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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Lower Division Honors Program Freshmen & Sophomores

The Lower Division Honors Program provides first- and second-year students with value-added educational experiences that engage students in unique challenges. Academic components of the program strengthen exploration and communication skills through interdisciplinary assignments and discussion.

All freshmen who are admitted to the lower division program are awarded merit-based academic scholarships. These are most often awarded as SUNY-ESF Presidential Scholarships or National Scholarships and require meeting performance targets for continuation.


Admission to the program is extremely selective and primary consideration is given to a student’s academic record with a minimum expectation of combined reading and mathematics SAT score of 1250 or higher, or an ACT equivalent composite score of 28 or higher, a high school grade point average of 92% or higher, and high school class rank in the top 20% (where rankings are available). Please note that these are minimum requirements and that the typical student admitted to Honors exceeds these requirements. The College strives to admit no more than 30 first-year students to the program each year.

Program Requirements

Students in the lower division honors program complete the following components during the first (freshman) year:

  • An honors section of Student-to-Student Mentoring. This program links new first-year students to returning ESF students and helps the new students adapt to the ESF community through informal interactions and sharing of best tips for academic and personal success.
  • Honors Seminar in Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF 109, 1 credit)

Academic Standing

Honors students will be deemed “in good standing in honors” when they demonstrate steady progress in fulfilling Honors requirements and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Each semester, the Honors Program Director will assess students’ progress and students who are not in good standing in Honors will be informed in writing. Students must be in good standing in Honors to be eligible for early registration and access to honors sections of courses.