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, October 23, 2023, 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!

With a notable history since 1977 and high transfer rates to Ivy League and Tier 1 universities, the RCC Honors program is a gateway to academic excellence. Honors students at RCC experience enhanced discourse, personalized faculty mentorship, significant bachelor’s degree savings, and embrace unique opportunities like studying abroad at Cambridge University.

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 then 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:

  • Essay
  • 2 letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors
  • 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 1 letter of recommendation from an RCC professor, and your high school transcript is not required.

All Applicants

All supporting materials should be emailed to [email protected]. Each application requires a 500-word essay in response to one of the following questions:

  1. The Sam Draper Honors Program at Rockland Community College offers a “high challenge, high support” environment in which you will pursue rigorous coursework that prepares you to transfer to a prestigious four-year institution. Why are you interested in becoming an Honors student at RCC?
  2. At various times in our lives we encounter difficulties that inhibit our academic growth. Please describe an obstacle that has hindered your academic progress.

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 your 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 rate of transferring 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 a proven ability.

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. You can choose your interest area in the Honors Program: Art; Liberal Arts: Humanities/Social Science; Science, Math or Business. Your honors status will be reflected on your transcript and diploma.

Honors students are paired with experienced faculty mentors, chosen according to your 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, even extenuating circumstances may all play a role in 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.