Emerson College Honors Essay

Q: How do I know if I should select Test Optional?

A: Test Optional is designed for students who perform well in the classroom but whose academic strength is not reflected in their standardized test scores. 

Q: Can I be homeschooled and apply Test Optional?

A: Homeschooled students will be required to submit test scores as part of the application process.

Q: How is a Test Optional applicant evaluated during the admission process compared to a Test Score applicant?

A: Students applying Test Optional are evaluated similarly to those who apply using their test scores. Test Optional applicants are not at any disadvantage compared to Test Score applicants.

Q: If I apply through Test Optional, am I eligible for financial aid?

A: Yes, you can still apply for need-based financial aid. In addition, academic-based scholarships are available to all high-achieving, motivated students.

Q: How do I let the Admission Office know that I would like to apply using Test Optional?

A: After submitting your application to Emerson, please log into your admission portal and reply to a question on your checklist asking if you would like to apply Test Optional. After confirming your interest in Test Optional admission, you will receive a checklist item that prompts you to upload your Test Optional materials.

Q: What if I already submitted my test scores but I now want to apply Test Optional?

A: We will remove your test scores from consideration if you indicate that you are choosing to apply Test Optional on your application.

Q: Can I apply to the Honors Program as a Test Optional candidate?

A: Yes. Applicants to the Honors Program who choose to apply Test Optional must submit a Test Optional Honors Program Evaluation Form, to be completed by a teacher, in addition to the required Honors essay. This recommendation should specifically address your readiness for our college honors program.

Q: Can I change my mind?

A: If you have already submitted an application to Emerson and would like to change your current testing option preference, please contact your admission counselor. Click here to locate your counselor.

Return to the Test Optional page

The Emerson College Honors Program is an intellectual and creative community that integrates a challenging liberal arts curriculum and specialized study in the student's chosen field. Students accepted to the program receive individual advising and take interdisciplinary seminars that fulfill the College's general education requirements.

The Honors Program is an intellectual and creative community that combines the liberal arts with specialized studies.

Community of Learners

The program fosters strong bonds between students and faculty. Students enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio in dedicated Honors seminars and are invited to special lectures and dinners. They also have the opportunity to interact with upper-class colleagues through collaborative research projects and mentoring.

In the senior year, students develop an Honors thesis, working individually with faculty advisors. They are eligible to apply for exclusive funds to support their thesis. Each Honors student receives the prestigious Trustee Scholarship equal to half tuition for up to four years.

Thesis Examples

Some examples of theses from the 2016 graduating class:

  • Daniel Albright, May ’16, Visual & Media Arts
    The Committed Documentary in the 21st Century: Non-Fiction Political Filmmaking in the Grassroots
    Advisors: Melinda Robins (Journalism) and Kathryn Ramey (Visual & Media Arts)
  • Adam Burnier, May '15, Animation & Motion Media
    The Power of Japanese Animé as Hand-Drawn Animation in the Digital Age
    Advisors: Cara Moyer-Duncan (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies) and Allyson Sherlock (Visual & Media Arts)
  • Ashley Cunningham, December ’15, Marketing Communications
    Everyone is (Into) Gay (Porn): How Gay Male Porn’s Female Audience Reframes “For Women” Pornography
    Advisor: Cara Moyer-Duncan (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Maria DiPasquale, May ’16, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Writing About Oppression and Social Movements from a Privileged Position: New Strategies for Fiction
    Advisor: Yasser Munif  (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Loretta Donelan, May ’16, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Beautification As Empowerment: Deconstructing the Natural Beauty Paradox
    Advisor: Diana Sherry (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Marissa Fritz, May '15, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Without End: A Feminist Approach to Endings in Literauter and Washburn: A Novella
    Advisor: Claudia Castañeda (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Lindsay Geller, May '15, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    The Baddest Broads of History: How Maria Theresa and Catherine the Great Used Their Femininity to Gain and Maintain Absolute Power
    Advisor: Diana Sherry (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Emeralde Jensen-Roberts, May ’16, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Thinking Small: A Framing Analysis of the Tiny House Movement Within Capitalist America
    Advisor: Melinda Robins (Journalism)
  • Holly Kirkman, May ’16, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Camp: Exploring the Intergenerational Race-Related Trauma of Japanese American Internment Through Graphic Novels
    Advisor: Sarah Zaidan (Visual & Media Arts)
  • Henry Krause, May ’16, Communications Studies
    King Kunta, the Critical Race Theorist: Kendrick Lamar, Black Lives Matter, and the Intersection between Music and New Social Movements
    Advisor: Yasser Munif (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Alison Meikle, May '15, Visual & Media Arts
    Orange is the New Black: Legitimizing the Prison Industrial Complex in the Age of Colorblindness
    Advisor: Yasser Munif  (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Matthew Norman, May '15, Visual & Media Arts
    Simulation Interrupted: Glitch Video and the Avant-Garde
    Advisor: Cara Moyer-Duncan (Institute for Libera Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Alex Parish, May ’16, Marketing Communication
    The Changing Sphere of the Toy Industry
    Advisor: Sarah Zaidan (Visual & Media Arts)
  • Julia Ranauro, December '15, Marketing Communication
    Save Artie T.: An Examination of Labor Movements and the New Social Movement Paradigm through the Market Basket Protests
    Advisor: Yasser Munif  (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Samantha Skovera-Miller, May ’16, Communication Studies
    Cool Schmool: Riot Grrrl’s Journey Through a Media Frenzy
    Advisor: Melinda Robins (Journalism)
  • Gabrielle Urbonaite, May ’16, Visual & Media Arts
    The City in Post-Soviet Cinema
    Advisors: Cara Moyer-Duncan (Institute for Libera Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies) and Cristina Kotz Cornejo (Visual & Media Arts)
  • Emily White, May ’16, Performing Arts
    Indirect Traumatic Response: Re-mediatizing Indirect Experiences of the Boston Marathon Bombing
    Advisor: Diana Sherry (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Anne Whitehouse, May '15, Writing, Literature & Publishing
    "You're Killing People?" "No, I'm Killing Boys": Horror and the Teenage Girl
    Advisor: Claudia Castañeda (Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)
  • Kelly Young, May '15, Performing Arts and Writing, Literature & Publishing
    Women in the Holocaust: The Hardships and Interpersonal Relationships of Female Prisoners
    Advisor: Erika Williams Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies)

Visit the Honors Program Eligibility & Admission page or contact the Office of Admission at 617-824-8600 or admission@emerson.edu to learn more about applying.

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