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The Eminence 2021 application is closed.

Attention: All Eminence Program and Scholarship applicants for the Class of 2025 will be notified of their status by the first week of February 2021. This notification will come via the email that was provided in the common application.

In keeping with the mission of the Eminence Fellows, the selection committee looks for students who have demonstrated potential as academic scholars and leaders both inside and outside the classroom. Applicants should be driven to excel and be interested in the support of a small community of peers.

Criteria and Eligibility

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply.

All applicants must apply to the Ohio State University Honors Program.

Fellows are selected based on outstanding potential and all majors are encouraged to apply. There is no "typical" Eminence Fellow. Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:


    • Robust curriculum and strong GPA
    • Top 10% (and above) class rank
    • Curiosity as demonstrated by research or equivalent experiences
    • Official ACT or SAT scores (optional)
    • Ohio State has adopted a one-year test-optional policy for most 2021 applicants. More details here.


    • Demonstrated commitment to a cause, program, issue, or idea
    • Demonstrated commitment to improving life for others


    • Written expression through essays (Common Application and Eminence)
    • Video introduction through a 2-minute YouTube link

Additional consideration will be given to:

    • Service that extends beyond high school organizations and clubs
    • Leadership that threads through academics and service
    • Depth and breadth in involvement, experiences, and leadership
    • Collaborative spirit and teamwork-inspired experience

How to Apply

  1. Applicants must apply to the university by the Sunday, November 15 early action deadline. When completing the Ohio State admissions application, applicants must indicate their interest in University Honors and complete the associated essay.
  2. Within 1-5 days, the applicant will receive an email that acknowledges Ohio State's receipt of the student's admission application and provides a unique Ohio State username (lastname.#), along with instructions on activating this username and setting up a password.
  3. Applicants must then complete the Eminence Application by the Friday, December 4th deadline. The applicant's Ohio State username and password are required to apply. The applicant does not need to wait for an OSU admission decision to submit the Eminence application.

Components of the Eminence Application

There are two components of the Eminence Application:

  1. Eminence Essay
  2. Video Introduction (via an unlisted YouTube link)

The Scholarship Selection Committee will have access to the student's Common Application and will consider it in the selection process.

Finalist Interview

Approximately 75 students will be selected as finalists and will be notified by the first week of February 2021. All finalists will be invited to interview individually via Zoom. These interviews will take place during February 2021.  Interview details will be directly emailed to all finalists.

Finalist Group Events and Selection

After interviews have concluded, all finalists will be required to attend various information and selection events that will be presented in a virtual platform. These events will allow for opportunities to meet current, enrolled Fellows, Faculty, and Honors staff. While the dates for these events are still being determined, they will occur sometime in early March. A full schedule of events will be sent out to all finalists in February.

For a comprehensive overview of all that The Ohio State University has to offer, finalists should plan on attending one of the many Buckeye Bound admissions events scheduled on Saturdays throughout the spring semester.

Requirements of the Program

To remain in good standing as Eminence Fellows, students are required to:

  • Gain admission to the University Honors Program and maintain Honors status every semester.
  • Contribute to their class service project and embrace the collaborative spirit of "giving back."
  • Complete an Honors Thesis or other capstone requirement for graduation with Honors Research Distinction.
  • Participate in the weekend-long Eminence Second Year Retreat held in Hocking Hills, Ohio
  • Contribute to and be involved with Eminence program initiatives through regular attendance and/or participation in Eminence leadership opportunities.