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Honors vs. Non-Honors

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Are you an honors student?

  • Yes

    Votes: 43 48.3%
  • No

    Votes: 40 44.9%
  • I did honors for a while and non-honors for awhile

    Votes: 6 6.7%

  • Total voters
    89

roseglass6370

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Are you taking (or did you take) honors courses at your university?

How much of a difference does it make when applying to med school?
 

stixx

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Some schools say they particularly take note of it (HMS for one, IIRC), most schools don't care.

If your GPA will suffer from take the classes, don't do it.

(I took a full honors major, but since the classes are much smaller/more engaging my grades probably didn't slip. In some deparments, "honors" just means doing a regular major and writing a thesis or research project at the end. Mine had completely different clases. )
 

DrYoda

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I took a few honors classes my freshman year and then stopped. However, I kept my name on the "honors college" list until the last minute in order to take advantage of preferential class sign-up times.
 

Mobius1985

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I was in the honors program throughout college. I liked having smaller classes and preferential registration for classes. It makes no difference to medical schools. You will be judged by your GPA.
 

fizzle

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What exactly are these "honors" courses? My university doesn't have any of that.
 

DrYoda

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What exactly are these "honors" courses? My university doesn't have any of that.

At my school they just make you do an extra assignment and designated the class as "honors". For classes with small class sizes occasionaly they sometimes have an entire "honors" section, which differs from the normal classes by the fact that they have one extra assignment.

It's pretty common for honors colleges to let you sign-up for classes early, which is what I used it for.
 

MynameisMike

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At my school, the honors program is really intense. I would rather be out volunteering/working/other EC's etc etc than spending so much extra time in the books.
 

kappa09

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Honors at my school seems to be a little more strict. Although we do get preferential scheduling, and have a more flexible set-up for our gen eds, we are REQUIRED to take an honors section if it is offered. We also have to complete an Honors thesis chronicling a year's worth of independent research.
 

daniellema13

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What exactly are these "honors" courses? My university doesn't have any of that.

At my school, honors was a co-major. So you complete the honors requirements in your major dpt (bio for me) and then you also have to complete a certain number of honors courses outside of your major to fulfill the honors major requirement. The only big difference at my school between honors and non-honors science classes was the lab component...honors kids have a separate lab section and usually do more and/or different stuff. Also, we had lab components to science classes that otherwise didn't have a lab (genetics, biochem, etc) but we were still in the regular lecture section with everyone else. Finally, you had to do a research thesis for a year of independent research...you could choose any lab you wanted in the bio dpt.

In general though, there wasn't much difference between a bio/honors BS and a regular BS in bio. Like someone above said, i liked the smaller classes, seminars and early registration.
 

SirGecko

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You should really have another option on there: "No honors program exists at my school". I know most of the top undergraduate programs don't have honors colleges. (particularly private universities)
 

kansaskid

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I don't have an honors option for classes. To graduate "with honors" students will research and write a senior thesis that they orally defend. It's wicked intense.
 

spartandoctor

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Here at Michigan State the honors college requires we take 8 honors credits before we graduate in order to graduate from the honors college as well. These honors credits include an honors section of a class, asking a professor to offer an honors option for a class by doing something extra (usually writing a paper), or taking a graduate level course. Which is one of the perks of the honors college, I am planning on taking a couple of the med school courses while I am an undergrad here.
 

roseglass6370

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My main concern is being competitive in med school application process.

Right now I'm in what my university calls their "scholars" program which is like the honors program in that you had to have a certain GPA and SAT/ACT scores in high school to get into it (not as high of scores as for the honors program, but still high...), but you don't have special "classes" like honors students do. The scholars program has special divisions that go out on trips together related to their "division" (i.e. i'm in the health sciences scholars program so we get to listen to special speakers in the medical field...are presented with opportunites to volunteer clinically...etc.)

I'm debating whether or not I want to apply for honors next quarter if I should just stay in the Scholars program (some people actually do both which sounds kind of nice...). I just want to have the same competitive edge as my honors peers. I dunno....
 

DisorderedDoc417

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My main concern is being competitive in med school application process.

Right now I'm in what my university calls their "scholars" program which is like the honors program in that you had to have a certain GPA and SAT/ACT scores in high school to get into it (not as high of scores as for the honors program, but still high...), but you don't have special "classes" like honors students do. The scholars program has special divisions that go out on trips together related to their "division" (i.e. i'm in the health sciences scholars program so we get to listen to special speakers in the medical field...are presented with opportunites to volunteer clinically...etc.)

I'm debating whether or not I want to apply for honors next quarter if I should just stay in the Scholars program (some people actually do both which sounds kind of nice...). I just want to have the same competitive edge as my honors peers. I dunno....


Sadly a good GPA is as important as the difficulty of the courses you take. Straight As in regular curricula will look better than low B’s or worse in honors curricula. For those that can continue on with straight A’s, they will of course look better than those who did the same in a non-honors situation. Do what you want to do, and if you love it, stick with it. Med school wants you to take the courses you love and will help develop you into the young professional you may be destined to become.
 

gonnif

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Sadly a good GPA is as important as the difficulty of the courses you take. Straight As in regular curricula will look better than low B’s or worse in honors curricula. For those that can continue on with straight A’s, they will of course look better than those who did the same in a non-honors situation. Do what you want to do, and if you love it, stick with it. Med school wants you to take the courses you love and will help develop you into the young professional you may be destined to become.

A more general way to think of this, nothing succeeds like success. So if you go into an honors college program and also graduate with honors (which are two very different things), it will be an impressive achievement and help on a med school application. However, you will not get any credit for having attempted an honors program and not done well. Indeed not only will the grades hurt you but your judgement will be called into question for doing such a program. And GPA is at least 2-3 magnitudes of importance over graduating from honors college program. You would be much, much, better off in a regular program of whatever major you choose and graduate with honors (ie cum Laude, Summa cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude) and on the deans list for several semesters.

BTW, graduating Magna cum Barely with being on the dean's probationary list is not the way to go along with noting 500 hours of court-ordered community service.
 
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