Can someone explain to me about the honor classes system at Davis? Is it like high school? Do you get honors notation on your transcript if you take these classes? For example, I'm doing electrical engineering, and there are a couple of courses I have to take, e.g. Calc 21A or Calc 21AH, with Calc 21AH being the honors course, or Chem 2A or Chem 2AH. Can you take specific honors classes that you want?
Can someone just explain the system to me> I'm kinda lost here... :P
I haven't taken honors chem or calc, but signed up for the honors physics series. In talking with other students enrolled in regular physics, seems about the same, except you cover a bit more material, and are aided in most cases by a more generous curve in the honors classes. Also for the case of physics, the extent of additional material covered is reflected in the additional physics class you have to take. For example, you take HA,B,C,D,E (5 classes) vs. A,B,C,D (4). The order of material covered may be different as well. For example, HA=A, but in HB, we cover statistical thermodynamics and special relativity whereas regular B covers waves, interference, and heat transfer topics. For this reason, taking classes between the two can be a bit annoying. You can take A or HA and switch into the other, but if you take HB, then you must also take HC before switching into regular C. For any of these classes, there are usually specific stipulations that state that if you've taken one or the other, you either cannot take a the other equivalent class in regular or honors series and/or you recieve less credit.
Since I've only completed up to 9HC so far, I cannot comment on whether you get honors notation in your transcript for completion of the whole honors series, but your transcript does state "Honors ___".
As far as I can tell, there is no special notation that goes on your script just for taking honors classes. I know a lot of the perfectionists here will hate me, but my honest advice is not to take the honors class unless its something you really feel strongly about. I have a very intelligent friend who had to retake Chem 2A after failing 2AH. It's obviously doable, but it definitely is more difficult and, in my opinion, not worth the extra work unless its in a core subject of yours.
Also, I guess it would be great if you intend on a competitive grad school, otherwise I wouldn't do it.
Shoyon is pretty spot on with his/her explanation on honors courses. On your transcript, it only shows the class as Honors Chemistry, nothing more. The people who take the honors classes are ones who want to go in depth about the subject. But honestly, you're going to go in pretty detailed subjects in upper division courses, so why make your life harder by trying taking an honors course of such a broad subject like chemistry. If you really really absolutely love chemistry or calculus, I guess you can take it if you really want to. However, I think it's an absolute waste of time and effort for basically nothing.
As for graduating with honors, high honors, highest honors, that is solely dependent on your GPA (for College of Biological Science, other colleges have a thesis requirement as well), not the number of honors classes taken. Honor classes will also not bump up your GPA in any way. As for graduate schools (med, law, PhD programs), the grades you receive is more important than taking an honors class and getting a C in it. This is true even for the really competitive graduate schools.