The Academic Program
All University Scholars take the following four Macaulay Honors College seminars throughout their first four semesters: The Arts in New York City, The Peopling of New York, Science and Technology in New York City, and Shaping the Future of New York. These interdisciplinary courses, which are taught in small discussion format, offer exceptional intellectual challenges and rewards, as they combine traditional scholarly activity with hands-on experiences. They are designed to stimulate interest in and deepen understanding of the people and institutions of New York.
In addition, University Scholars take at least four honors-level courses, which may include electives, courses in their major, and upper-division, interdisciplinary Honors College seminars. These upper-level seminars encourage students to engage in research in a collaborative and supportive setting. In addition, all Honors College students complete a senior project, which varies according to discipline, but may result in a thesis, research report, creative project, a publication or other major work. University Scholars may network with faculty, register for courses, or pursue research opportunities on any of the other six CUNY campuses.
Requirements for Graduation
University Scholars are selected for their potential as future leaders in New York and are held to a high standard. The following are the minimum academic requirements necessary for graduation. It is every student's responsibility to be familiar with all requirements and to be aware of policy changes.
We suggest downloading the Advising Checklist to keep track of which requirements you've met, and which you still need to fulfill.
Basic Academic Standards
- As a University Scholar, you must achieve an overall GPA of 3.3 by the end of your freshman year and maintain a 3.5 GPA by the end of your sophomore year and thereafter. Please note, that if your GPA falls below the required level, but it seems likely that you can meet that standard, you may be placed on academic probation for one semester.
- If you fail one of the four Honors Seminars, you will be dismissed from the Macaulay Honors College.
- You must successfully complete a minimum of four additional honors courses.
- You must complete honors in your major whenever available, or a senior thesis, or a capstone project.
- Failure to meet the requirements and standards of the Honors College will result in dismissal and the termination of the University Scholar Scholarship and all associated privileges. Dismissal from the Macaulay Honors College does not necessarily mean dismissal from Hunter College.
Additional Academic Requirements
All Honors College students must fulfill the Hunter College General Education Requirements, as set forth in the Hunter College 2007-2010 Undergraduate Catalog. This catalog can be accessed online at www.hunter.cuny.edu/academics/catalogs.shtml or can obtained in the Welcome Center, room 100HN.
CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies
In order to take full advantage of the benefits and opportunities available through Hunter College and the Macaulay Honors College, you should talk with your academic advisor to collaborate on an academic plan that best reflects your interests and meets your academic needs, especially when the time comes to declare your major.
Macaulay students who meet the admissions criteria for CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies http://cunyba.gc.cuny.edu/ (a.k.a. CUNY BA/BS) may apply to this individualized degree program. MHC at Hunter students should be aware that CUNY BA/BS carries different academic requirements from the College, leading to a CUNY Baccalaureate-Macaulay Honors College degree, not a Hunter College degree. Note that MHC at Hunter students residing in the Brookdale Residence Hall who matriculate into CUNY BA will not be eligible for free housing offered by Hunter to Macaulay Hunter students.
Other University Scholar Requirements
- Each year you must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and a New York State TAP (Tuition Assistance Program - for New York State residents only) application. Click here for FAFSA and TAP Step-By-Step Instructions.
- You are required to complete a minimum of ten hours of community service during each of your first three years in the Macaulay Honors College, for a minimum of thirty community service hours total.
- You must complete an internship or undergraduate research project or an accredited study abroad program.
- You will be required to attend Honors College Common Events over the course of your time in the Macaulay Honors College.
For more information about our academic policies, please visit the Macaulay website: http://macaulay.cuny.edu/current-students/policies.php
The goal of the Macaulay Honors College is to prepare you for leadership in your chosen field. We encourage you to find honors-level internship opportunities that enrich your study and provide you with significant practical experience. Many University Scholars gain invaluable, practical experience that not only enriches their studies, but often leads to full-time jobs. Such opportunities can be found through Macaulay as well as through the Jeanette K. Watson Foundation, Inroads Inc., the Career Services Office, departmental listings, and individual faculty members.
University Scholars have joined archaeological digs, charted meteorological data, attended the year's first session of Congress, assisted in local radio broadcasts, performed research in medical laboratories, and traveled to London to analyze the structure of non-profit organizations in the United Kingdom.
