The Dr. John Zubizarreta Honors Program pushes you to challenge your academic limits and reach your highest potential as a scholar and leader.

Interested in the program? Learn more about the Honors Program.

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 it via email to the Director of Honors, Dr. Marlee Marsh at

You mail also submit your application by mail: 
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Columbia College
1301 Columbia College
Columbia, SC 29203

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 your 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 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. 

Have more questions? Contact us at 803.786.3589 or by email at

Maintain & Graduate with Honors

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.

GPA Requirements 

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 If you cannot met the requirements after your probationary semester, you will be effectively withdrawn from the Honors Program.

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

Honors FAQS

I am a current student or transfer candidate. How do I apply for honors?

The Honors Program welcomes applications from current college students. Eligible candidates should have a current 3.4 cumulative GPA, complete a full application, and request two brief faculty recommendations that can be delivered by email. The evidence of college performance and faculty endorsements are prioritized over any previous high school record.

Can I transfer any previous honors courses to Columbia College from another honors program?

Students who transfer from another college honors program may receive selected credit for previous honors work.

Do high school AP/IB/Dual-Credit courses earn college honors credits?

Assuming required scores, credits earned from Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual-credit courses are counted by Columbia College toward graduation, but they do not earn honors hours toward completion of the program.


All Honors FAQs