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Application Process

First-Year Students:

Level I: Selection of first-year students

The Honors Program admits about 68 first-year students each fall.

There are two general paths into the University Honors Program as a first-year student:

  1. By invitation: Students who are offered a Presidential or Provost Scholarship, as well as Johnson Scholar Semi-Finalists, are automatically invited to join the University Honors Program.
  2. By application: High-school seniors interested in admission to the University Honors Program should submit a Level 1 Application Form. Applications due by 11:59pm May 1, 2022. Applications received by Friday April 1, 2022 will receive a response before May 1, 2022. All other applicants will hear back by mid-May. You will be asked to answer the following two short essay questions:
    1. Tell us something about yourself that we cannot learn from your college application. (500-600 words)
    2. What interests you about the University Honors Program? (250-300 words)

Current SCU Students:

Level II:  Admission of current Santa Clara University students

Enrolled students not already in the UHP may apply for Level II in the spring of their first year at Santa Clara. Normally, the minimum grade point for admission is 3.75 in courses taken at Santa Clara. Although preference for admission at level II is given to rising sophomores, on occasion rising juniors may be accepted, space permitting.  

Application procedure for Level II:

  • Submit a completed application.
  • Please request two letters of recommendation from faculty who have taught you at SCU. At least one must be from a CTW or C&I instructor or a faculty member who has familiarity with your writing capabilities. Letters should be emailed to
  • Applications are due by 11:59pm Monday, April 25, 2022. Accepted students will be notified by end of spring term. Waitlisted students remain on waitlist until fall term begins. 

Transfer Students:

Transfer: Admission of students who transfer to Santa Clara University

Transfer students should contact the Honors Program upon admission to SCU and will be considered for admission on a case by case basis.

Recommendations for letter of recommendations: 

  • Consistency, quality, and depth of contribution in the classroom
  • Quality of writing
  • Collaborative spirit with class engagement
  • Overall assessment of suitability for the honors program