FAQ Transfer Students

Frequently Asked Questions About Joining the Honors College for Transfer Students

The Honors College is a place where highly determined and inquisitive students work in conjunction to ask questions that allows them to engage with our world in meaningful ways. Transferring can be a daunting experience and this page serves as a resource for students who may have questions about the process and want to learn more about the Honors College to see if it is the right fit for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Honors College?

An enhanced opportunity for the most motivated students from all majors at Mason.

  • Curriculum: The Honors College offers an enhanced alternative general education curriculum comprised of small, highly interactive seminar-type classes.
  • Programming: The Honors College offers co-curricular programming to help students excel academically, connect socially, and pursue the things they care about most.
  • Support: You will receive additional support from an Honors College advisor, help navigating your transition, and extra help if you run into challenges along the way.

What distinguishes the Honors College curriculum?

We focus on inquiry-based, civic, and experiential learning.

  • Research: 100% of Honors College students begin conducting individual research their first semester. 44% conduct research with a faculty mentor before graduating.
  • Civic learning: All Honors College students take a civic learning course. Since 2019, 33 regional nonprofits have partnered with students in our classes.
  • Experiential learning: Students may participate in hands-on classes that develop professional skills. Honors College classes have hosted 53 distinct partner projects since 2019.

What is the value of the Honors College experience?

Learn with a community that inspires you to do your best.

  • At Mason: Excellent graduation rates. Before graduation, 80% of ours students are in RSOs, with over half in leadership roles; 63% participate in service work; 73% have internships.
  • In Grad School: Honors College grads attend the most prestigious graduate, law, and medical schools, from Harvard to Stanford and from UVA to University of California.
  • Top Careers; Honors College grads work in leadership positions in every industry and field - in law firms, health systesms, corporations, and the government.

Who is my Honors College advisor?  

Information about Honors College advising, including a list of advisors, can be found here.  

How can I connect with the Honors College and my peers?

Interested students can join any of the Honors College student organizations listed below. Information about opportunities and events can also be found on the weekly Honors College newsletter. 

Does it cost more to join the Honors College?

No. There are no additional tuition and fees for Honors College courses.

Can I receive scholarships for joining the Honors College?

No. The Honors College does not award transfer students specific scholarships to join. However, after students matriculate to the Honors College, they can choose to apply for specific Honors College scholarships. Applying for an Honors College scholarship does not guarantee that you will receive it.

How will my credits transfer?

The Honors College will evaluate the classes you’ve taken and award appropriate credit.

  • Credit from before Mason. After admission, the Honors College will evaluate transfer, AP/ IB, and dual enrollment credits and determine if they can be used as substitutes for relevant Honors College curriculum requirements.

  • Mason Core credits. Current Mason students may use Mason Core Exploration courses to substitute for up to 4 of the 7 required Honors College seminar

  • Natural science and math. Natural science and math classes used to fulfill major requirements are accepted by the Honors College. You will have the option to take enhanced H-sections available for certain classes.

  • Other Mason credits. Admission to the Honors College does not impact your major or minor requirements.

  • Minimum requirements. At a minimum, Honors College students must take 3 HNRS seminars:

    • 3-4 credits: Foundations of Inquiry and Research - HNRS 110 + 111 or 302

    • 3 credits: Civic Engagement - HNRS 260 or 261

    • 3 credits: Multidisciplinary Challenges - HNRS 360 or 361


This chart illustrates the list of Honors College seminars that can be substituted.

Honors College Inquiry in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Common Substitutions
HNRS 122
Reading the Art
Literature, art, music, theater
(Includes any Mason Core Literature or Fine Arts course)
HNRS 130
Identity, Community, and Difference
Philosophy or religion courses
(Includes any Mason BA Philosophy or religion course)
HNRS 131
Contemporary Social Issues
Social, behavioral, or cognitive sciences
(Social, behavioral, or cognitive sciences Including Mason Core Social & Behavioral Sciences or Global Understanding course)