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What is the Presidential Scholars Program?   

The Presidential Scholars program is FIT's liberal arts honors program. Open to all majors, the program gives you an opportunity to interact with your peers from around the globe who are pursuing different career paths. The students in the program participate in:

  • specially-designed honors liberal arts courses
  • monthly colloquia series with guest speakers
  • freshman retreat
  • freshman writing course
  • extracurricular activities including Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, opera at Lincoln Center, and dance performances. 
  • community service activities
  • senior seminar course  

Is this a scholarship program?

No. This is an honors program. We do give a $1,000 stipend per year and have some scholarship opportunities for Presidential Scholars students. However, unlike scholarship programs, students are required to participate in all honors activities. 

Is this program for all majors?

Yes. All majors are represented in the program. In fact, students see getting to know students from other majors as a real benefit of the program.

When should I apply?

For incoming freshmen:
Applications must be received by February 1 of your senior year in high school. Do not wait for your FIT admissions decision to apply to the program.

For incoming juniors:
Applications must be received by February 1 of your sophomore year.

Is there a deadline?

Yes. Applications and requested documents must be received by February 1. 

When will I be notified whether or not I have been accepted?   

We will notify you by April 1.

Can I be admitted for the spring semester?   

No. All students are admitted for fall only. 

Do you admit transfer students?         

Yes. The program welcomes applications from transfer students who are entering their junior year at FIT for the fall semester only.  

Do you admit international students?    

Yes. We welcome applications from students from all over the world.

Do you admit one-year students?   

No. One-year students do not take any liberal arts courses, so this program does not suit their needs. If you are a one-year student, you may apply to be in the program for the fall of your junior year. Apply by February 1 during the one-year program.

How do I apply to FIT's honors program?    

Apply online.

What are the application requirements?   

For incoming freshmen:
You should have a B+ or better high school GPA. You must submit SAT or ACT scores, write an honors essay (see choice of questions in How To Apply section) and submit two letters of recommendation.

For incoming juniors:
You must have a 3.5 GPA, write an honors essay (see choice of questions in How To Apply section) and submit two letters of recommendation. 

How many students are in the program?  

Approximately 180 students from freshmen through seniors are in the program. Approximately 45 students make up the freshman Presidential Scholars class. 

What are honors courses? 

Honors courses are liberal arts courses taught by creative, dedicated faculty. All honors courses have a maximum enrollment of 20. 

Are the honors courses harder? 

The honors mantra is that honors courses are qualitatively different, not quantitatively different. Students find the courses stimulating and engaging. They are taught by some of the best faculty in the college.

Will the honors courses "count" toward my degree?    

Yes. The honors courses will substitute for departmental and SUNY requirements.

Will the honors courses fit into my schedule? 

Yes. You will receive extensive advisement to help you find the course that best suits your schedule, your interests, and your requirements.

What about my AP,  IB, and transfer credits? 

You will meet with the Honors Executive Director who will carefully review your record to find the best way of utilizing all the credits you have earned.

What about housing?         

You are guaranteed access to housing in the FIT residence halls. We do not have separate honors dorms or floors. We do not cover the cost of housing.

Can I study abroad and still be in the program?   

Yes. We encourage study abroad.

For incoming juniors only: 
You must be on campus for 3 of the 4 semesters in your upper division program to be considered for the Presidential Scholars program.

What happens if I'm admitted to FIT but I don't get into the Presidential Scholars program? 

You can still take honors courses as long as you maintain a 3.5 GPA. The honors courses will still substitute for other required liberal arts courses. You can reapply to be in the Presidential Scholars program in your sophomore year for admission in the fall of your junior year.