Honors College first-year class enrollment jumps by more than 40%

Enrollment increase comes just one year after UMass Dartmouth program transitions to a college

Honors College students meeting in the college offices
UMass Dartmouth Honors College students meet in the college's office in the Claire T. Carney Library.

First-year enrollment in UMass Dartmouth’s Honors College—a vibrant and innovative learning environment —increased significantly from 92 students in 2019 to 133 students this fall semester. The jump in enrollment of more than 40% follows the college’s transition from a program to a full college in 2019 with more than 40 course sections and a 1:1 student to faculty research ratio.

In addition, five dedicated faculty have joined the Honors College and include: Brian Ayotte, associate professor of psychology; Glaucia Silva, professor of Portuguese; Jennifer Mulnix, chair and professor of philosophy; Rebecca Uchill, lecturer in art education, art history, and media studies; and Alex Menrisky lecturer in English & Communication. In addition, Suzanne Melloni and Kristin Kadlec have joined the college as director and assistant director of student support.

“The Honors College enrolled the largest-ever class of talented students in 2020, reflecting student enthusiasm for a diverse and challenging educational experience,” said Professor Catherine Villanueva Gardner, director of the Honors College. “From our small classes, transformative course offerings, dedicated faculty, and experiential learning opportunities, our students enjoy a truly immersive educational experience.” 

The Class of 2024 represents numerous majors, with the most popular being nursing, biology, and engineering.
The college fosters a spirit of regional, national, and global responsibility by emphasizing community-engaged learning that focuses on real-world problems. During the next four years, students in the Class of 2024 will learn about and help address contemporary societal challenges from the perspective of their chosen discipline. These challenges may range from sustainability to equality and social justice.

Honors College students are encouraged to publish their research and, this semester, three students had their research published in the fall 2020 edition of Illuminate, a journal for undergraduate scholarship.

National and local awards received by Honors College students include the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Marshall Scholarship, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, and Michael S. Dukakis Internship in Public Service.

Applicants to UMass Dartmouth are evaluated for admission to the Honors College if they have a minimum high school GPA of 3.3, a minimum combined SAT score of 1180 (optional for Fall 2021), and a CVPA portfolio. The average high school GPA of Honors College students is 3.91. To graduate, students must complete at least 24 honors credits, maintain an overall GPA of 3.2, earn a B or better in honors courses, and complete a final honors project. Students graduate with the statewide recognition of Commonwealth Honors Scholar.



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