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Admissions Criteria and Academic Requirements


Admissions Criteria

The Honors College is highly selective. Successful applicants are those students who offer more than just outstanding high school averages and SAT scores. The admissions committee is interested in a student's out-of-classroom activities, co-curricular achievements, and contributions to his/her high school community.

DSC01990.JPGHonors College applicants typically have an academic average in the 90s, have taken challenging high school classes, and receive a combined verbal and math SAT score in the 1300 range or above. These, however, are averages, not etched-in-stone qualifications. The Honors College is interested in more than just grades and scores; we look at the whole applicant. Most of the students who choose Hunter's Honors College are interested in a liberal arts education, and Hunter College offers more than 70 academic areas in which to study. You can get an idea of the breadth of courses offered at Hunter by going to Hunter College’s Online Catalog. This is in addition to the variety of unique courses offered each semester which are designated as "Honors Classes".


The Honors Seminars

Beginning with their very first semester at the Honors College, University Scholars are encouraged to explore New York City as an extension of their campus. The four interdisciplinary seminars, one per semester throughout the freshman and sophomore years, are small discussion groups, which enable the students to use New York City for primary research and hands-on learning, while allowing close interaction between faculty and students.

The Honors Seminars which are required throughout a student's first two years are: 
   Seminar One: The Arts in New York City
   Seminar Two: The Peopling of New York City
   Seminar Three: Science and Technology in New York City
   Seminar Four: Shaping the Future of New York City

"I do not view the MHC seminars are requirements, but rather as privileges. These seminars have allowed me to explore areas of curriculum that I never would have thought to do on my own. They are taught by amazing professors with whom I would not have been able to work if it were not for these seminars." --Rebecca Breech, MHC, Class of 2010

The Honors College student takes a minimum of 24 credits of Honors courses. Meeting this requirement consists of taking the four special interdisciplinary seminars during the freshman and sophomore years, select Honors College course offerings, and Honors sections of regularly offered Arts & Sciences classes. During their junior and senior years, honors students are expected to take advantage of departmental honors opportunities within their major, which may include a senior thesis or laboratory research project.

Several recently-instituted course offerings, upper level seminars, open to juniors and seniors, and year-long research seminars for seniors, are bringing more juniors and seniors to the newly renovated "Mac" building on West 67th St. The facilities of the new "Mac" building include state-of-the-art screening room, computer facilities and wireless internet, spacious meeting rooms, plus proximity to the stimulating cultural atmosphere of the Lincoln Center area.


Courses at the Macaulay Building

In addition to providing continuity and depth to the earlier seminars, these new offerings encourage students to combine primary research with knowledge gained during their various co-curricular activities. More information about these upper level seminars can be gleaned by going to

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Internships and Study Abroad

Honors College students are required to participate in either an internship or study abroad program; many students do both. Every University Scholar has access to a $7500 Opportunity Fund which is used to support study abroad and unpaid internships or research projects with metropolitan leaders in government, arts, business, media and sciences.


Internships of previous students have enabled them to obtain hands-on job experiences with some of New York's most dynamic businesses and political and cultural organizations as well as involvement in more globally diverse opportunities. Study abroad programs have spread our students to all corners of the globe, from universities in Dublin and Istanbul, to analyzing marine life in the Galapagos Islands, to studies in China and Hong Kong, and to a Women's Conference in Dubai

"My experiences in South Africa have not only influenced my academic and professional interests, but they have also influenced how I perceive American society and, more importantly, how I conceive of my personal identity." --Catherine Zinnel, MHC, Class of 2009

Internships are as varied as are the interests of each of our students. University Scholars enter the "working world" of New York City, meeting and networking with some of the city's most dynamic firms, art organizations, and political offices. Current students are interning at venues as varied as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, Oxford University Press, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Gracie Mansion, the office of a City Council Member (representing the Upper Westside) and a literary agency who represents successful fiction novelists. is a terrific resource for Honors College students in pursuit of an internship.