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University Honors Program Application Process

We accept applications from current high school students, current SIUE students, and students from other colleges and universities who plan to transfer to SIUE. Honors program applications can be submitted before a student is admitted to SIUE. However, no decision on Honors Program admission will be made until the student is admitted to SIUE.

Honors Program applications are reviewed on a holistic basis. Common application criteria is listed below, but we review every submitted application, regardless of test score or GPA. We encourage all students to apply even if admission criteria is not met. Students are given the chance to explain any extenuating circumstances and why they would be a good fit for the Honors Program when completing the application.

The Honors Program application consists of three parts:

  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information, etc.)
  2. Description of student involvement and accomplishments, including school and community. Students are encouraged to highlight participation in these areas:
    • Academic Achievements and Recognition
    • Organizations and Activities
    • Athletic and Artistic Endeavors
    • Community Activities
    • Volunteering and Community Service
    • Work and Internship Activities
    • Other Activities
  3. Essay

Essay Prompt and Question

People make decisions in new, ambiguous settings and circumstances all the time. The world constantly shifts, providing us opportunities to experiment, to reflect and grow, or to remain stagnant. Along the way, we will make mistakes and experience failures. It is in these moments that the choices a person makes can reveal a lot about who they are, how they think, what they value, and how they interact with the world.

Honors at SIUE values experimentation and the good mistakes (mistakes that are bold; mistakes that are specific; mistakes that are the result of a good try; and mistakes that help us learn and retry) that comes along with that risk. Your success in the Honors Program is based, not only on your current skills and learning, but on how you can grow.

For the essay, we offer a choice of two ambiguous questions. They present no option for a correct answer. Instead, they give you a chance to demonstrate your boldness, your ability to communicate, your openness to creative thinking and presentation, and your ability to deal with ambiguity itself. We invite you to answer one of these questions.

  • Red, green or blue? 
  • Solve for x.

Essay Submission Options

A unique question necessitates a unique presentation option.

  • Submit a Written Response With Your Application
    • While there is no required minimum or maximum page length, most successful submissions have ranged from two to three pages.
  • Submit a Video Essay
    • There are no restrictions on your presentation, but we ask that you do not go to any expense in creating your video. Using commonly available recording and editing software is sufficient. The video should be between three and five minutes, and you should address your chosen prompt.

Current High School Seniors/First-Time Applicants

Application Deadlines

Students are typically admitted for the fall semester. If you plan to enroll for a spring semester, we will work with you on an individual basis.

  • Priority Consideration Deadline: February 15
    • Up to 20 students who apply by this deadline will be admitted and notified by early March. Students who are not admitted in February will be considered for admission by our regular deadline.
    • Students admitted through priority consideration will receive advanced consideration for their first semester Honors courses, priority Honors Orientation/Springboard to Success dates, and priority for the Honors Focused Interest Community, assuming all other deadlines have been met.
  • Regular Consideration Deadline: April 1
    • Students who apply by this date will be notified by the first week of May.
    • Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Application Standards

Generally speaking successful applications will meet or exceed the stated GPA and then meet one of the additional criteria outlined below.

  • Standard Criteria GPA: High school cumulative GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), weighted or unweighted.
  • Additional Criteria
    • ACT composite score of 25 or higher
    • Combined SAT score of 1200
    • Top 10% of high school graduating class
    • Valedictorian or salutatorian of high school class
    • Completion of 15 credit hours or more in dual enrollment or college-earned credit (excluding AP)
    • Completion of a summer or semester-long student exchange/semester abroad program
    • Completion of 100 service hours in high school
    • Significant engagement in activities (school, community, faith community)
    • A strong letter of recommendation from a high school teacher in an academic subject

Application Process

Complete the application for high school seniors and first-time applicants.

Transfer Students

Application Deadlines

Transfer student admission is granted on a rolling basis, although we may wait for the completion of the current semester to finalize any offers.

  • Fall Entry: August 1
  • Spring Entry: December 15

Application Standards

We focus on college-earned credentials for transfer applicants. We typically look for a college GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Application Process

  • If you are already enrolled in an honors program at your current college, you can apply using our express application, which outlines your program, honors courses and your interest in the Honors Program at SIUE.
  • If you are not in an honors program at your current institution, you can apply with using our transfer application.

Current SIUE Students

When you applied to SIUE, you may not have known about the Honors Program. That's ok. We work with students who are currently enrolled at the University who show promise and potential. If the Honors experience seems right for you, we encourage you to apply.

Application Deadlines

Admission is granted on a rolling basis. However, we may wait for the completion of the current semester to finalize any offers.

  • Fall Entry: August 1
  • Spring Entry: December 15

Application Standards

We focus on your college-earned credentials. Typically, we look for a college GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Application Process

Complete the current SIUE student application.

honors student

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