to "transfer" into the Honors College at the end of their first year? If you missed the January 15 application deadline, there's still a path to joining the Honors community. Enroll as a CofC student and then apply to join the Honors College as a current CofC student at the end of your first year of college.


All applicants who apply early action or early decision to the Honors College by the Honors priority deadline are considered for invitation to interview for the Charleston Fellows Program, College of Charleston's top scholars program. Applicants must indicate they are applying "Early Action" or "Early Decision" to be considered for the program. For more information on institutional and other scholarship opportunities, please visit the Office of Financial Aid's website.