Skip to content
SUNY GCC - Genesee Community College

The Genesee Community College Honors Program is designed to encourage academic work of depth, originality, and quality by students demonstrating superior potential. The focus of the program is an academic experience that will be challenging and encourage independent, creative, and interdisciplinary study by selected students.

Students successfully participating in the program will have their Honors work recognized on official transcripts and at graduation. Additionally, the opportunity to work with highly motivated faculty and students are benefits of participating in this program. The program is open to full and part time students studying at any of the Genesee Campus Centers.

The Honors Program is an academic program which requires students to complete certain honors criteria. Honor Societies, such as PTK, are social organizations which recognize academic merit. Students are encouraged to participate in both Honor Societies and the Honors Program.

Admission to the Honors Program


Candidates must be matriculated students who demonstrate evidence of exemplary academic achievement such as: a high school average of 85 or higher, or completion of 12 hours of study at an accredited institution of higher education with a GPA of 3.25, and/or approval of the Honors Committee. Although GPA is strongly considered in admitting students to the program, it is not the only consideration.  Those students with ability and a keen interest in academics are also encouraged to apply.

Honors Program applications will be accepted from August 1 – September 30th for admittance for Fall Semesters and January 1st – February 28/29th for Spring.  A complete application and required materials must be submitted to the Honors Committee.

Once accepted into the Honors Program, the students must maintain at least a 3.25 GPA. Extraordinary exceptions will be reviewed by the Honors Committee at the request of the student.

Applying to the Program

Candidates will complete the online Honors Program application which will automatically be submitted it to the Program Committee.  This online digital application will contain the following:


  1. A completed Honors Program Application.
  2. A written statement (100 – 200 words) explaining why the applicant should be considered for the program.  Applicants should consider sharing their motivation for applying to the program, i.e. a prior learning course or experience, an influential instructor, or a significant moment in life.
  3. Two academic references.

Admission to the Honors Program is selective and limited. The Honors Committee will review applications and may invite candidates to an informational interview with representatives of the Honors Committee. Candidates should be prepared to discuss their accomplishments, academic interests, and plans related to the Honors Program

The Honors Curriculum

To graduate with Honors recognition, students must complete a total of two Honors Contract Courses prior to graduation and the Honors Capstone Project during their final semester.

In addition to the academic requirements, Honors Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of service (Scholars Days of Service) prior to graduation. Students must obtain prior approval of the intended service experience(s) by the Honors Committee, prior to involvement.

Honors Contract Courses:

An Honors Contract Course includes a course where the student has completed a formal agreement with a faculty member to add an honors component to a class which is already being taken as part of the candidate’s program of study.  Honors Contract Courses are arranged with the faculty member, potentially allowing any GCC course to be converted into an Honors course.

These contract courses must be filed with the Honors Committee by the fourth week of classes.  The honors component is either an additional assignment or an extended assignment which adds depth, critical thinking and/or an interdisciplinary perspective to the course material.  At the end of the semester, the Honors Committee will confirm with the faculty member that the Honors student has completed the contract.  Upon successful completion of the contract, the registrar will change the student’s transcript so that the course includes an Honors Designation.

Students will not receive the honors credit for the course if the contract is not completed.  Students will still receive a grade for the course.  Students will be able to substitute another honors contract the following semester to complete the Honors Contract Course requirements.

Honors Capstone Project:

Honors students will work with a faculty member within one of their courses to complete the Honors Capstone Project.  This project will require students to complete an individualized project focusing on a specific theme or area of interest, with the faculty member facilitating discussion and an in-depth exploration of the subject.  The result will be the production of an original research, creative or service-learning project that will be shared through a publication or presentation orally presented to faculty after completion.

Scholars Days of Service:

Honors students will be required to complete a total of 15 hours of community service prior to graduation.  Some examples of community service may include becoming an officer in a school club, helping Student Activities with events throughout the semester, volunteering in a local community service program or project, etc.  If students have questions about what qualifies as community service, they should contact the Honors Committee. Students must obtain prior approval from the Honors Committee of their intended service and will be required to submit evidence of their completed hours at the end of each academic school year to the Honors Committee.  This evidence may include a signed acknowledgement from the person who oversaw the activity.

Program Completion

Successful completion of all Honors courses will be noted on official transcripts.

There is no penalty for not completing the program. Any honors coursework students have finished will still appear on the student’s transcript. Students, however, will not receive a cord at graduation and the student’s transcript will not display completion of the program.

To complete the full Honors Program, the candidate must accumulate a minimum 6 Honors Contract Course Credits, complete the required Scholars Day of Service hours, plus complete the Honors Program Capstone Project. To be credited towards the Honors Program courses must be graded at a minimum of a 3.25 GPA.

Perks & Opportunities for Honor Students

All Honors Students are eligible for the following benefits:

  1. Honors designation of Honors courses on official transcripts.
  2. Designation of completed Honors Program on official transcript.
  3. Recognition at college functions such as the Student Government Awards Banquet.
  4. Recognition at graduation ceremonies.
  5. Invitations to fun events so that you can meet and interact with other Honors Students.