General Question

vanausdr's avatar

Is/was anyone in an Honors Program in college?

Asked by vanausdr (146points) March 18th, 2010

I haven’t heard from anyone who has experienced being an in honors program their first year of college. Is it more for students who know exactly what they want to major in? Is it much more beneficial than to not take? Is there much difference?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I had honors classes, but there was no difference that I could ever determine.

tinyfaery's avatar

Besides getting special recognition at graduation, not really. I don’t even think my employers even bother to check my honors status.

theichibun's avatar

Smaller classes if it’s an honors class. And you end up knowing more people who are important in the university. Outside of college it really doesn’t get you much unless you want to go back for a master’s.

Unless you’re in a really competitive market for a job. Then it never hurts to have a leg up on the competition.

Also, at my school you could turn a regular class into an honors one by doing some extra work. I used that to my advantage a few times and did a group work as a solo project.

phoebusg's avatar

Depends on the discipline. I qualify for honours but don’t see the point. It’s only extra time for the honours requirements. But depends what degree, and what your graduate plan is. So it comes down to entry requirements :)

Trillian's avatar

I was in the honors program in the college I attend now. About six months ago I had to resign because I just didn’t have the time to do it. I was required to do an extra paper for certain classes, and also I had to do some community projects, be on a committee, and mentor other students. At the time I was also working two full time jobs and trying to scrape some dirt off my shoe in my personal life. Something had to go. I’m sure it would have looked great on a resume, and it felt good just having been invited to be a part of it. i was a very indifferent student in high school, but I really shine now. ‘Cept in math.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I was in an honors program, but it was more of an organization… like Mensa… where we all got to stroke each other about how smart we were… I stopped going halfway through my Freshman year… all those people stopped talking to me. I didn’t miss them.

Rarebear's avatar

I wasn’t in my honors program until I was an upper classman.

TheBot's avatar

At my b-school (undergrad) the standard program is roughly equivalent to what you guys would call honors in the US.

It basically translates to having to attend many different seminars (starting 1st year), carrying out an international market study for a company (sophomore year), as well as having to write a thesis of approx. 80 pages to graduate (upper class). Because all students here go trough the same program though, it is not really helpful to differentiate yourself from your classmates. However, I am told it does help in finding your first job or in getting admitted to a good grad school because these things are pretty rare on an undergrad’s resume.

Here are my thoughts:

Find your major during your first year, (try to know by the time you start your sophomore year at the latest), and perhaps choose a minor if you have trouble deciding between two subjects. I am not going to encourage you to be overly pragmatic because you do have to make sure you love what you study, but if you gravitate towards topics that don’t necessarily apply very well to your professional objectives, at least spend some time really thinking it through.

Once you have a major (and minor if app.), my advice would definitely be to join the honors program. I don’t have a choice to do all these extra things at my college, but if I did have a choice, I honestly would do them anyways. I think in this dreadful job market (believe me, I have already gone thrice through the process of finding internships that go beyond flipping burgers, and it is not getting any easier), you need all the credentials you can get to be competitive. A sacrifice of some of your time now will definitely yield great benefits in the future ;-)

Bronny's avatar

i would wait and just get a feel for college first. your initial 2 years all general eds anyways for the most part and not worth making harder than they have to be.

janbb's avatar

My son was in an Honors Program at his college. It involved taking a small seminar of his choosing Frosh year, some free trips and outings (including abroad), and some community work. Well worth the doing, at least in his Mom’s eyes.

Bronny's avatar

I work for a major corporation and, in turn work with a lot of other people employed by other contractors and stuff. The people that do the internships are usually ivy league. but the people that actually are the full time employees and agents come from all over, and it doesnt matter where they went to school or even what their major is. At all. It doesn’t really matter what your family wants, because they will typically give you advice that will make them feel good even when they have great intentions. Everyone wants bragging rights to their child. But as a professional who is successful and used non-traditional paths to get there, do what you feel you need and will be successful at…because typically all this bs fluffer fancy sounding stuff is just that.

on the other hand if you want some certificate on your wall saying “freshman honors” then go for it. it’s worth it if you want it and if it will make you feel good. first 2 years of college you should get your stuff done and not overload with things that are “political”.

TheBot's avatar

@Bronny I beg to differ, what you do in college does matter. Now more than ever. I don’t know when you entered the work force, but I know for sure that since about 2007 and until at least 2015, recent graduates have had, have, and will have a LOT of trouble finding 1st jobs. However I completely agree that it stops being important as soon as you step into your first job, for sure. In the sense that no one will really care about anything other than last night’s figures. And that’s exactly what makes “non-traditional paths” possible in the first place.

Traditional or not, the fact of the matter is that @vanausdr is in college and I truly believe one ought to make the most of it. And it’s not just a question of credentials. If you care about your personal development, honors programs do have an added value (although I think it is pretty hard to generalize, you need to look into what specifically needs to be done for the honors). Put the right amount of effort into it, and you will be learning things you normally wouldn’t, things you can later use to get a better career, and perhaps even a better life. Hopefully you’ll be getting not just “bs fluffer fancy sounding stuff” to put on your resume, but actually worthwhile skills, life lessons, relationships,etc.

gailcalled's avatar

I graduated with honors because I wrote a thesis in my major my senior year. I had to defend it orally. (Nightmare memories.)

thriftymaid's avatar

I was and don’t really know how it would have been if I hadn’t been. I graduated summa cum laude. Wow, I had an extra cord! Then, I decided not to even participate in the ceremony. Too much!!

Mamradpivo's avatar

I lived in the honors dorm my first year at Colorado. It was nice to have that group of people to form my core college friendships, but I certainly didn’t get anything out of it academically.


I was in the Honors English program in university.

GracieT's avatar

I agree with @marinelife. I didn’t see any difference, except that I could live in the honors dorm, and could hang out with other honors students. Nothing really that important!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther