Do you like the idea of attending a large research university with a wide range of majors and facilities, but are anxious about huge class sizes and feeling “like a number”? If so, you may want to look into honors college options.
Honors colleges combine the small liberal arts college experience with the resources and facilities of a comprehensive university. Honors colleges are academically rigorous learning communities within larger research universities where you live and study alongside some of the brightest students at the school.
Honors colleges often have their own housing facilities, smaller class sizes than the university at-large, and dedicated faculty and staff who specifically teach honors college students, and even sometimes live with them in the residence halls. Students in the honors college have the benefit of a smaller intellectual community, as well as access to the entire range of majors and programs available at the university. Sometimes, honors college students even get priority registration, which can be a big deal at a larger school.
But fear not – honors college students aren’t secluded from the rest of campus. As a student at the honors college, you are also a member of the greater university community. You are not limited to participating in activities only offered by the honors college, or taking courses with other honors college students. Any of the clubs and extracurricular activities open to the entire university are available to you. Put on your face paint and go to the big game on Friday night. Take any courses for which you meet the prerequisites. Being in the honors college does not limit your access to resources, but expands it.
In some cases, applicants to comprehensive universities are automatically considered for the honors college – but not always. Check if you need to apply directly to the honors program from the start, if you’ll be selected by the admissions committee without an additional application, or if the process for applying begins after your initial admission notification. As with many things in the application process, it all depends on the school.