Macaulay students benefit from particularly rich and in-depth opportunities to network with New York's most dynamic firms. For example, Macaulay students have visited Google's New York headquarters and were taken on a tour of their pioneering new workspace in lower Manhattan. They have also visited the many departments of New York Life, the nation's largest mutual life insurance company, kicked off with a talk by CEO Sy Steinberg, an alumnus of City College.
Other institutions that participate closely with the Macaulay Honors College to provide internship opportunities include: New York Historical Society, Beth Israel Cancer Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, HBO, Air America Radio, JP Morgan, NY Daily News, Kings County District Attorney, Teen People Magazine, The Bronx Zoo, WNYC Radio, and Roundabout Theater Company, to name just a few.
University Scholars are strongly encouraged to pursue honors-level internships that will provide you with a substantial preview of a professional field or discipline. This allows you to integrate your internship experiences with the rest of your academic life - in the classroom, during study abroad, as part of a senior project, and as a step towards graduate and professional school or future employment.
During the academic year, the Macaulay Honors College will post internship opportunities on the Macaulay Honors College website available exclusively to University Scholars. Currently, credit-bearing internships that are taken during the academic year are available through local campuses. In addition, there will be information sessions held during the year in the Honors lounge for internship opportunities. University Scholars are required to evaluate their internship experiences and participate in a post-internship debriefing session.
Some internships may not provide financial compensation but nonetheless offer excellent experiences. The Opportunities Fund may be used to cover the cost of an internship that is unpaid and for which you do not receive academic credit. Additionally, the Opportunities Fund can be used to finance travel expenses associated with internships outside New York City.
All University Scholars will need to meet the challenges of learning and leadership in an increasingly global environment. As part of our mission to foster intellectual breadth and global awareness, we strongly encourage you to seize the opportunity to study in an honors-level program abroad. After completing your sophomore year, going abroad for study gives you the opportunity to live with students from your host country, learn a foreign language, and immerse yourself in a cross-cultural experience.
In order to keep you well informed, we hold study abroad information sessions for all students. These sessions will provide University Scholars with an overview of study abroad procedures, information on approved programs, and opportunities to hear from other Macaulay students who have traveled abroad.
Macaulay Honors College also sponsors a number of Honors opportunities where University Scholars can participate in innovative service-learning and primary research projects as part of your individualized Macaulay program of study. In the past, University Scholars have analyzed marine life in the Galapagos, studied drama at Trinity College in Dublin, learned Arabic at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, and studied mathematics at the City University of Hong Kong.
University Scholars may access their Opportunities Fund to help finance tuition, transportation, and living expenses. To pursue a wide range of semester and year-long study abroad programs at universities around the world, Scholars are encouraged to seek outside fellowships and additional resources in CUNY. These sources include the Gilman International Scholarship Program, the National Security Education Program, and the Freeman Award for Study in Asia.
For a list of current opportunities, please visit the Macaulay website at: http://macaulay.cuny.edu/current-students/study-abroad.php
At Macaulay, we believe that every student should find ways to meet the challenges faced by the community. University Scholars are encouraged to participate in service opportunities that reflect their individual values and concerns as well as their educational and professional goals.
Community service opportunities take many forms. There are one-time events and more sustained activities. These are also service opportunities attached to course work as part of a formal learning experience known as service learning programs. Whatever form you chose, it is vital that all University Scholars give back to the community that helps to mold your unique education.
Macaulay students have spent their spring break in New Orleans to help rebuild efforts there. They have assisted in the construction of Musicians' Village, building a group of modest wood-frame buildings intended to house performers in the Ninth Ward. They have also helped at an animal shelter in Metairie and performed clean-up and construction at a house and school in St. Bernard Parish.
Over the summer, Macaulay Honors College students and faculty traveled to Chimaltenango, Guatemala, to build houses for the needy, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Immersed in the culture, customs, and history of Guatemala, the team spent five full days building houses with local residents and reflecting on their experiences as a group. On the last day of building, a farewell ceremony was held at the work site with the family for whom the house was built.
University Scholars may find community service opportunities on their own, through local home communities, or through campus organizations such as Circle K or the Golden Key Honors Society. Macaulay Honors College has also organized Honors College-wide community service opportunities with several organizations, such as New York Cares (park and public school clean-ups), CUNY's Restart Central (advising service for small businesses adversely affected by 9/11), and MOUSE (providing tech support for New York City public schools).
University Scholars must complete a minimum of 30 hours of community service, with a minimum of 10 hours completed during each of the first three years at Macaulay. Paid work of any kind is not counted towards community service hours. Internships are not considered community service.