Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Honors Institute?

The Philadelphia University Honors Institute at Thomas Jefferson University provides academically talented, driven and intellectually curious students substantive experiences in professional and multi-disciplinary tracks. Honors courses focus on perfecting writing, presentation and overall communication skills, while providing a student-centered experience that promotes experimentation and innovation in teaching, learning and scholarship.

For Incoming Students

Why Should I Join Honors?

Honors is an academic and social space created for high achieving undergraduate students who prefer an intellectual challenge amongst a community of like-minded peers with various interests. Students in Honors report deeper engagement in their studies where they learn to welcome and respectfully challenge ideas. They appreciate the vocal and lively class discussions that result from the interest and preparation of their Honors peers. Students recall meeting their best friends and roommates in the freshmen Honors residential community, and the experience they enjoyed on local and regional Honors trips.

What is the required GPA and SAT score for entrance into Honors?

Students are considered for Honors based on a comprehensive review process that takes multiple factors into consideration. While there is no specific minimum that guarantees admission to the program, the average scores of last year’s incoming Honors students was a 1360 SAT and a 4.0 GPA.

Can student athletes participate in Honors?

We encourage and welcome a diverse Honors class, including student athletes and other club and organization involvement. Honors programming is scheduled with an understanding that Jefferson students have many obligations. We are flexible so that you are able to meet your Honors requirements and your various commitments throughout the year.

Can Honors students study abroad?

Honors students are encouraged to study abroad, especially as a means of fulfilling their Global Awareness (Adapt) Cornerstone requirement. Students at Jefferson - East Falls Campus may study away and receive credit for courses that apply directly to their challenging, professional-oriented curricula. Opportunities are available for fall, spring and summer semesters, at locations around the world. There are study abroad programs that are best suited for specific majors and studio courses are often only available at specific programs. However, some of our study away programs will work for just about any major.  Ultimately, it depends on your academic plan. If you would like to learn more about your options, please click here.

Will I have time for other opportunities if I am an Honors student?

We encourage Honors students to be fully engaged on campus, broadening your horizons and serving as leaders to create a robust student experience for your time at Jefferson. Honors students accomplish participate in clubs, activities, organizations, Greek life etc. While you will be dedicated to your courses, you will find balance in participating in many extra-curricular activities. Your experience will be what you make it.

When will I learn if I am admitted to Philadelphia University Honors at Jefferson?

Students are notified of their acceptance into Honors at the same time they receive their admission to the University. Students who nominate themselves using the Honors application will receive decisions on a rolling basis.

Do we accept Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Jefferson accepts credits depending on your exam score. You can find further details about specific courses by visiting the Academic Catalog page found here.

Should I live in Honors housing?

We strongly encourage freshmen in the Honors program to live in the Honors Living Learning Community in Ronson Hall. Jefferson University understands that student learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. With shared communal and course experiences, you will have the opportunity to forge connections with your classmates that extend beyond your course schedule. Together you can explore ideas of interest and grow on an interpersonal level. Benefits of living in Honors housing also include the location on campus near the other freshmen dorms and dining hall, and access to the Honors lounge for studying, socializing and Honors programming.

If I am admitted to Philadelphia University Honors at Jefferson, what do I do next?

Once admitted to Philadelphia University Honors at Jefferson you should do the following:

  • File your FAFSA (use Thomas Jefferson University FAFSA code 013549)
  • Attend University and Honors events for accepted students
  • Finally, if you decide Jefferson is the university for you, then officially enroll in the academic college or school for your professional track, and your admission into Honors will be confirmed
  • As an Honors student you are strongly encouraged to live in Honors housing in Ronson Hall. You will receive an application from the Office of Residence Life during the first week of May, and we recommend that you complete the application as soon as possible.


For Returning Students

Is it possible to become an Honors student after the admissions cycle is over?

Students who were not originally accepted into the Honors program in their freshmen year may apply to be an Honors student at the end of their first year as rising sophomore students. Applications from continuing students will be reviewed by the Honors Selection Committee on an individual basis. 

What requirements must I maintain to stay in Honors?

Honors students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in order to keep their Honors status. If you do not maintain this after two semesters or you choose to opt out of Honors for any reason, your academic scholarship and other privileges associated with the program will no longer be available.

Will there be programming throughout my time as an Honors student?

While programming for freshmen Honors students is more frequent to help them acclimate to Honors, there are many programming and co-curricular opportunities offered to continuing Honor students. Some of these include research with professors, service trips, lecture series, and social events planned by the Honors Student Association.