Since 1985, The Columbia College Honors Program has provided an enriched academic experience to outstanding students committed to excellence. 

Honors Overview 

The Columbia College honors program requires students to maintain uncompromising academic standards, interdisciplinary knowledge, and a willingness to engage in intellectual risk. Honors students will continue to challenge their academic limits, working to reach their highest potential as scholars, individual thinkers, and leaders.

Course Requirements

Honors students are required to take twenty-four (24) semester hours of honors courses in order to graduate. These hours include a senior seminar and honors project.

Honors Project

The honors project is an opportunity for individualized, independent learning on a topic of your choosing. This is your chance to explore a topic you are passionate about while receiving guided academic assistance.


Incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate students who meet our grade point average (GPA) criteria may be eligible for academic scholarships. Eligible Honors students will receive an additional $1,000 on top of the scholarship level they're originally eligible for. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Interested to find out more information about the Honors Program? To get you started, here's a quick look at our most frequently requested information.

How Do I Join Honors?

1. Applying to Honors

Once you have applied for admissions, you may apply for the Honors Program. To apply, fill out the application and submit via email to the Director of Honors, Dr. John Zubizarreta.

You may also fax your application to 803.786.3315, or mail it to:

Columbia College
Attn: Admissions
1301 Columbia College Drive

Admissions Requirements for Honors

The typical honors student has a combined SAT score of over 1200 (verbal and math), is in the top 10% of their class, and has a GPA above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. Having taken honors classes in high school, including AP or IB classes, may improve you chances of being accepted.

Due to the competitive nature of our honors program, early application is recommended. If you are not accepted in your first semester, you may reapply the following spring.

Application Essay

The honors program essay is the most vital piece of your application. The ability to write clearly and effectively is a characteristic of successful honors students and will weigh heavily in your favor. 

2. Maintain your Honors

As a student in the honors program, you will be required to maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA. If for any reason you drop below this standard you'll be placed on one semester of academic probation. If you cannot met the requirements after your probationary semester, you will be effectively withdrawn from the honors program.

3. Graduate with Honors

Students who have met and maintained the honors standard and required courses are eligible for graduation with honors.

If you have questions about the honors program, contact us at 803.786.3589 or by email at