How Difficult Is It to Get Into Pitt Honors?

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Are you a high school student looking to get into Pitt Honors? Are you curious as to what the Pitt honors acceptance rate is? These are two questions that we will answer in this article.

You may live under a rock if you are unfamiliar with the University of Pittsburgh’s Honor’s College. This college accepts some of the brightest talent with exceptional academic track records. The Pitt Honors Program is one that challenges students academically to be the best that they can be. This prestigious honors college is highly selective, and students would love the opportunity to be accepted.

If you are looking for information on what being a Pitt Honor’s student means, you have come to the right place. We will attempt to help you see the bigger picture and do what works best for you. All you have to do to find this information and more is to keep reading.

Why is Pitt Honors so Competitive?Why is Pitt Honors so Competitive?

Obtaining admission to the Pitt Honors, also known as the Frederick Honors College, is a massive achievement that only a few students experience each year. There are several benefits to being admitted into the Pitt Honors Program, which contribute to its level of exclusivity. Being accepted into the Honors College means that you will graduate with the Frederick Honors College designation. In addition to this coveted designation that everyone will see, there are several benefits students receive while in school.

Some of these benefits include having priority over their classmates for course registrations. Pitt Honors students also receive priority access to certain residential activities and honors housing. This housing is known as Honors LLC and is the housing for first-year honors students. Due to limited capacities, spaces in this housing are not guaranteed. In addition to these physical benefits, students have the ability to liaise with a number of advisors and mentors who will help steer them in the right direction.

However, to receive these additional benefits, students must also adhere to other degree requirements. These include taking courses approved by the Honors College, completing the Honors OCC, and taking experimental credits. Experimental credits include completion of independent study, internships, study abroad programs, and more. In addition to these requirements, students will need to keep a minimum overall GPA of 3.25.

There are consequences to not maintaining honors college standards. These consequences can be as light as probation or as strict as removal from college. After consecutive semesters on academic probation, students will be dropped from the program. Students may appeal the decisions if they have proper reasoning.

In addition to all of the benefits outlined above, one of the greatest assets may be the accessibility to an abundance of Scholar Mentors to help you find financial aid. Traditionally these individuals will work directly with various scholarship committees, meaning they know what to ask for and are able to provide guidance that outside individuals are not.

The university offers several merit-based scholarships that students are eligible for upon applying to the university.

What Does it Take to Be Accepted to Pitt Honors?

What Does it Take to Be Accepted to Pitt Honors?

Though the Pitt Honors College is highly selective, you’d be surprised to know that there are no minimum requirements for admission. Pitt wants students to represent themselves in a way that fully expresses who they are and puts their best foot forward. For this reason, students are allowed to enter “test-optional.” This means students do not have to submit standardized test scores to be considered for admission into the Honors College.

Getting into Pitt Honors takes more than just good grades; you will need to be a well-rounded student. Having an honors degree allows you to be challenged in ways that you never imagined. It will enable you to push boundaries inside and outside of your classroom.

There are different levels where students may be accepted. The levels in which students can be admitted include incoming first-year students, upper division admissions, or even as a transfer. The requirements section will detail what you should look to have as an incoming student.

What is the Pitt Honors Acceptance Rate?

What is the Pitt Honors Acceptance Rate?

If you are wondering how to get into Pitt Honors, you are not alone. Each year roughly 7000 students apply for admission into the program. Each year, the Pitt Honors College and the Joint Degree Program accept only 600 students, leaving the other students to wonder what they could have done differently.

This number contributes to making it one of the most selective programs in the country. The program, which was established in 1968, is one of the oldest.

Requirements to Get into Pitt Honors

Requirements to Get into Pitt Honors

As previously stated, there are no minimum requirements for students to gain admission into the Pitt Honors College. Admitted students make up a wide range of requirements and characteristics with one thing in common; they are knowledgeable. The requirements below are an average of students who have been admitted into the program.

Students opting not to submit their SAT/ACT scores will have a more holistic review. In this type of review, three main factors are considered for admissions. These factors include academic history, extracurricular activities, and your personal statement.

GPA Requirements

GPA requirements can vary based on when you are coming into the program. Though there is no minimum GPA for incoming first-year students, there is an average GPA that accepted students possess. That GPA is an unweighted 3.8. This was the most recent average for incoming honors students.

SAT/ACT Requirements

In addition to these GPA requirements, the average SAT score for the most recent incoming students is an SAT range of 1450 to 1500. For students who opt to take the ACT, the average score is between 32 and 33. Though these are most students’ scores, it’s important to remember that for the Honors College, tests are optional, and applications can be submitted without them.


Though there is no hard requirement for extracurricular activities, the admissions team wants to know that you are well-rounded. The university pushes students to submit whatever information they need to showcase who they are and tell their stories. The only caveat is that they are mindful of the process and the type of materials that can be submitted.

