How to Apply

Incoming First Year Students

Incoming Transfer Students

Currently Enrolled Students

Fall 2021 admissions are now open.

Incoming First Year Students

The priority deadline to apply for the Honors College for Fall 2021 is March 1, 2021

University Honors College scholarships are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to applicants who meet the Honors College admissions criteria and have been admitted to the University beginning in October of the applicant’s senior year in high school. Admission requires a completed Honors College application. These awards are packaged with all other sources of merit and need-based financial aid. Honors College admission is for the Fall semester only. The priority application deadline for this scholarship is March 1, although applications will continue to be reviewed until the program is full. 

Students new to William Paterson University are eligible for the Honors scholarship. Admissions are competitive and the number of students awarded scholarships is limited.

While most students accepted to the Honors College have SAT scores of 1180 or higher, we encourage students with lower test scores who have taken honors courses or AP or IB courses, and who have extraordinary extracurricular or civic engagement records and excellent high school GPAs to apply.

Incoming High School Students (Freshmen in Fall 2021)

Freshmen are considered for Honors College admission based on three out of the five areas below. Where appropriate, average statistics of students enrolling as Fall 2020 Honors College students are noted. All applicants are required to submit high school transcripts and test scores but may emphasize the other areas.

  • Grade Point Average – The average unweighted high school GPA is 3.62 ( middle 50% range of 3.49 to 3.81)
  • Test Scores – The average test scores are 1210 SAT score (middle 50% range of 1140 to 1260) or an ACT score of 24 (middle 50% range of 22 to 27)
    • For Fall 2021 admissions only, due to testing limitations related to COVID-19, students may - but are not required - to submit SAT or ACT test scores as part of the Honors College application process. Applicants with only PSAT or Pre-ACT scores may submit a PDF of their scores after submission of their Honors College application. PSAT or Pre-ACT scores may also be submitted in addition to SAT or ACT scores if students did not have the ability to re-test. Applicants who do not have any SAT/PSAT/ACT/Pre-ACT scores should complete the optional “Statement of your academic goals and research or creative performance objectives” section in the Honors College application.

  • Curriculum – Most accepted students have taken multiple honors, dual-enrollment, college-level, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate-level courses in their high school careers
  • Academic awards or honors received and extracurricular interests and activities
  • Essay quality and content

Please follow this link to apply to the Honors College (incoming freshmen in the Fall of 2021):

Priority Application Deadline: March 1, 2021

Applicants must submit an original essay as part of the application.

Incoming Transfer Students 

Transfer Students

Transfer students are considered for Honors College admission based on a review of the following areas:

  • Cumulative college GPA - Most transfer Honors students have a 3.5 GPA or higher.
  • Curriculum - Most transfer Honors students have completed honors courses at the college level.
  • Academic awards or honors received and extracurricular interests and activities
  • Essay quality and content.
  • Students with limited college coursework may be asked to submit their high school transcript(s) and test scores.

Please follow this link to apply to the Honors College (incoming transfer student in the Fall of 2021):

Application Deadline: March 1, 2021. 

Currently Enrolled Students

Students can also apply for admission to the Honors College after they have enrolled at William Paterson University.

Current William Paterson University freshmen: 

William Paterson freshmen not already enrolled in the Honors College who earn a WP grade point average of 3.5 or above in their first semester are eligible to apply for the Honors Excel scholarship in the amount of $2000 per year. The Honors Excel scholarship is competitive with a limited number of awards. Applying is a two-step process. First, complete the Honors application on the WPConnect Student Tab by April 15. Second, eligible students will be sent an additional form and must submit an additional essay to complete by May 15. Honors Excel Scholarship Awards will be announced in June.

Current William Paterson University sophomore, junior, or senior status are not eligible for Honors scholarships but can still apply to the Honors College. Students typically enter the Honors College after their first year at William Paterson University. Seniors generally cannot complete the academic requirements and are rarely accepted. Applicants should review the Honors College Student Handbook to familiarize themselves with the Honors College requirements, including the additional required coursework. Please check with your academic advisor before applying. 

To be admitted to the Honors College as a current student applicants should:

  • Complete at least one semester and 15 credits toward graduation at William Paterson University
  • Have a William Paterson GPA above 3.25
  • Have no more than one grade below a C on their college transcript
  • Complete 90% of attempted credits
  • Submit SAT or ACT scores
  • Complete the on-line Honors College application in WPConnect and write a short essay that addresses the question of why they want to be a part of the Honors College.

Apply through the Honors application in WPConnect under the Student tab.


The Honors College is open to undergraduate students working to complete a bachelor's degree. The Honors College research and creative performance tracks accept students who are sophomores or juniors. Students must apply to the Honors College and be accepted prior to applying to participate in an Honors Track. The Business, Humanities, Performing and Literary Arts, and Social Sciences Honors Track are available to fully online students if those students can participate in traditional (14 week) semesters. All other tracks require participation in three or more traditional semesters of face-to-face coursework. Fully online students should contact with requests for information.