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                      Admission to the Honors College at

                            Southern Oregon University

        Applications for Admission to the Honors College for Fall 2020 can still be submitted through March 15, but funds are limited and applicants may be placed on a wait list. The majority of scholarships were distributed to students who applied prior to the priority deadline of December 1.  


  • Students who are in their senior year of high school or who have already graduated but have not yet progressed beyond their sophomore year of college are welcome to apply. 

  • In addition to meeting the requirements for admission to SOU, students should also meet the following criteria in order to receive priority consideration for admission to the Honors College.

  • Admissions decisions will be based on a holistic review of each student’s application. Students with a combination of strong academics, leadership experience, cocurricular activities and civic engagement are encouraged to apply. We are looking for students who are eager to challenge themselves, are intellectually curious, academically committed, have demonstrated leadership skills, and who have a strong commitment to service. 


Unweighted G.P.A. 3.5 or higher is a guideline for successful applicants. Students with less than a 3.5 G.P.A. are welcome to apply, particularly those who can demonstrate their academic strengths in other ways (e.g. essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.), along with demonstrated experience with service, leadership, and/or various forms of civic engagement. 

To Apply: 

Please apply to SOU for admission to the university. In addition, please complete an online application for the Honors College. This online application form contains instructions for submitting an essay that is also described below. Two letters of recommendation and transcripts are also required. 

  1. Apply for admission to SOU 
  2. Please complete the online application form. Online Application Form Click Here
  3. Please submit an essay with your online application

This essay should exhibit logic and critical thought, and should not exceed 1,000 words. Please respond to one of the following three topics. Please feel free to include personal experiences and observations as evidence. Essays should be free of grammatical and spelling errors, and have a clear thesis which is supported by examples and evidence. Applicants will have the choice of uploading a PDF, 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 and saved in a separate document before beginning the form. Any style format is acceptable, including MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, or APA formats. Citations are required for any 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 from the experience 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?

4. Two letters of recommendation are required.

Letters of recommendation should contain the “SOU Honors College Letters of Recommendation Form" provided below along with the letter of recommendation. Letters of Recommendation Form Click Here 

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.). 

Please ask the letter writers to submit both directly to SOU Honors College. 

Honors College
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.    
Ashland, OR 97520

5. If you have not yet applied for admission to SOU, please do so. We will access your academic transcripts from your SOU application. It is important to apply first to be admitted to SOU, followed by an application to be admitted to the Honors College at SOU.

6. Applicants must also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) AND the Southern Online Scholarship Application (SOSA) if eligible to apply in order to be eligible for coverage of tuition. Exceptions are made international students who are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid. See aid for more information. 

While not required, applicants who have a creative work, personal statement, or other supplemental material that will assist the admissions committee in making a full and fair evaluation of the applicant's qualifications, particularly pertaining to academic aptitude, leadership experience, civic engagement, or other relevant experience, please contact the Honors College directly for instructions to submit one or two additional items to an application file.  


The priority deadline for admissions is Dec. 1 for scholarship allocation and early decisions on admission to the Honors College. Applicaitons received after Dec. 1 may be placed on a wait list depending on available funds. March 1 is the last date to submit applications for fall. The earlier the application the more likely funding and admission will be offered. 


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 an as-needed basis and will continue until 25 students have submitted signed “Certificates of Intent.”  A waitlist of qualified applicants will be developed out of those who were not chosen in the initial 25.

For more information:

Call 541-552-6400 or e-mail