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Honors College As A Premed - Worth the Liberal Arts/Recognition Benefit?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ebsameer, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    Hey, I'm enrolled in the Honors College at my University and with only a few weeks left before my first semester, I'm becoming a bit worried...

    Up till a few days ago, I've been glad about admission into the Honors College. But the other day I ran into a recent graduate of my university who had been accepted into a state med. school (TX), and he discouraged placement in the Honors College. He explained that it would force me to take courses which were both unrelated to my major and would prove more difficult to maintain a high gpa in.

    The courses are focused on history and literature, and I'm forced to take at least one per semester and a certain amount in order to graduate as a member. For instance, instead of taking just Eng. Comp II, I have to take Eng. Comp. II H. as well as Human Situation I (literature class).

    I want the benefit of smaller classes and better professors, but is it really worth risking my GPA?

    I plan on double majoring in Biology and Art History (the latter is one of my creative passions). I'm assuming Art History will cover any favor towards liberal arts majors (in terms of med school applications), so won't membership in the Honors College be superfluous?

    I'm just really confused. I don't want to start off poorly! Please advise!
     
  2. penguinophile

    penguinophile MetalHead
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    What it really comes down to in the end is if you are grown up enough to take classes you don't want to take and excel at them. Will an honors college look good on an app? yeah. But only if you think you have the work ethic to not just ignore those classes you don't like in favor of your science/art history classes. Class difficulty is totally subjective and will change with each person. If you go into the classes knowing that you will do poorly, you might as well drop it. Be confident, but also try and know yourself. Good luck with your decision! :luck:
     
  3. plastics33

    plastics33 New Member

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    you go to UH! :D I got into the honors college too but decided to drop out a couple weeks ago. I was scared to death of human sit and i know i wouldnt make better than a C in it. My brother took it and it totally screwed his gpa. if your goal is to get into med school...i dont think that being in the honors college would increase your chances. although if you're freakishly smart and love literature then you'd enjoy it. im not much of an english person myself...so that's just me. good luck! hope you make the right decision for you! maybe i'll see you around campus :)
     
  4. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    Yup! U. of H.

    I'm considering trying it out for a semester and seeing if it's manageable.
     
  5. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane
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    I don't think it will help you get into medical school to any significant degree. What does "honors college" mean to an adcom? It is the same as saying you went to University of Florida versus the University of Alabama. Maybe one is harder than the other, but how could they know and give credit for it.

    I would say don't do it unless you really want too. If you're goal is to get into medical school and you don't really "care" about honors college, then get out of it.
     
  6. Johannen

    Johannen Weathered Wayfarer
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    I was in the honors program at my university until my advisor told me that it was arbitrary, pointless, and wouldn't help me down the road anyway. I've never looked back.
     
  7. Compass

    Compass Squishy
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    I'm in the Honors College at my university. Guess what I'm taking for Honors credit?

    Music 3XX - The Life of the Beatles

    Double you tee eff? I'm going to resign. It's resume fodder for me.
     
  8. Erina

    Erina MS-IV
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    i'm in the honors college at my university and i've actually heard that medical schools look upon it favorably. that could be because we have to write a thesis to graduate with honors? i don't know for sure but since i've only ever heard that it looks good, i stuck with it. i liked the smaller classes and the opportunity to write a thesis (and the scholarship money was nice too!).
     
  9. akademiks1989

    akademiks1989 Senior Member
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    I am going to college as a freshman too! I called the person who was to interview me and I told him I didn't want to be part of the honors college. Why? Because it is kind of restrictive and would've made me take many stupid classes, classes in which I will not be intellectually stimulated in. I later found out that because I am going to be a psych major, they had a separate honors program, which only required a computers in psych class and a year of honors thesis. That seemed more manageable. I was grateful they had it for my major.

    good luck dude.
     
  10. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    Stupid classes? That's why I avoided the waste of time general education courses outside the Honors College. If anything you are in a class that is 100X more intellectually stimulating and requires thought. Of course it depends on the school. At my university it's been great. And yes, the thesis was required anyway for my major.
     
  11. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replies everyone! Keep them coming... You're all very helpful.

    Sounds a bit sarcastic to me. Did he/she really feel it was entirely pointless?

    I know it won't be entirely arbitrary, but the question is whether it'll impact will justify a potentially lower GPA...


