Undergraduate Admission

Honors Program

The Honors Program is an intellectual and creative community that provides a four-year, interdisciplinary, collaborative learning experience for incoming students of exceptional ability. The Honors Program supplements major study with a challenging liberal arts curriculum composed of interdisciplinary seminars, collaborative research projects, and faculty-directed independent study.

Applying to the Honors Program

Admission to the Honors Program is competitive and only first-year students applying for September Admission are eligible. Each fall, approximately 50 outstanding first-year applicants enroll in the Honors Program. Each Honors Program Scholar is also awarded a half-tuition Trustees Scholarship, which is renewable for four years at the College.

All first-year students, regardless of major, are invited to apply to the Honors Program. Your Honors Program application decision has no bearing, however, on your admission decision to the College. Students can be accepted to the College without being invited to the Honors Program.

To apply, you must complete a 400–600 word essay in addition to the Common Application and Application Supplement required by the office of Undergraduate Admission.  The essay may either be uploaded with the Common Application at the time of submission or may be uploaded within the Admission Portal after submitting your Undergraduate application.

Honors Essay Topic

Please respond to the following in 400-600 words: Wallace Bacon, a recipient of an honorary doctorate from Emerson College in 1975, wrote that the liberal arts, or humanities, “are concerned with the question of what makes life worth living. And that question concerns not simply oneself but others. The humanities must help us learn who we are; they must help us learn the otherness of others.” 

In this light, describe an encounter with someone or something different—an “other” which revealed to you your sense of self and your relationship to humanity. This encounter may involve a person, place, culture, or text (book, speech, film, play, etc.).


Early Action: November 15, selected outstanding applicants notified in December
Regular Decision: February 1, notification by April 1


Our Honors Program allows you to take advantage of individual advising, special lectures, interdisciplinary fulfillment of Emerson’s general education requirements, collaborative research projects, and special extracurricular activities. You will also receive mentoring and interact with upper-class colleagues. Through social events and community service projects you become an integral part of the Honors Program’s “community of learners.”

Students enrolled in the program also receive our top merit award, a half-tuition Trustees scholarship that is renewable each academic year. Trustees Scholars are ineligible for the Dean’s Scholarship or our other merit awards.

More Information

You can find more information about requirements and eligibility at the Honors Program website.