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Admission to the Honors College at Southern Oregon University

The Honors College at SOU has “rolling admissions” meaning you may apply and be admitted anytime throughout the year. We will review and process applications on a first come first served basis. High school seniors and graduates are welcome to apply. Transfer students who have not progressed beyond their sophomore year of college are also eligible for consideration. To be considered for admission to the SOU Honors College applicants must have already been admitted or in the process of being admitted to SOU and meet these minimum requirements.  

  • A cumulative GPA (high school and/or college) of 3.75 or higher, on an un-weighted scale. Students with lower GPAs may apply, but priority consideration will be given to students with a 3.75 GPA or higher. 
  • SAT Scores-
  • If you took the test prior to March 2016 your combined Critical Reading and Math should be 1130 or better, with neither section below a 500
  • If you took the test after March 2016 your combined Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math should be 1200 or better
  • ACT Scores-
  • 27 overall ACT score with scores of at least 22 on both the math and reading sections.
  • SAT/ACT scores should be sent to the SOU Admissions Department. 
  • If taken multiple times, a student’s best score will be the one considered.

The complete application includes:

  • A fully completed and submitted application form (accessible from this webpage).
  • Two letters of recommendation attached to completed “SOU Honors College Letters of Recommendation Form", sent directly from the reference, not the applicant. At least one letter of recommendation must be from a recent instructor, who can assess an applicant’s academic ability. The other letter may be from anyone who knows the applicant well enough to attest to character, and the student’s civic engagement activities (volunteerism, faith-based activities, Scouting, athletics, arts events, etc.).
    Letters of Recommendation Form
  • Academic Transcripts (unofficial are adequate for initial consideration, but must be e-mailed to or mailed to Honors College, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520). Official transcripts sent from the school must be sent directly to the Honors College before a letter of acceptance can be sent, if accepted. Transcripts sent to SOU Admissions and Enrollment Services will not satisfy this requirement; they must be sent separately to the Honors College.
  • A carefully developed short essay (750-1000 words), which exhibits logic and critical thought, and which responds to one of the following three topics. Essays that fall outside the word-count criterion will not be considered. Essays can be submitted via the application form and should be free of grammatical and spelling errors, as well as have a clear thesis which is supported by examples and evidence. Applicants will have the choice of uploading a PDF or Word file, or pasting the essay text into a form field. The topics are repeated in the application form, but applicants should have their essays completed before beginning the form. Please follow either the Chicago Manual of Style or APA formats. Citations are required for material used from external sources.

Essay Topic 1

Why do you want to be an Honors College Scholar at Southern Oregon University? What do you hope to gain and what do you hope to contribute?

Essay Topic 2

It is the opinion of some people that leaders are born and that leadership cannot be taught. Citing one or more examples of leadership explain why you agree or disagree with this opinion.

Essay Topic 3

How do you define success? At what point will you consider yourself successful and what is the role of education in making you a successful person? If you could design your own educational path to success, what would be its structure and key elements?

Apply Online

The above-mentioned GPA and standardized-test-score requirements are "target criteria." While priority consideration will be given students who meet or exceed the criteria, the Honors College Admissions Committee takes into consideration the "totality" of each student, with emphasis on academics and civic engagement. SOU wants Honors College Scholars who will be leaders in the classroom and in all aspects of campus and community life.

After being accepted to the Honors College, applicants must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) AND the Southern Online Scholarship Application (SOSA) to be eligible for coverage of tuition. See for more information.

Acceptance to the Honors College at Southern Oregon University is extremely competitive and ranks among the top Honors Colleges in the National Collegiate Honors Council.  Invitations to selected applicants for thirty-minute interviews with members of the Honors College Admissions Committee will be held on a monthly basis and will continue until 25 students have submitted signed “Certificates of Intent.”  Priority consideration for interviews will be given to students who graduate from the Lane Community College Honors Program.  Applicants will not be notified unless they are selected for an interview.  A waitlist will be developed of qualified applicants who were not chosen in the initial 25.  The top five students on the waitlist will be notified of their waitlist status.

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