2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Honors Program

Old Main, Room B-13
(607) 753-4827


Arnold Talentino (Coordinator)


SUNY Cortland’s Honors Program is designed for students with high ability and unusual motivation. It brings together accomplished teachers and outstanding students in courses taught especially for the Honors Program. The courses are designed to provide enriched academic experiences consistent with the students’ academic abilities and interests.

Qualifications for Admission

Admission to the program is open to entering fall freshmen and rising sophomores. To be eligible for admission, applicants should have an exceptional academic record based on grades, standardized tests (SAT, ACT), course selection and extracurricular activities. A limited number of students transferring from honors programs at other institutions also may be included.


To complete the Honors Program, students must take at least 24 credit hours of honors-level courses. Students fulfill this requirement by taking a combination of specially designated honors courses, contract courses and a course in which they complete the required honors thesis. Students also may use a maximum of two Writing Intensive (WRIT) courses beyond the all-college requirements toward the completion of the honors program.

  • Specially designated honors courses are offered in a variety of General Education categories, including
    • GE 4: United States History and Society;
    • GE 6: Contrasting Cultures;
    • GE 8: The Arts;
    • GE 11: Prejudice and Discrimination; and
    • GE 12: Science, Technology, Values and Society.

View General Education Program 

In addition, a few majors now offer honors sections of their courses. Some of the courses offered through the General Education program and in the majors are unique to the Honors Program, and others are special honors sections of courses offered to the general student population.

  • Contract courses are regular courses that students take for honors credit. The student establishes a contract with the faculty member teaching the course that spells out the additional work the student will do for honors credit. Contract courses may be taken in the major or outside of the major, but no more than two contract courses may be counted towards the 24 credit hours needed to complete the Honors Program. Guidelines for taking contract courses are available in the Honors Program office.
  • Writing Intensive (WRIT) courses are specially designated courses that emphasize the development of writing skills. All students at Cortland must complete two WRIT courses in order to graduate. Honors Program students may count an additional two WRIT courses (but no more than two) towards the 24 hours needed to complete the Honors Program.
  • The honors thesis is a requirement for completing the Honors Program. Guidelines for completing the thesis are available in the Honors Program office. Students must complete the thesis for credit by taking an independent study in their major or a course in their major in which the thesis can be completed as a course assignment. For example, many majors offer senior research seminars to their students. These seminars make excellent vehicles for completing the honors thesis.


Total Credit Hours Required for the Program: 24