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Special Admissions Programs and Categories for Freshmen

CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College

The Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College attracts students with outstanding academic records who seek intellectual challenges in a supportive environment. Using the undergraduate online application available through the CUNY Web site (, students select the Macaulay Honors College and then indicate Hunter College as their desired campus.

A student must enter the Macaulay Honors College as a first semester freshman and may seek admission for the following fall. The application deadline is December 1. For more information on the Macaulay Honors College, see Special Academic Programs of this catalog or inquire at the Macaulay Honors College Office, Room 630A Hunter East, (212) 650-3556.

ESL (English as a Second Language) Designation

Students whose secondary school education includes at least one year in a high school where a language other than English is the primary language of instruction are designated as ESL students. ESL students who are admitted to Hunter may be permitted to register even if they received failing scores (within a certain range) on the CUNY skills assessment tests in reading and/or writing. (A passing score on the CUNY Math Assessment Test (CMAT) is required for ESL designation.

These students are tested for placement in appropriate developmental courses and receive special advisement regarding program planning. ESL students may take developmental English courses for two semesters and are permitted to enroll at Hunter for an additional two semesters before being required to pass the skills test. Additional information about placement and program planning for ESL students is available via the ESL Programs website:

SEEK Program (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge)

About the SEEK Program (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge)

SEEK is a higher education opportunity program at the senior (four-year) CUNY colleges.  It was established to provide comprehensive academic support to assist capable students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances. The Hunter College SEEK Program is located administratively under the Office of the Provost.  Through collaborative efforts and shared resources, SEEK participants receive comprehensive support and guidance from orientation to graduation.  They acclimate to the campus’ culture of engagement; learn how to navigate the College; increase their self and cultural awareness; utilize available campus resources and support services; and develop the study, problem-solving and critical thinking skills necessary to persist through college to graduation and beyond.  The SEEK Program services include: four-week summer program (for incoming freshmen), Orientation for Success course, counseling (academic, career, personal and financial), tutoring (individual and group), educational workshops, need-based financial aid, peer mentoring program, and Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society (for eligible participants). 

Admission to the SEEK Program

Freshman applicants are considered for admission to the SEEK program on the basis of the overall strength of their academic preparation, which includes SAT/ACT scores, high school academic average, the number of academic subjects and the distribution of those courses. Potential SEEK applicants are generally considered for admission with an academic profile that fall slightly below the general admission averages and demonstrate considerable financial need.

Transfer applicants are considered for the SEEK program if they meet the general admission criteria for all transfers and have been an active member of a SEEK, College Discovery or other Education Opportunity Program (EOP) at an accredited college. Transfer must submit proof of participation the program at the sending college to the Hunter College SEEK Office. 

For additional information about SEEK, please call (212) 772-5725 or visit the program’s website . See the Financial Aid sections of this catalog for additional information about financial eligibility for the SEEK Program.

Honors Scholar Programs

140 North Building
(212) 396-6888

Hunter College provides scholarships, support, and enrichment activities through academically themed cohort programs for incoming freshmen who demonstrate high academic achievement and potential. Programs offer 4-year renewable scholarships, dedicated advisors and faculty and/or peer mentors, priority registration, priority access to residential housing, and an enriching academic experience through first-year seminar, common readings, and special co-curricular programming. There are six cohort programs:

Cohort Programs

Muse             Visual and Performing Arts
Yalow            Scientific Research and Medicine
Roosevelt      Civic Issues and Public Policy
Nursing          Leadership in the Field of Nursing
Athena           Philosophy and the Liberal Arts
Daedalus       Computer Science

The Office of Scholar Programs also houses Jenny Hunter and Janovic Scholars.

Early College Initiative High Schools

Starting for the fall 2019 semester, students applying from any of the 19 designated early college initiative high schools will follow the policies below when applying to a CUNY school:

All applicants, regardless of how many college credits attempted or earned while in high school, will apply to CUNY as freshman applicants.

As part of the admission review process, ECI/BHSEC applicants will be evaluated with both the freshman and transfer admission criteria. This practice will maximize their opportunity for admission by ensuring all of their college credits and college GPA factor into their review.

Transfer credits awarded to students upon matriculation will not affect their freshman status at the school for the purposes of advising, orientation, financial aid options, and available student services.

As freshman applicants, ECI students can apply to all honors programs and special programs that would be available to all freshman applicants, including but not limited to the Macaulay Honors College, Sophie Davis, and SEEK/College Discovery programs.  AA or AS holders who accept the offer of admission for the Hunter College Macaulay Honors Program or any of the Honors Scholar Cohorts programs can only receive a maximum of 30 credits and must forfeit the additional credits earned from the Associate degree.

Applicants from the BHSEC schools will be required to submit official Bard college transcripts, since they are not part of the CUNY ECI Network. 

Applicants from the ECI schools will not need to submit official college transcripts as their CUNY credits are available within CUNYfirst.