Honors Program

Thank you for your interest in the Sam Draper Honors Program!

On this page, you will find a description of how to apply to the Sam Draper Honors Program at Rockland Community College, followed by information about the content and structure of the program.

Honors Program Info Session

Monday, April 8, 2024, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Ellipse (Technology Center, Room 8180)

Meet the Honors faculty, mentors, and alumni. Discuss your academic future and find out if RCC’s nationally acclaimed Honors Program is right for you!

New Students

As a student new to RCC, your first step will be to complete the RCC Admissions application. When applying, please indicate that you are interested in the Honors program. You will be provided with a checklist of items on your application status portal that you will need to submit to complete your application to the Honors program, which includes the following:

  • A 500-word essay is required; please answer the following question: At various times in our lives, we encounter difficulties that impact us in a variety of ways. Please describe an obstacle or challenge that you have faced, how you handled it, and what you learned from it.
  • You must obtain two letters of recommendation – one from a professor and one from your guidance counselor.
  • High School transcript

Once all items are received and reviewed, you will be sent an email to set up an interview for the program.

Current Students

If you are a current RCC student, you will need one letter of recommendation from an RCC professor, and your high school transcript is not required.

All Applicants

Please send all necessary supporting documents via email to [email protected].

Work one-on-one with our most distinguished faculty members

At RCC, our nationally recognized Sam Draper Honors Program offers students the challenges and rewards of deeper discourse and a personalized mentoring relationship with their professors. Enrolling in the Honors Program enables you to save as much as $100,000 on the cost of your bachelor’s degree without sacrificing the quality of your education. More than 3,000 students have graduated from the Sam Draper Honors Program since its founding in 1977.

Transfer to top colleges

Students who complete the Honors Program with an academic average of 3.5 or higher have a very high transfer rate with full junior standing to virtually any four-year college or university they choose. Ivy League and Tier One college recruiters seek out RCC honors students for transfer because of the program’s reputation for producing students with proven abilities.

A sample of colleges and universities that have accepted RCC Honors graduates includes Ivy League colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, and the University of Pennsylvania, along with Tier One colleges such as Duke, Wesleyan, and Stanford, as well as Georgetown, NYU, Sarah Lawrence, Smith, SUNY and CUNY campuses, University of Michigan, and many more.

Opportunity to Study Abroad

One of the most exciting opportunities is the two-week Cambridge University summer program which offers the unique experience of studying at one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Your Personalized Mentor

Honors classes are kept small, about 20 to 24 students, and interactive, with lively discussions and group projects. The Honors Program is available to students of all academic programs. However, due to the limited number of general education courses within some programs and the number of transfer credits a student receives, it is possible that a student may not be eligible for full Honors designation. (See Graduating with Honors below.) Your honors status will be reflected in your transcript and diploma.

Honors students are paired with experienced faculty mentors, chosen according to their individual interests and talents. Your mentor will:

  • Help arrange your learning schedule.
  • Guide your progress and growth.
  • Help you discover your outstanding potential.
  • Guide you in choosing a field of concentration.
  • Assist you in transferring to a four-year college or university that offers the fullest range of opportunity in your chosen field.

Requirements for the Honors Program

Several factors influence acceptance in the Honors Program:

  • Required essay
  • SAT scores (helpful but not mandatory)
  • High School GPA of at least 3.5 (87)
  • Regents Course Loads
  • Personal interview
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Special talents, strong intelligence, educational acumen, and even extenuating circumstances may all influence your admission.

Students already enrolled in RCC, or transferring in, with a GPA of 3.5 or above in their first or second semester, are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program.

Can high school seniors attend?

The Honors Program is open to high school seniors who wish to complete their senior year of high school by registering as full-time Early Admit students at RCC and taking credit courses on campus. Students must start the application process with their high school guidance counselor. (Home-schooled students should contact Admissions.) Once accepted as Early Admit, students may qualify for the Honors Program if they meet other criteria.

Graduating with Honors

Upon graduation, students in the Honors Program can earn the following Honors designations:

Students who take 8 Honors courses, meet all Honors requirements, and

  • earn a cumulative GPA of between 3.90 and 4.00 will earn Highest Honors designation
  • earn a cumulative GPA of between 3.70 and 3.89 will earn High Honors designation
  • earn a cumulative GPA of between 3.50 and 3.69 will earn Honors designation

Students who take at least 2 Honors courses and

  • earn a cumulative GPA of 3.2+, they will earn Honors Participant designation

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