Macaulay Honors College Essays

William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman College


William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman students are chosen from a highly competitive field of applicants who demonstrate exceptional academic skills. They are rewarded for their hard work and achievements with a complete package of financial benefits, including:

  • a full tuition scholarship for four years of study;
  • an expense account for study abroad or other academically enriching experiences;
  • a free laptop computer; and
  • a Cultural Passport for special entrée to concerts, theaters, museums, and other cultural events and institutions in New York City.

Students in the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman are challenged to continue their record of achievement and to prepare for top graduate programs as well as for leadership positions in both their professions and their communities.

The core of the program consists of a continuing series of interactions with exceptional faculty. As teachers, mentors, and research partners, these faculty members guide each student's development, provide advice on curriculum and career choices, and open the door to paid internships, fellowships, and other funded opportunities. At the same time, fellow students contribute a diverse range of expertise, as well as viewpoints that help to elevate class discussions to high levels of perception and understanding.

William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman students are expected to pursue a broad-based liberal arts education, maintain a high grade point average, and graduate in four years. As freshmen and sophomores, they participate in semester-long seminars with University Scholars from other CUNY colleges. These seminars focus on special aspects of New York City and integrate experiences associated with the Cultural Passport and traditional academic study. They include "The Arts in New York City," "The Peopling of New York," "Science and Technology in New York City," and "New York in the 21st Century."

While in their junior and senior years, Honors College students have the opportunity to study with outstanding faculty at any college in the University. They also normally take "honors" in their majors, which may involve a senior thesis.

About the Macaulay Honors College at Lehman

Lehman offers Macaulay Honors College students a welcoming spirit, an international student body, and a collaborative, supportive environment in which to excel. William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman students make their academic home in special space that has been created in the College Library.

Lehman offers curricular and other advantages, including:

  • Over 50 outstanding undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, business, computers, teaching, health care, and other professions. Many of these programs, including those in chemistry, dietetics, education, nursing, social work, and speech pathology, are accredited by national professional associations, which set the highest standards for those preparing to enter their respective professions.
  • A teaching faculty second to none, including internationally renowned physicist Eugene Chudnovsky, Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano, and a host of other distinguished artists, scholars, and scientists.
  • A landscaped 37-acre campus, in one of the most dynamic and intellectually stimulating cities in the world, convenient to both public transportation and major highways, with excellent facilities for research, sports, and recreation, and studies in the arts, broadcasting, technology, the sciences, and many other areas.
  • Friendship and intellectual fellowship through the Lehman Scholars Program. For the past twenty years, Lehman Scholars have gone on to preeminent graduate and professional programs and become leaders in their fields. As members of this program,  William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman students take classes with other high-achieving students. Every semester, for instance, they meet for an interdisciplinary seminar on a wide range of topics, such as "Life and Love in the South Seas," "Art and Politics," and "The 1960's."

About the Students

The Macaulay Honors College at Lehman includes graduates of public, private, and parochial high schools. Representing equally strong, but very different, backgrounds, they aspire to a wide variety of careers and professions, from law, medicine, and communications to teaching, nursing, and the health professions. Each has won notable academic awards in high school, was active in athletic or extracurricular organizations, and was eager for a rigorous intellectual experience in college. Their majors include biology, business, English, computer science, psychology, speech pathology, and physics.

About the Director

Dr. Gary Schwartz (A.B., Columbia College; B.A., M.A., Jesus College, Cambridge University; Ph.D., Columbia University) is a Greek and Latin scholar, an authority on Homer's Odyssey, Apuleius's Golden Ass, jazz saxophonist, and a published poet. He is the editor of Eight Essays in Classical Humanities and co-author of an index to Kuhner-Stegmann's grammar of the Latin language. A Professor of Languages and Literatures, he directs both the William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman and the Lehman Scholars Program.

How to Apply

The William E. Macaulay Honors College application is designed to provide information about each applicant's academic record and preparation for a rigorous intellectual experience in college. Admission depends on high school grades, SAT I/ACT scores, an essay, recommendations and, in some cases, an interview. Students may apply by visiting the CUNY portal.

Regular Decision

Students may apply to The William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman for regular decision. Please note that all supporting documentation for the Honors College application, including the essay, recommendations, transcripts, and SAT I/ACT scores-must also be postmarked by the deadline listed below. The Honors College cannot consider late or incomplete applications.

Regular Decision Deadline: December 1
Macaulay Honors College no longer offers an early decision option.

Honors College Response Date: March 15
(Please note: All deadlines are postmark deadlines)

Contact Information

For more information on The William E. Macaulay Honors College at Lehman, call the Lehman Admissions Office at 1-877-LEHMAN-1 (toll-free), or contact Dr. Gary Schwartz, director, at 718-960-6094 or by e-mail at:

All candidates must submit their applications no later than December 1; notifications will be sent out mid-March. All Honors College applicants are also considered for admission to Hunter's general bachelor's degree program.

Macaulay Honors College chooses candidates for admission by evaluating a combination of academic and leadership factors, including:   


High School Grades:

If you attend a New York City public high school, your transcript will be sent to Macaulay Honors College via your OSIS number. A list of OSIS numbers is included on the Macaulay online application.

If you attend a private or parochial high school in New York City or if you live outside New York City, you should ask your high school guidance department to mail an official copy of your transcript to:

The City University of New York
University Application Processing Center (UAPC)
Attn: Macaulay Honors College
P.O. Box 359021
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Please be sure to include your CUNY ID number which can be found at the end of your online application.

Mid-year grade reports are not required by Macaulay, but if you believe it will help your application, you may send one to UAPC.


SAT or ACT Scores:

You must take either the SAT or ACT exam and have your scores sent electronically using the appropriate website before the application deadline. You may take the test more than once and tests will be super scored

For SAT Scores, only the Critical Reading and Math sections are reviewed.

You may submit SAT II scores if you believe they provide additional support for your application, but they are not a requirement.

The scores should be sent electronically to the University Application Processing Center (UAPC). Use the CUNY/UAPC institutional code (2950) at the time of testing. You do not need to use both the CUNY institutional code and an individual CUNY college codes because all campuses receive access.



Applicants must complete the required essays on the online application.

Check out this year's essay topics here!


Letters of Recommendation:

Recommendation letters are a key component of your application. Letters should highlight intellectual curiosity, leadership ability and experience, academic and community engagement of the applicant.

Recommendation Letters should be requested via the online application. We suggest checking with your recommenders to ensure they have received the email and have submitted their letter by the deadline. Letters may be submitted online or sent by mail to:

The City University of New York
University Application Processing Center (UAPC)
Attn: Macaulay Honors College
P.O. Box 359021
Brooklyn, NY 11235 USA

All documents mailed to UAPC must contain the applicant't CUNY ID Code.


Application Fee:

Applicants must pay the non-refundable $65.00 application processing fee by credit card, check or money order.

A CUNY Application Fee Waiver may be submitted if necessary.

If you have any difficulties with your application contact the Macaulay Help Desk at (212) 652-2897, or email them at

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