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Scholarships available

Every student who meets the admission criteria for the Columbia College Honors Program will also qualify for automatic merit-based scholarships.

Find out more about available scholarships using our Scholarship Finder

In addition, all qualifying students also meet the criteria to compete for full-ride and full-tuition scholarships at our annual Scholarship Day competitions.

Honors Program

What is the Honors Program at Columbia College?

The Columbia College Honors program is an elite program allowing students to respond to the significant challenges confronting the next generation of scholars, via multidisciplinary and collaborative coursework.

The honors courses both within the General Education curriculum and beyond it are consistent with students' academic abilities, preparation and goals. The courses resonate with any academic major or minor and provide opportunities for students to discover their intellectual curiosities, to engage in community service, to develop critical thinking skills and to excel in oral and written expression.

Why join the Honors Program?

In addition to the inherent academic benefits that arise from taking classes with high-performing peers, members of the Honors Program also enjoy a number of additional benefits.

  • You will be able to register for classes before other students, allowing you the pick of the class schedules in each semester.
  • You will have the opportunity to live with other Honors Program students in a section of the residence halls designated as an Honors Program Living Learning Community.
  • You will also be able to take an unlimited number of credit hours each semester without incurring a course overload fee. In addition to potentially saving you money, this could also allow you to complete your degree more quickly.
  • If you plan to participate in a Study Abroad program, any academic credit earned will count toward the required hours for maintenance of your Columbia College scholarships.
  • Automatic membership in the Honors Student Association (HSA), a student club. HSA is an official partner with the Schiffman Ethics in Society Lecture Series, the college's most prestigious  public event. 

What do current Honors students enjoy about the program?

"I like the opportunity to do different things in class. We are making a documentary in history class rather than it being lecture based."

"Being able to go over 18 credit hours so I can take classes that interest me as well as the ones I need."

"Creating relationships with others who value their education as much as I do." 

"I love the student-led nature of it."

"Working with equally ambitious people."

Are you Honors Program material?

The Honors Program is designed for high-achieving students who approach the liberal arts and sciences with excitement and an appetite for engagement. Honors students will conduct genuine inquiry and collaborative learning, often across disciplines, and will engage their worlds meaningfully.

Criteria for admission

To be considered for admission to the Columbia College Honors Program, you must meet the following criteria:

Freshmen students

  • 3.6 high school GPA
  • 26 ACT or 1200 SAT or 2800 GED

Transfer students

  • 30 transferrable credit hours with a 3.6 GPA
students in a classroom

How to apply to the Honors Program

  • Complete the application for admission
  • Send your official high school transcripts, college transcripts (if applicable) and ACT or SAT scores to the Office of the Registrar at 1001 Rogers St., Columbia, MO 65216.
  • Once admitted to Columbia College, you will be sent an application for admission to the Honors Program. It will ask you to write a short essay and, on receipt of your essay, we will notify you about your admission to the program within ten days.


For more information about the Honors Program at Columbia College, please contact the admissions office using the information listed below.

Office of Admissions
1001 Rogers St.
Columbia, MO 65216

Phone: (573) 875-7352

Honors Program Coursework

To graduate with honors, you must complete at least 18 academic hours in the Honors Program. A one semester hour community service project for Honors 310 must be completed prior to graduation.

Required coursework: 6 semester hours

  • COLL 133H: General Education Foundations Seminar 3 hours
  • HNRS 310: Honors Service  1 hour
  • PHIL 330H: Ethics (special section for Honors students)  3 hours

Elective coursework: 12 semester hours

  • Honors General Education: 0-6 hours
  • HNRS 340 Schiffman Lecture  3 hours 
  • Honors Topics: 0-6 hours
  • Study Abroad: 1-3 hours
  • Guided Research, including Bachelor's with Distinction: 3-6 hours

Bachelor’s degree with Distinction

If you choose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree with Distinction, you can receive academic credit for successful completion of your Distinction project.


Apply now