    I'm more interested in Art History than the Honors required literature courses, but unfortunately I can't do both at once. Membership in the program requires that you take at least 22 hours of Honors Courses, whereas a Bachelors in Art History (double major in Bio & Art History) requires 36 hours of art h. courses. So it's either Art History or Honors. The question is, which will look better to an adcom... For the record I'm more inclined towards Art History.
     
  12. akademiks1989

    akademiks1989 Senior Member
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    Not really about the whole honors college situation, but the following might help:

    Listen...do what makes you happy. When I found out you don't have to be a biochemistry major to get into medical school, I nearly jumped for joy! I'm going for psychology, which is close to natural sciences, but not really IMO...more so a social science, I guess. Make your college experience fun for you, and not hard and unwanted (you'll only be miserable) because of some preconceived notion about adcoms (I should take my own advice :laugh: )..

    ....but just in case you do not get into medical school, what are you prepared to do with that Art History degree of yours? I know if I don't make it into medical school (I'm determined though, but just in case), I could use my psychology degree and possibly go for a masters degree or Ph.D in psychology.

    I'm not too sure, so someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but if you want to get into the combined M.D./Ph.D program, you must have research and have taken extensive courses in a natural science, like chemistry or something. Not too sure so don't quote me on this one (in which I know you will)..

    I don't think honor college has a big impact on your admissions, but I may be wrong. I usually hear MCATs, Grades, EC's, LOR's, Interviews, and personal statement are the most important things. Shouldn't be that hard (from where I'm looking, but I'm sure it will...lol), except for that damn MCAT and grades..lol
     
  13. TCIrish03

    TCIrish03 Senior Member
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    Depends on the University I guess.

    Personally, I've cynically looked upon the honors college (at least at Notre Dame, based on first and second hand knowledge) as a waste of resources. If you go to an upper tier university to begin with, you are already the cream of the crop. What more will the honors college do for you? If you go to an average or lower tier university and are in the honors college, why didn't you go to a better school to begin with? ( not counting financial reasons of course).

    Note: when I say "you", I am speaking to people in generall, not the OP
     
  14. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    Here's the plan:

    Double major in Bio & Art History. Go for Med. School (MD), if that fails, go for D.O., if that fails, go for Caribbean, if that fails, go for a masters and Ph.D. in a field related to Biology, if that fails, find some sort of niche program that caters to those interested in both medicine and art, if that fails, become a curator that has an odd fascination with medicine...

    :)

    But seriously, the Art History Bachelors is there to a) satisfy one of my personal likings, b) diversify my college background/experience, c) diversify my application, d) enjoy college just a little! The Biology bachelors will be my main crutch in terms of a career. It also happens that I enjoy Biology.
     
  15. TCIrish03

    TCIrish03 Senior Member
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    I am TCIrish03, and I approve this message

     
  16. mychelle774

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    Hey, I survived the UH Honors College! Seriously, it's not GPA suicide. It's a really good set of classes they make you take and will keep your intellectual side stimulated by stretching your mind (I'm not a literature fanatic either, but there's a lot of philosophy and artistry that appealed to me). Seeing as you like Art History, I would think you'll like it and you'll do well because of that. The reason it's such a downer on some peoples' GPA is that the grading is so subjective. Formulaic papers you learned in HS will not work, and you really have to dig deep to come up with gold..or just agree with your teacher (haha, everything's corrupt to some degree). But for many prof's, speaking up and giving insight during discussion is what really impresses, and that's why I got A's. It's not absolutely necessary, but give it a try, you might really like it and find you excel. Anything that does that will be a plus for med school. Plus, you can petition other classes for honors credit to fulfill the one honors class a semester requirement. I did it for acting one semester and just had to see an extra play, I win :laugh: .
     
  17. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Best thing to do is take someone else's advice without thinking about it yourself!


    I'm never going to regret taking my school's honors college, even though it meant more classes that were more difficult than typical Gen-ed classes. It gave me insight into topics I didn't know about before, and it gave me a chance to have a small college experience (15 students, one actual tenured professor, not a TA) in a big state university. My writing abilities improved SO much, because I had to write and write and write and write and have it reviewed and critiqued endlessly (SDN is not a good example of my writing, haha).
     
  18. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Smartest guy I know, who had research experience in practically everything, is currently an M2 in an MSTP.....majored in psychology.
     
  19. akademiks1989

    akademiks1989 Senior Member
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    You know what? That is like music to my ears! Because I am going to be a psychology major...you made my day, thanks!!

