Application Process

All admitted first-year students (freshmen) who meet the minimum admissions criteria, as well as transfer students and current Chicago State students who meet the minimum admissions criteria, are invited to apply to the Honors College. We want to make sure that all entering students of extraordinary academic promise or an exceptional high school background with high academic motivations have the chance to participate in the Honors College. Students in all degree-granting majors and professional programs, as well as undeclared majors, are eligible to apply.

Students can apply to the Honors College by submitting the following items directly to the Honors College:

  • Copies of all high school transcripts OR all transfer and/or CSU transcripts (as applicable)
  • Evidence of school and/or community service
  • A 500 word essay/personal statement of interest
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals unrelated to you  
We are now accepting applications to the Honors College for the 2022-2023 cohort that will start in the Fall 2022 semester. The application deadlines for the 2022-2023 cohort are as follows:
Date Deadline
Dec 15, 2021 Priority Admission
July 1, 2022* Applications for all Freshmen, Transfer & Current Students in Fall 2022
*This deadline has been extended.
Applications received by the priority admission deadline will be reviewed with acceptance decisions sent out by the end of January 2022. Applications received prior to the other regular deadlines will be reviewed approximately once per month following the priority review up until the regular deadlines.


Admissions Criteria

All applicants to Chicago State's Honors College must meet the following minimum admissions criteria:

  • Be an admitted student of Chicago State University
  • Meet at least two of the following eligibility criteria for entering first-year students (freshmen):
    1. have a composite ACT score of 23 or higher,
    2. have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, 
    3. graduate in the top 10% of their high school class
  • Meet the following eligibility criteria for transfer or current students with at least 12 credit hours of college-level coursework:
    1. earn a minimum 3.35 cumulative GPA at CSU or an accredited transfer institution

Admission to the Honors College is based upon a complete review of all application materials, including high school or college transcripts, test scores, evidence of school and/or community service, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. In addition, applicants to the Honors College should also submit a complete financial aid application to the Chicago State Office of Financial Aid, including a completed FAFSA, in order to be considered for Honors College scholarship support.

Please note that the Honors College offers an enriched general education curriculum, designed for students to take primarily in their first and second years. Consequently, the Honors College strongly encourages students to apply if they have completed less than 60 credit hours of college-level coursework and still need to complete a significant portion of their general education requirements.

Honors College staff will notify students of their acceptance to the Honors College only after a full evaluation of all required application materials.  All admissions and financial aid decisions will be announced in writing and will be final. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Honors College Office at (773) 995-4446. 


Personal Statement and Letters of Recommendation

Personal Statement: As part of the Honors College application process, you must complete a personal statement comprised of no less than 500 words. You should explain any significant reason and/or personal experiences that prepared you for the Chicago State University Honors College. You can also include significant past accomplishments and important educational goals and career plans you would like to achieve. Your personal statement should also illustrate your writing and organizational skills as well as your estimation of your potential for intellectual and personal growth.


Letters of Recommendation: Your Honors College Application should include at least two (but no more than three) letters of recommendation from those unrelated individuals who can speak to your community involvement, intellectual abilities, and leadership potential. Letters should not come from friends or family members, but from teachers, mentors, or other leaders in the community who know you well.