University of Southern California

Undergraduate Education

Resident Honors Program

College Academic Services Building 200
(213) 740-2961
(800) 872-2961

Director: Pennelope Von Helmolt, Ph.D.

Each year, USC welcomes a small number of exceptional and highly motivated high school seniors to begin their college careers a year early as part of the Resident Honors Program. The program accepts students interested in all majors, but looks particularly for mature individuals who are ready for the challenges of a university. The typical Resident Honors student has a cumulative SAT score above 2200 and a high school GPA above 4.0.

The application process for the Resident Honors Program begins during a student’s junior year of high school. SAT or ACT scores are an important part of the application and students are encouraged to take the SAT or ACT in October or November. In addition to an expanded university application, the program also requires a nomination form from the student’s high school counselor and two letters of recommendation from high school teachers (one from the student’s English teacher). The application is available online at

For more information, contact Pennelope Von Helmolt at (213) 740-2961 or (800) 872-2961, or