The Towson University Honors College provides students the opportunity to think big ideas, pursue deep inquiry, and discover how innovation leads to achievement through a challenging curriculum which meets the unique academic needs and interests of Honors students. Honors students explore their interests and cultivate their talents through a distinct blend of academic and co-curricular activities supported by a community of motivated students and faculty. Honors students have the opportunity to live and learn in a residential environment while pursuing internship, leadership, research, and service opportunities, and they strive to make the world a better place.
Students are encouraged to complete Honors work that includes co-curricular activities such as leadership workshops, service-learning experiences, and civic engagement. Honors students participate in a flexible curriculum.
An engaged community of scholars is a defining characteristic of the Honors experience. We emphasize leadership development, social and civic engagement activities, and programs that build meaningful relationships in and out of the classroom.
All incoming students who choose to live on campus are placed in the Honors Community, the residential learning community in Douglass House created in partnership with the Department of Housing & Residence Life.
Honors College faculty work closely with students to design and to complete their Honors curriculum. Freshmen work with designated First Year Experience advisers with Honors expertise in colleges and departments who help students make curriculum decisions that address their interests and needs, and beginning sophomore year students work with Honors advisers housed within the Honors College in addition to their major advisors. Honors advisers can also provide advice on career preparation, personal and leadership development, and undergraduate research opportunities.
Continuing students in the Honors College receive priority course registration, thus avoiding many scheduling conflicts. Honors priority registration occurs before the ordinary registration period for continuing students, so even Honors freshmen register for courses before most TU seniors who are not in the Honors College.
Most incoming fall freshmen and transfer students will receive an Honors College Scholarship in the amount of $1,250. The Honors College Scholarship is usually offered in addition to any other scholarships a student may have been awarded by Towson University, and it is an annual award which may only be applied towards educational expenses for full-time fall and spring term undergraduate enrollment at TU. Scholarships may be received for a maximum of eight consecutive terms if entering as a freshman, or up to seven consecutive terms if entering as a transfer student, based on number of completed college credits at the time of entry.
In addition, Honors students are eligible for other Honors-only financial support such as the Honorables of Color Scholarship for students who support marginalized communities and the Honors College Study Abroad Award to pursue study abroad experiences.
TU and the Honors College are test-optional through fall 2023, meaning test scores are not required. Please review the University Admission FAQs for details on the application process.
Applicants who apply without SAT or ACT exam scores will not be at a competitive disadvantage to students who submit test scores. We welcome and encourage all applicants! For fall 2022 the difference in admission to the Honors College between applicants who applied with test scores and those who applied without was 5.8 percentage points, in favor of those who applied with test scores.
All applicants to the Honors College must submit the following:
All applicants to TU submit the following material, which are also used in Honors decisions:
Applicants to the Honors College have the option to submit the following for consideration:
The Honors College application's prompts for the essay and letter of recommendation for spring and fall 2023 admission are listed below.
Please attach a 500-750 word essay that answers one of the questions listed below:
Current evidence indicates that rising sea levels, combined in some cases with sinking land, will produce chronic inundation in increasing numbers of both urban and rural sites during coming decades and damage fresh water sources. Maryland is one of the states in the US projected to be among the most affected. Some urban areas will have very high economic value and substantial resources to support a response. Other areas, especially those more rural, may have few resources and historically disadvantaged populations. How should Maryland respond to rising seas and chronic inundation? Should people and property receive support for such a response, and if so, who should receive it and how will it be funded?
In Elan Mastai’s 2017 novel All Our Wrong Todays, the scientist Lionel Goettreider postulates the theory of the “Accident”: “[W]hen you invent a new technology, you also invent the accident of that technology. When you invent the car, you invent the car accident. When you invent the plane, you also invent the plane crash. When you invent nuclear fission, you also invent the nuclear meltdown.” Goettreider then argues that an inventor cannot turn on or use a new invention until they identify its accident and figure out how to prevent it.
Identify one emerging or speculative technology of your choice. What is the accident of that technology? Can there be multiple accidents, some direct and some incidental? Is it the responsibility of the technology’s inventors, designers, and promoters to consider the accident of that technology and develop a means of prevention?
Over a decade ago, 40 of America's wealthiest individuals signed the Giving Pledge, and made a commitment to give away most of their fortunes to various charities throughout the remainder of their lifetime or upon death. Over 200 billionaires from around the world have followed suit and committed most of their fortunes to philanthropies from research and education to environmental causes. Do the extremely wealthy have a social responsibility to share much of their wealth? What social issues or ethical questions arise if great wealth is handed on to family heirs across multiple generations? Assuming an individual acquired a great fortune legally, what ethical questions are involved in the question of how those resources are ultimately distributed?
Letter of Recommendation Prompt (optional)
Students may have an optional letter of recommendation from a teacher in a major subject area included in their Honors consideration. For some students, letters of recommendation can help us better understand what drives you, explain circumstances which have had a distinct effect on your studies, or otherwise provide a fuller picture of the applicant. Should you choose to request a letter, your letter writer is encouraged to consider the following questions:
Your letter may be uploaded through the TU application, sent to TU via Naviance, or your recommender may send it directly to admissions AT_TOWSON.