Skip to main content

Application Process

Application Process

The Freshman Honors College application includes the following:

  • Completed Online Application Form which includes:
    • An official copy of your 7th semester transcript (This is a separate process from Admission to the University) uploaded by your counselor
    • Reference forms and letters completed by a school administrator/community member and a teacher uploaded by the reference writers
    • Essays (2) uploaded in the online application
    • Official verification of ACT score either on official transcript or photocopied from ACT results material and uploaded in the online application
  • NOTE: The online application must be completed and received by January 15 to ensure consideration for the applicant in the Freshmen Honors College Class. Applications received after January 15 will not be considered for review by the selection committee.

Evaluation Process

A committee of five faculty members and two current students in the Honors College will review each qualified application against a 100-point rubric with points as follows:

  • 40 points-Academic Record to include ACT, GPA, and Transcript Analysis
  • 25 points-School Activities, Community Service, Employment, Honors and Awards
  • 20 points-Essay Evaluations (10 each)
  • 10 points-Letters of Recommendation
  • 5 points-Discretionary

Once the scores are collected from each committee member, a matrix will be created, scores averaged, and a line drawn at the top 44 applicants.  These are the applicants who will be invited to campus for On-Campus Interviews. The interview will be evaluated on a 45-point rubric with points as follows: Fluency of Response, Depth of Response, Non-Verbal Communication, Perceived Attributes, and Overall Suitability for the Program.

Once the scores are collected from each Interview Panel Member, an average will be calculated and these points added to the original 100 points.  A line will be drawn at the top 30 applicants and those are the students who will be invited to the Honors College.  The remaining 14 students will be kept in a holding pool and moved up should someone in the top 30 not accept their invitation.

On-Campus Interview Information

Invitations for on-campus interviews will be extended the first week of February if not before.  Interviews will typically be held on the second Sunday in February.  Students will be placed in two cohorts on that day, with the first group reporting to campus at 12:00 noon and the second group at 2:30pm.

After a brief introductory session, students will proceed to one of four interview rooms where they will meet with an interview team consisting of members of the selection committee, current students in the Honors College, and an alumnus of the Honors College.  Each interview will last approximately 20 minutes and each applicant will be asked the same set of questions.  Following the interview process, the scores will be added to the matrix, it will be recalculated, and the top 30 students will receive invitations to become members of the PSU Honors College for the fall.

The on-campus interview is required for any student who desires to be a part of the Honors College program. For those individuals who live a great distance from PSU or who might have conflicts with making the trip to campus, a Zoom meeting will be set up in order to conduct the interview.  All Zoom connections must be video in format.  It will be the applicant’s responsibility to have the necessary computer technology in their possession to facilitate the interview.  All Zoom interviews must be established well in advance of the interview day to ensure scheduling coordination. 

Requirements and Admission to the Honors College

The requirements to apply for and to be admitted to the PSU Honors College are as follows:

Students graduating from an accredited high school:

  • First consideration - superscore of 28 or higher on ACT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA
  • Second consideration - superscore of 27 on ACT and a 3.5 unweighted GPA, AND
  • Meet all admission requirements as determined by the PSU Office of Admissions

International students:

  1. 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale; AND
  2. ACT/SAT/National Standardized Test; AND
  3. Rank in the to 1/3 of high school graduating class; AND
  4. Minimum TOEFL Score of 68 (Internet based); AND
  5. Recommendation from the PSU International Program and Services