In addition to these merit-based requirements, students must also submit a Pitt Honors essay. This essay must be included for your application to be considered.

When are Pitt Honors Application Deadlines?

When are Pitt Honors Application Deadlines?

There are several important dates for students to remember when considering admission into Pitt Honors. These include admission deadlines and even deadlines for notifications. These deadlines will be important when looking for timeframes to complete specific milestones. Use the list below as a gauge for getting ready to apply to Pitt.

December 1 – This is the application deadline for incoming freshman and transfer students. Students are able to apply to the Honors College via their traditional application to Pittsburg University by simply indicating their interest and submitting a supplemental essay. In the event that you do not show interest in the Honors College at your time of application to the university, students have until this date to submit their application to the Pitt Honors College.

March 1 – Regardless of whether a student has been accepted for admission or if they have unfortunately been denied, students will receive notification on or before March 1. This notification will likely come via email or snail mail.

It is important to remember that although the University of Pittsburgh has rolling admission, the Honors College does not. If you miss any of the deadlines, you will need to wait for the next admission cycle to begin.

How to Get Into Pitt Honors: 5 Tips to Improve Your Chances

How to Get Into Pitt Honors: 5 Tips to Improve Your Chances

You can do several different things to improve your chances of getting into the program. However, overall, it is essential to remember that all students applying to Pitt Honors are smart. Many of them are accustomed to being the top students in their class or even at their school. That changes when you get to Pitt. All of the top students across the globe are vying for 600 spots out of roughly 7000 applications. It is natural for you to be thinking of ways to be chosen or even how to stand out among the pack.

Take Your Essays Seriously

One thing you will definitely need to do is take your essays seriously. They are a large part of your Pitt Honors application and may decide between admission and rejection. One thing you should do is have other individuals look at your work. This can include teachers, guidance counselors, or other school personnel. Your Pitt Honors essay is an essential factor that you should not neglect.

Think Before Reporting Your Test Scores

Before reporting your test scores, you should take into consideration what they are. If your academic track record has been solid, chances are high that you will not want anything to taint them. That means that a low SAT or ACT score could lead you to be rejected. The Honors College allows students to submit applications without test scores. This could be an excellent option for you if you did not do the best on your standardized test. It is important to note that this is not a long-term offering and is only a stipulation for the upcoming school year.

Go for Academic Rigor

One thing that will help you stand out is the academic rigor of your high school. Having all As means nothing if you have a transcript full of courses that are considered easy. Ensuring that you are taking some of the most challenging courses and doing well in them is one way to make your academic history stand out enough for Pitt Honors. Though many of your counterparts will also be highly competitive, you must focus on your own schedule. You will drive yourself crazy thinking about your competition;

Apply Early

Applying early is always an option if you are applying to your top school or looking to make a decision early. The University of Pittsburgh accepts students on a rolling admissions cycle. This means that there are always individuals applying for admission to the university, no matter the time. However, the earlier you apply, the better. This will increase your chances of selection for the program. It is also important to remember that to be considered for the honors; you will need to get your application in by the Honors Application deadline.

Keep Your Options Open

Last but not least, one of the most important things that you can do is keep your options open and allow your application to represent who you really are. Even if you do not get into the Honors College, you still have the opportunity to graduate with Honors Distinction.

If you are in a heavily demanding major, or if you are rejected for admission into the Honors College, this is a great option. There are different requirements that students must adhere to when choosing this track. They must take nine credit hours of honors-approved courses; they will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete the requirements for experimental and capstone credits. If this is the route that seems right for you, it must be declared prior to the beginning of their last enrollment semester and after completing one semester.

If you do not gain admission into the Pitt Honors College, do not beat yourself up. Though you may be the smartest at your school, so are the other applicants applying for the rigorous academic path ahead of them. If you have been researching ways to get into the program, it’s likely that you have seen various posts from other applicants who are all highly qualified. Do not let this sway you in your college journey. Even if you are not entirely accepted, you may also be waitlisted.

Wrapping Things Up: How Difficult Is It to Get into Pitt Honors?

Getting into the Pitt Honors is no easy task; however, if you are serious about your education, it is worth it. The college offers an abundance of resources to not only challenge you but make you a well-rounded student. The Pitt Honors requirements are no walk in the park. Though there are no minimum requirements for students seeking admission into the program, however, that does not make it any less competitive for acceptance.

The Pitt honors acceptance rate is roughly 5% making it one of the oldest and most challenging programs to get into. The Pitt honors program takes the top students from high schools across the land and puts them against each other for a chance to get into the program.

Regardless of that decision, keep your head up; you never know if an acceptance letter could be in your future.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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