    What SOM does he go to? BTW, this may sound stupid, but what does MTSP stand for (I know it is the combined program, but I don't know what it stands for :smuggrin: )....thanks!
     
  20. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper Duffman in Disguise
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    My advice to OP is give it a try for a semester. It should be good if you want to become a good writer, and the class size and extra attention might be beneficial.

    Once again, to each his own, and try. If it sucks, drop out. If it doesn't, you can thank a trusty soda.
    -Dr. P.
     
  21. allthaticanbe

    allthaticanbe Canadian
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    A confused Canadian here. At UofToronto we have to do an honours degree in order to graduate but their honours seems to be different. It is a four year degree instead of three and a thesis course is required in if you choose a specialist.

    So how long are your honour degrees?
     
  22. allthaticanbe

    allthaticanbe Canadian
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    To add to the first question is it possible to drop the honour program if you don't like it?
    Also one person experience should not be the reason you drop the program.
     
  23. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    he's at MCW, in large part because of the lab there that has the research he's interested in. I know he got into a few really good schools, like WUSTL.
     
  24. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    The only problem with that is a course called Human Situation. It is the most difficult course in the Honors program, and is quite often a GPA killer.

    Right now, I'm considering dropping it in favor of a major in Art History (alongside Biology).
     
  25. Everglide

    Everglide EM PGY3
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    You may want to look into research advantages of your honors college. At my school if you are in the honors college you can easily get a professional assistantship at any department you wish. I know the PAs here pay 4000 a semester for 10 hours a week doing work you can honestly enjoy. There are a lot of benefits that you may have overlooked. The honors college name itself probably won't help much unless it's a very prestigous honors college, but the side benefits might make the extra work worth it.
     
  26. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper Duffman in Disguise
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    If by GPA killer, you mean that it is impossible to get an A or B, then maybe you could drop it.

    But if it's just a course that requires more work, then go for it.

    I totally understand if you drop to avoid the course though. Some courses are absolutely absurd (either because of the content or the teacher).
    -Dr. P.
     
  27. floridakppr

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    At my undergard institution, Honors College is definitely worth it. The Honors College staff recognized that they would need some incentive to lure students ino their program and offered automatic scholarships and early registration. After two semesters of not even being close to registering while O-chem was still open, I enrolled in the Honors College and promptly had seats in O-chem I and II. Marginally interesting classes that fulfill mandatory undergrad requirements are worth it if you're getting some type of immediate incentive. Not so sure if it's worth it if your only potential reward is long-term.
     
  28. blondie68

    blondie68 Junior Member
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    If you can't do both the Honors College and Art History, I'd choose Art History. Sure, the Honors College would be a plus in your med school app, but it's just that, a plus, not a make or break. I don't think anyone can say how you'd do academically with the Honors College, so I won't even addess that issue. What I think is important is to prepare yourself well for med school admission while pursuing what is interesting and important to YOU. If the Honors College does not hold your interest and inspire you and Art does, that's the way to go. You don't want to look back at college and feel you missed the opportunities to study and engage in classes and extracurriculars that appealed to you. Adcom's want a diverse group, be yourself and show them who you are. It's really not necessary to short change yourself to achieve your goals. Someone I'm close to you went for a BS in biology, both for med school preparation and because she loved bio. But, she found she really missed literature and added on an english BA. She continued music lessons and band or orchestra each semester. It was hard and took alot of time, but the music and english balanced her, relaxed her and in general made her happy. Try to spend some time thinking about your personal needs and desires and then find a balance with med school preparation. There won't be as much time in med school to pursue your other interests, so do it now in college. Good luck with your decision.
     
  29. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    this is what initially kept me in the program, and its perks were important for my first two years and one lab junior year that everyone had trouble joining (except me and a few other honors students). Senior year, it wasn't an issue. Nobody was fighting to join those upper levels.
     
  30. ebsameer

    ebsameer Junior Member
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    well, after alot of thinking, phone calls, and discussions, I've decided to take Art History rather than Honors College. I've emailed the coordinator at the HC, so he'll advise me on how to proceed. I'll let you all know how it turns out. Thanks again...

    oh yea, i forgot to mention, the Human Situation course is worth 6 credits first semester... hehe
     
  31. Az1698

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    I wonder how this worked out
     
  32. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    Well, the OP hasn't been active since the end of August of '06, so you'll probably never know.
     

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