Honors Program

Eligibility & Admission

Each year, Emerson invites 50 of its most outstanding applicants to join the Honors Program. Students are selected based on their superior academic achievements, significant creative accomplishments, and demonstrated leadership. To be considered for the Honors Program, students must apply as they enter Emerson College as freshmen or as rising sophomores.



Freshman admission into the Honors Program is determined by the Honors Program director and the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Honors Program candidates are characterized by an intense desire to learn, to challenge their intellectual capacity, to gain international perspective, and to experience firsthand the fields of communication and the arts.

The Honors Program selection process is competitive and only those freshmen applying for September Admission are eligible. Selection is based on outstanding personal and academic qualities, such as:

  • Advanced analytical and writing skills, as demonstrated by the supplemental essay
  • Excellent academic performance in a challenging curriculum
  • Superior standardized test results (typically 1300 combined SAT Critical Reading and Math, 54 combined ACT English and Math, or 100 Internet-based TOEFL). An impressive academic record, Honors Program essay, and résumé of accomplishments may compensate for test scores below these guidelines
  • Commitment to community and service
  • Significant creative accomplishments
  • Demonstrated leadership

View information on Honors Program application deadlines and notification dates »

To remain in the Honors Program, students must maintain a 3.3 (B+) cumulative quality point average and a 3.0 (B) average in Honors courses. For more information on program requirements, including probationary periods, please see your First Year Advising Memo.


Selection into the Honors Program for rising sophomores is determined by the Honors Program director. A select number of outstanding sophomore applicants are invited to join the Honors Program each fall. Because the number of open spaces is limited, the selection process is rigorous. Rising sophomore students chosen for the Honors Program are recognized for their superlative intellectual achievements at Emerson.

Students are notified of their admission to the Honors Program by early to mid-June. Each rising sophomore student admitted to the Honors Program is awarded a Trustee’s Scholarship renewable during each of a student’s three years at the college, provided that the student maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.3 (B+) in all courses and a GPA of 3.0 (B) in Honors courses. For more information on program requirements, including probationary periods, please see your First Year Advising Memo.

Application Requirements


To be considered for the Honors Program, incoming first-year students must complete the following:

  • Complete all general requirements for undergraduate admission by the appropriate deadlines
  • Complete and submit a 400–600 word Honors Program essay by November 15 (for Early Action candidates) or February 1 (for Regular Admission candidates)


Rising sophomore students at Emerson College must submit the following in their applications by May 1:

  • Completed application form
  • Letter of application (2–3 pages) stating your reasons for applying, detailing what you can contribute to the Honors Program’s community of scholars, and addressing the topic of the Honors Admission essay (found on application form)
  • Writing sample from a class at Emerson (critical or expository essay)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Emerson faculty members (preferably written by faculty members teaching in the Liberal Arts perspectives)

  • Unofficial transcripts of courses taken at Emerson College

All materials must be submitted to the Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies, 120 Boylston Street, 5th Floor.

Honors Program Newsletter

Honors Program Newsletter

Each fall, the Emerson Honors Program publishes a newsletter spotlighting students' recent achievements.

Fall 2014 »
Fall 2013 »
Fall 2012 »
Fall 2011 »

Honors Thesis Project Lights Display

"Lumens" light display

Light It Up: Honors Thesis Project

An Emerson student is causing smiles as students and visitors stare in amazement at his LED light display—all part of his honors thesis project—in the main foyer of the Little Building.

Displaying an inner sense of direction and responsibility that shows in their intellectual engagement when they first step foot on campus, Honors students are driven, creative individuals who bond as a close-knit community of learners.

Nigel C. Gibson

Director of the Honors Program