Frequently Asked Questions

SUNY Cortland Honors Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

 I am a current high school student considering Cortland, is the Honors Program right for me?  If you are intellectually curious, want an academic challenge, or intend to continue your education after you earn your bachelors degree, the Cortland Honors Program may be right for you.

 I am a current high school student considering Cortland, how do I apply to the Honors Program?  High achieving students who have been offered admission to SUNY Cortland will receive an invitation to apply to the program in late winter. The invitation letter will contain details describing the application process.

 I did not receive an invitation letter, am I still eligible for the Honors Program?  Possibly. Contact the honors program (honors@cortland.edu; 607-753-4827) and we can discuss the specifics of your case.

 I am current student at Cortland, can I join the Honors Program?  Yes. Students who have demonstrated academic excellence at Cortland are actively encouraged to apply to the program. Typically, current students will be admitted to the program after they have completed at least two semesters of course work on campus. Perspective applicants should contact the Honors Program Director [link].

 I am transferring to Cortland, can I join the Honors Program?  Yes. Admission of transfers is done on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Honors Program Director [link] for more information. Students who have completed an honors program at a Community College are especially encouraged to apply to the Cortland Honors Program. 

Before coming to campus

Are Honors Program students required to attend a particular session of summer orientation?  No. You may attend whichever session works best for you and your family.

Do freshman in the Honors Program live in a common residence hall?  Yes. 

Can students in the Honors Program be part of a learning community?  Students in the Honors Program join the Honors Program learning community. Honors Program Students participate in Honors COR 101, which builds a sense of community among students in the program and introduces them to the specific academic requirements of the program. 

What is the Raquette Lake retreat?  The Raquette Lake retreat is an Honors Program community building and orientation event that takes place at Cortland’s Historic Facility in the Adirondacks [link]. The date of the Raquette Lake retreat will be announced in early summer. Please save the date. Attendance is an expectation of the Honors Program COR 101.

Program Structure and Curriculum

What are the requirements of the Honors Program?  Students in the Honors Program are required to complete 24 honors credits. In addition they must complete INT 290, Honors Sophomore Colloquium; INT 390, Honors Junior Colloquium; and INT 499, Honors Program Thesis.

 Can I take a non-honors course for honors credit?  Yes. Students may take a 300 level course in their major or minor as an enhanced (contract) course for honors credit.  Enhanced course allow students to explore a topic in the major or minor at a greater level of depth. For more details, see Guidelines for Enhanced Courses [link].

What is an “enhanced (contract) course”? Enhanced courses allow students to explore a topic in the major or minor at a greater level of depth. For more details, see Guidelines for Enhanced Courses [link].

When should I enroll in INT 290?  Students typically take INT 290 in the fall or spring of their sophomore year. The course must be completed no later than the fall of the junior year. Students transferring into the Honors Program typically take INT 290 during the first semester they are enrolled in the program.

When should I enroll in INT 390? The purpose of INT 390 is to assist students in developing an idea for their senior thesis. Thus, students must complete INT 390 before they begin their senior thesis (INT 499). The best time to take INT 390 may depend on a student’s major. Students majoring in fields that require a methods course, e.g. History, Psychology and Exercise Science, are encouraged to take INT 390 concurrently or after the methods courses. Consult your major advisor and the Honors Program Director for more information.

Advising

Do students in the Honors Program receive course registration priority? Yes. Students in the Honors program register before seniors, ensuring that students in the program can take the courses they need, when they need them.

How many honors courses should I take a semester?  Typically students take one or two honors courses a semester although that varies somewhat with the student’s major since some majors have more requirements in the freshman and sophomore years while others have more requirements in the junior and senior years.

What GPA must I maintain to stay in the Honors Program? Students in the Honors Program are required to maintain a 3.2 GPA.

What is “good progress” in the Honors Program? Ideally a student should complete 12-15 honors credits by the end of the sophomore year. Students in majors requiring a “full time load” of major required courses during the junior and senior year should complete most (~ 17 credits) of their honors courses before the start of their junior year.

I want to study abroad, can I still participate in the Honors Program? Yes. Students in the Honors Program are encouraged to study abroad for a semester.  Students studying abroad may count 3 credits of their study abroad experience as an honors course.

Are the requirements of the Honors Program modified for students who join after freshman year?  Yes.  Students beginning the program after their third semester at Cortland are required to complete at least 12 honors credits. These credits must include INT 290, INT 390 and INT 499

 Honors Thesis

What is a senior Honors Thesis? The senior honors thesis is the expression of original, independent scholarship or a creative activity conducted in an honor student’s major discipline. The senior thesis transitions students in the Honors Program from consumers of knowledge to producers of scholarship.

How do I select a thesis topic? The process of selecting a thesis topic is explored in INT 290 and INT 390. In brief, the topic should be original, independent scholarship and explore a subject relate to the student’s major or minor. 

How do I select a thesis advisor? The selection of a thesis advisor is an early topic covered in INT 390. The thesis advisor must be a member of the SUNY Cortland faculty in a department relevant to the thesis topic. It is important that the advisor be accessible to guide, support, and encourage the student throughout the entire thesis process. 

When do I enroll in INT 499? The senior thesis is a capstone academic experience and thus students enroll in in INT 499 during their last semester on campus. 

I will be doing student teaching, when must I complete my thesis?  Students who will be student teaching should enroll in INT 499 and complete their thesis the semester prior to student teaching.

Can I receive honors credit for research that will be part of my senior thesis?  Yes. If your department offers independent research, you can receive honors credit for that research through the enhanced course mechanism. INT 490 serves as a mechanism to offer honors credit for research to students in departments that do not offer independent research. 

 

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