I was recently accepted to the Plan II honors program and it looks really awesome! I would however, like for you to give me any useful information that you have learned. For example how does the Plan II honors college compare in prestige, rigor, coursework, and overall experience to places like the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia (2 other schools I am considering attending) Please feel free to start a discussion about Plan II because I would, and I'm sure many others would also, like to know more about this interesting program. Here's the website if any of you are interested Plan II Honors Program
You have to realize that Plan II is a LIBERAL ARTS Honors Program where you'll be studying a very broad range of topics in addition to one specialty. This is very different than most other Honors programs (not sure about UVA specifically), and definitely not the kind of thing you'll see as a regular student at Chicago. As far as rigor of coursework goes, I'm inclined to say that Plan II is less intense than Chicago...my sister actually goes there and says the workload is absolutely ridiculous (this is coming from the definition of a perfectionist/overachiever!). I'm confident that it's comparable to UVA in that area, though.
Prestige is difficult to guess. UChicago still, for some strange reason, does not receive the 'Ooohs and aaahs' unless someone is VERY well informed about current colleges. The UT alumni network is huge, so Plan II will be recognized by many people.
I can't speak for UVA, but in terms of overall experience, Plan II is the way to go. You get all the benefits of a close-knit community of amazingly talented students immersed in a great university alive with school spirit and endless resources. UChicago's President said to my sister's class on their first day, 'Welcome to the University of Chicago, where fun comes to die.' Her dorm is selling shirts that say 'UChicago: Hell DOES freeze over'. So that should give you a pretty good idea.
Oh my, that was a long response! I hope that some of this info was helpful to you!
I am also considering Plan II and have heard great things. Apparently it is very prestigious and a Plan II degree is well recognized by top graduate schools. My dad's friend is a UT alum of the law school and had great things to say about Plan II.
I have also heard that U Chicago is a black hole for fun. UVa is also one of my other top choices if I get in (easier said then done), but even then Plan II is still very attractive.
It's my first year in Plan II, and I definitely love it. Of course, it depends on the classes that you take (although everyone has to take World Lit and a TC, each class is unique). My World Literature class is my favorite class so far (Dr. Jerome Bump), but we also do the most work. We have discussion boards each day, which is basically like a response to the readings we do (400-700 words). We also have two-three formal writing each semester (Who is your role model, what is your passion, what is your leadership vision).
My world lit class is atypical in comparison to other classes. We focus on discover learning and a lot of time and place writing. Also, we each have the chance to lead the class, so the professor doesn't just talk during the whole class.
Overall, I think Plan II is an amazing resource. You engage in the most intellectually stimulating conversation both inside and outside of class (at least in my case). Work load isn't that bad, as long as you manage your time properly.
The most common response that I got when I told people I was applying for Plan II was "What's that?" Most of my teachers have never heard of it! Hopefully I'm the only one who has gotten this reaction since the other responses to this thread are more positive.
Personally, I like the idea of how Plan II combines the resources and opportunities of a huge university with a smaller community and smaller classes. It's the best of both worlds.
It seems unusual that you "major" in Plan II but I think that is what you do if you are in Plan II.
(I agree U of Chicago is more intense. It seems like a typical liberal arts grad from Chicago would practically be able to start up a classics program at a small university; the students at Chicago study all the time. At Texas, Plan II students can still make time for football games.)
Is there anyone who can tell me some more about other schools that compare or at the same level as Plan II? I've been rigorously checking over their website and it seems that Plan II students (180 accepted out of over 800) are some of the most distinguished in the country. It's one of those obvious public school incentives to get the elite students that would usually attend Ivy/ Ivy style schools.
Most Plan II students would be very competitive for admission a Ivy league and Ivy-caliber students.
The yield has been very high in the last few years, and one reason for this is that Ivies are being ultra-selective and lowering their acceptance rates.
Harvard only accepts 10%, but probably half were fully qualified, and the adcom simply had to pick between them.
But really Plan II is not one of those public school incentives to get elite students. It's been around for 75 years, back to a day when almost every kid in Texas stayed in state for college, and UT was almost entirely in-state. Plan II is the model and the standard for honors programs throughout the country.
Plan II has the advantage of drawing Ivy-caliber students to the university, but the university's low tuition and better atmosphere draw a lot of kids. Plan II has been taking the cream of the crop for many years before other public colleges even dreamed of it.
Nah, I just do my research. I've wanted to go to Plan II since I was a freshman, even when my classmates asked why I didn't want to go Ivy. I can't wait for next fall to actually go to UT and join the program.
But when you have amazing weather, amazing women, Texas football, and Texas period, plus the resources of a major research university with the intimacy of a small college, you get what sounds like the most amazing education on earth.
It's a shame more people don't know about Plan II.
Just from talking to people I know who are familiar with Plan II at UT I can say with some assurance that this is one of the best programs in the country. I would say that Plan II is at the same level as most of the top 10 schools on USNWR and as many have said offers awesome advantages such as its location, Austin. The average SAT score is well over 1400 and some 80 percent of the students are in the top 5% of their class. I also think the almost 80% of the students are at least National Merit Commended. Also, plan II students have an extremely broad yet inclusive curriculum that includes the study of metaphysics, philosopy, epitemology, political theory, and ontology to name a few. All of these rather unusual core curriculum requirements almost force Plan II students to have a comprehensive knowledge base that is second to none in Public Schools and very similar to the University of Chicago's core curriculum. The only difference is that UT Austin is the complete opposite of Chicago's infamous "where fun comes to die" saying!