Admission to Honors

Student seated at table, listening to professor while taking notes

Honors College Admissions Decisions

The application period for all domestic applicants to the Honors College for the spring and fall 2019 academic terms is closed. Applications for incoming and enrolled TU students for the spring and fall 2020 terms will open on or around August 1, 2019. International applicants should visit our international admissions page for more information on application options.

Decision letters for fall 2019 Honors admission have been sent out by mail and should arrive by the middle of the third week of February. All applicants to the Honors College will receive a decision letter.

Application Information

The Honors College application's prompts for the essay, resume, and letter of recommendation for spring and fall 2019 admission were as follows:

essay prompts

Please attach a 500-750 word essay that answers one of the questions listed below:

  1. Pick a genre of music. Two hundred years from now, who will historians identify as the most significant musician/group from that genre from the 1900s? Explain how you determine significance.
  2. Technology and digitalization play an important role in our lives. However, for the past two years printed book sales have increased and vinyl record sales are the highest they’ve been in 25 years. Explain this consumer change and its significance (if any), and predict what future sales might look like.
  3. At the end of the Harry Potter series we are presented with two endings regarding the Elder Wand. In the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Harry breaks the wand in half and throws it away. In the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Harry plans to hide the wand in hopes that “its power will be broken” upon his eventual, natural death. Evaluate, compare, and contrast the merits and drawbacks of each choice. If you think that one choice is preferable to the other, please explain why.
  4. A plaque in the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty contains these words from “The New Colossus,” a poem by Emma Lazarus:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breath free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    These words have often been taken as representing a positive American ideal in relation to immigration. What is idealistic about the poem? What might be seen as creating tensions with that ideal in the depiction of immigrants? How do you see these currents playing out, either in American history or in the contemporary United States?

Resume prompt

Please attach a 2-3 page resume that includes (but is not limited to) the following information:

  1. A 50-100 word response to the question: “Which aspects of the Honors College’s curriculum or undergraduate experience makes you think it’s the right place for you? In other words, why TU Honors?”
  2. Relevant information in the following categories, if applicable:
    1. Awards (academic and extra-curricular)
    2. Academic and non-academic club memberships, including leadership positions held
    3. Examples of community service and civic engagement, including leadership positions held
    4. Activities that enhance global awareness (such as international travel, participation in a multicultural organization, coursework with an international focus, or other activities that promote a global perspective)
    5. Employment
    6. Challenging coursework you’ve undertaken, and why you did so
    7. Anything else you’d like the application reviewers to know
      Feel free to use your own resume format or visit to view some ideas. Note when you received the awards listed or the amount of time in which you participated in the activities. The Honors College is interested in those activities that were most meaningful to you. In other words, the length of the lists in each category is less important than the experiences themselves.

Tips and Sample Documents:


Letter of Recommendation Prompt (optional)

A letter of recommendation is optional, but strongly encouraged. The letter must be from a teacher of a major subject area and should address the following questions:

  1. Does the student show curiosity in reaching beyond what is immediately required or expected?
  2. Does the student contribute constructively in groups? Can you provide an example?
  3. Would you look forward to having this student in class again? Why or why not?
  4. If you could suggest an improvement in this student's approach to his or her own education, what would it be?

If you choose to have a letter of recommendation written by someone who is not a major subject instructor, you must explain to us in writing why you have asked that person to write you a letter. Send your explanation, along with your name and the name of your recommender, to .

Letter of recommendation requests are sent using the information provided in the Letter of Recommendation section of the Towson University application. You must click "Submit Recommendation Request" on that page to generate the recommendation request email.

If the recommendation request is not received by the intended recommender, letters may also be submitted by email to or by mail to:

Honors College
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252


Letters of recommendation must include your full name, be unopened, and be sent directly from the high school (or other institution if transferring).

Benefits of Joining the Honors College

The Towson University Honors College provides a challenging curriculum to meet the unique academic needs and interests of Honors students. We provide:

  • Exceptional faculty mentors and advisers
  • Social and cultural activities
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Professional development

There are many reasons to join the University Honors College. Just over 4% of the TU undergraduate student body belongs to the Honors College and enjoys the following benefits:

Innovative Curriculum and Small Classes

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.

  • Classroom experiences: Discussion-based seminars give students an opportunity to work closely with the Honors College faculty in small classroom settings.
  • Experiential learning: Students work with faculty within specific academic departments on research projects, thesis writing, service-learning, independent study, and internships.

Engaged Community and Residential Honors

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.

Honors College housing is located in the Frederick Douglass House, one of Towson University's residence halls in West Village.

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. Living in Douglass House has several advantages, including:

  • A supportive student community
  • Classes and programs held in the residence hall
  • An atmosphere conducive to study

Specialized Advising

Honors College faculty work closely with students to design and to complete their Honors curriculum. There are also designated Honors College advisers — FYE (First Year Experience) Advisers — in colleges and departments who help students make curriculum decisions that address their interests and needs. Honors advisers can also provide advice on:

  • Career preparation
  • Personal development
  • Leadership development
  • Undergraduate research opportunities

Honors advising is available in Stephens Hall and during select office hours in Douglass House.

The Honors College also provides comprehensive advising and preparatory resources for all TU students who wish to apply for prestigious nationally competitive fellowship and scholarship programs, such as the Rhodes, Goldwater, or Truman scholarships. Advising appointments may be scheduled by emailing or by calling 410-704-4677.

Priority Registration

Continuing students in the Honors College are 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.

Funding Opportunities

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 Cynthia R. Kalodner Honors College Service Learning Scholarship for service-learning activities and the Honors College Study Abroad Award to support study abroad experiences.

Distinct spaces

The Honors College maintains two rooms in Stephens Hall - ST300 and ST306 - used solely for Honors classes and also available for programs and student groups. In addition, the Honors Computer Lab and Lounge in ST304 provides space for study and relaxation with eight computers and a print station, a conference table, couches, and a refrigerator and microwave for use by Honors students.

Douglass House also includes multiple distinct academic and co-curricular spaces. Several classes are held in the Douglass House Multipurpose Room each term, and the residence hall also houses The Book Exchange, a student-run lending library in the anteroom of the Honors advising suite in DO135.

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