Information for Prospective Students

The shield logos for the Honors programs

FAQs (as of Oct. 2020)

The Honors College is Maryland’s highly acclaimed living-learning community for students with extraordinary aspiration and promise. We offer students the opportunity to join a community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to promoting justice and inclusivity, and to engaging with the world.
The students. The faculty. The programs. Honors students are intellectually energetic, they have diverse perspectives, from majors across the university, and are leaders in just about everything on campus. Faculty teach Honors courses on exciting, often interdisciplinary, topics. The faculty and students work together to create an exceptionally powerful and inspiring learning environment.
Absolutely. The Honors College is an interdisciplinary experience, and all majors are welcome.
Expect to find a wide range of opportunities to explore, including research, internships, study abroad, and small, interdisciplinary, sophisticated courses with outstanding faculty who encourage you to expand your thinking. The Honors community is intellectually stimulating, diverse, inspiring, and supportive.
No. Depending upon your specific Honors program, you may have some extra requirements, but Honors provides opportunities rather than constraints. Honors courses punctuate your course work; they do not dominate it. Honors College students frequently complete a major and a minor, or double major, and participate in research, study abroad, and internships.
For students applying to enter in Fall 2021, submitting test scores is optional. All applicants will continue to be considered for admission into the Honors College and will be considered for academic merit scholarships regardless of their submission of standardized test scores. For more information, please visit Test-Optional FAQs.
All students invited to join the Honors College will be placed into one of our six living-learning programs. Students may select a specialized program with a specific topic or one that is more interdisciplinary. Living-Learning programs range from two-year programs like the multidisciplinary University Honors (UH) to the more focused Design Cultures & Creativity (DCC), Honors Humanities (HH), Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students (ACES) and Integrated Life Sciences (ILS), to the multidisciplinary four-year research program - Gemstone (GEMS).
Not necessarily. The programs are designed to allow you to explore your varied intellectual interests.
Students invited to the Honors College will be asked to indicate their preference for living-learning programs after they are invited to the Honors College. We will offer info sessions about each of the living-learning programs after decisions are released, so students will have an opportunity to learn more about each of the living-learning programs, and will be able to meet faculty and students in each program. Students will be assigned to a living-learning program based on availability and fit for each program.
Students who submitted their preferences by February 15 can expect to be notified by March 1. Students who submit their preferences after February 15 will be notified on a rolling basis, based upon space availability.
Students who matriculate to the Honors College starting in Fall 2020 and later, and are in good standing with the Honors College, may apply to transfer from their current Honors College living-learning program to any other program within the Honors College. Students should note that living-learning program space is limited, therefore transfer approval is also based upon availability. For more information and FAQs, please visit:
All six Honors programs are living and learning communities, each with its own residence hall. Honors College students currently live in either the Ellicott Community (Hagerstown, LaPlata, Ellicott Halls) or the North Hill Community (Prince Frederick and Anne Arundel Halls). Many Honors upperclassmen live in the South Campus Commons apartments. Each year, a few students choose to commute or opt for non-Honors housing. You should ask a living-learning Program Director about housing options, if you think you might choose to live outside the program’s residence hall.
Current students who have completed one year of coursework at the University of Maryland can apply to join the Honors College. Admission for current UMD students is highly competitive and the number of spaces available is extremely limited. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 is required to apply. Upperclassmen may also become members of the Honors College by joining a Departmental Honors Program in their academic department or college.
No. Honors students have priority to all the campus Honors version courses and exclusive access to Honors courses in their living-learning program.
AP and IB credits do not count towards honors citation requirements; however, the university does accept these credits, which often gives students the flexibility to declare a double major or to pursue other exciting opportunities such as study abroad.
Go to for more information and a comprehensive chart of the university’s credit exemptions.
Honors College students are often recipients of both merit and need-based scholarships and awards. Admission to the Honors College does not guarantee a scholarship award. All students who wish to be considered for merit or need-based financial aid should apply by the priority deadline of November 1 and complete the FAFSA form by the university deadline. Merit awards offered to a select group of incoming freshmen include the Banneker/Key Scholarships, the President’s Scholarship, and the Dean’s Scholarship.
  • We’ve added anti-racist curricular and cocurricular programming;
  • We’ve continued our efforts in working with the Honors Student Advisory Boards and other Honors College groups to create networks of support, mentoring, faculty contact, community, and opportunity;
  • We sponsor the Black Honors Caucus and W.E.B. Du Bois Honor Society to increase opportunities for students of color to dialogue and interact with people from different global cultures, through community and service;
  • Establishing mechanisms of accountability across the Honors College to support continuous evaluation of how we are doing, including the issuing of twice-yearly reports on our progress, and to solicit major stakeholders’ input for additional actions
  • Other support resources across campus include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which houses resources for the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education, the Nyumburu Cultural Center, and #UMDSolidarity - events and opportunities for solidarity and reflection.