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Application Process

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All new students must complete the Honors Program application in addition to the regular admissions requirements for Clarkson University. The deadline for submitting your application materials to the Honors Program is February 1. A complete Honors Program application should include the following:

  • Honors Program application form online or hard copy
  • Essay by email attachment or hardcopy
  • Résumé by email attachment or hardcopy

Application Form

 You can either complete the online application or download the Honors Program Application [PDF].  Please provide the information requested and let us know why you want to join the Honors Program (max. 250 words) and how you will contribute to the Honors Program (max. 250 words). 

Please make sure to sign your name to certify your work for electronic submission. 


You must write an essay in addition to completing the application form and submit to  Write an essay of 500-1,000 words on one of the following three topics:

Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologists, has suggested that "science is the poetry of reality."  Write an essay that elaborates on this idea based on your knowledge and personal experience in any of the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

There is increasing debate in the media about the value of higher education, both to society as a whole and to individual students.  What do you think?  In particular, why should society invest in your education and what do you hope to get out of it?

Compare and contrast two examples of leadership that you have personally experienced.  Consider the situation and the leader(s) involved.  What factors do you think best explain the different outcomes and how does this influence you understanding of effective leadership?


Please submit to a one-page résumé summarizing your relevant achievements to date.  Be sure to include the following sections: heading with personal information (including your contact information-mailing address, email address, and a phone number where you can be reached), education, honors and awards, co-curricular activities (school activities), extra-curricular activities (outside of school), work and volunteer experience, and other activities (e.g. hobbies, interests and travel).  A sample is provided for your reference.


Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and candidates will be selected for an interview. Interviews are held on campus on Friday afternoons of February 19, March 4, March 25 and April 1.  While an in-person visit is preferred, it is also possible to do interviews via Skype or by phone on these dates if you cannot make it to Clarkson.  

Interviews may be combined with overnight stays and some additional activities in the Honors Program. such as tours, an informal dinner, and a student organized activity.  On Saturday morning there will be a breakfast for families, additional tours, and opportunities for informal meetings with staff and Ambassadors.  There will be no overnight hosting by Honors for April 1.       

Interviews themselves last about 20-30 minutes and are conducted by one faculty/staff member and one student.

In the interview we will cover the following topics with you:

  • Your recent high school experience
  • How you have learned from a personal experience or challenge you have faced
  • Your personal qualities and values
  • Your interests and activities
  • Your future plans and goals
  • Your passions and mission
  • Lateral thinking skills
  • Your reasons for joining the Honors Program

For us, the goal of the interview is to learn as much about you as we can. If there are things that you would like us to know that are not covered by these questions, please feel free to bring them up. You will also have a chance to ask your own questions, of course.


The deadline for applications is February 1. In some exceptional cases, the Honors Program may invite students to apply later than this date.  Please submit the writing sample/essay and résumé to  If you are sending it through the mail, please see below for the mailing address.

Honors Program
Clarkson University
8 Clarkson Avenue, Box 5755
Potsdam, NY 13699-5755 

If you have any questions, please contact the Honors Program office.

Phone: 315-268-2290/2320; Fax: 315-268-2344; Email:

Equal Opportunity Policy
Clarkson University does not discriminate on the bases of race, gender, color, creed, religion, nation origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status in provision of educational opportunity or employment opportunities.