Honors Program

<p>How prestigious is the honors program at Maryland compared to colleges such as Hopkins, Penn, Cornell, or even Brandeis (which isn't so prestigious yet but is a very good college). Let's say I get into the honors program with some type of scholarship. Would it be be more beneficial to go there and have a great social life and great education for less money or it still doesn't compare to top universities? How does the workload compare? I applied to Hopkins, Penn, Brandeis, and Maryland (hopefully get into honors program), and I already got into Michigan. Any information on how the workload, quality of education, etc is at the Honors Program in Maryland? I am planning on going pre med, so any information geared specifically towards the pre med track would be very helpful?</p>

<p>In all honesty, the Honors program means jack.</p>

<p>Don't get me wrong, I still love the opportunities UMD offers. However, the honors program does nothing more for you than regular admission academically. There are some classes specifically reserved for honors students (which regular students could just as easily participate in but for some reason can't), but that's about it.</p>

<p>This will probably sound a little elitist, but it is a decent way for UMD to roughly divide the hardworking students from the... not as hardworking students (I said roughly. I still know hard working non-honors students and vice-versa).</p>

<p>I strongly disagree. I'm in the Honor's College right now and could not be happier with the program. I get to participate in really interesting seminars with incredibly small classes, so not only do I get the opportunity to learn more specialized topics that interest me, but I get to develop relationships with really amazing professors (journalists, government officials, etc.). I feel like Maryland is already a really respected university and the Honors College just provides even more opportunities for me.
As for the workload, honors courses tend to give less busywork and more meaningful assignments. My honors seminars have focused more on classroom participation and dedication to the topics than homework and crazy workloads. I really feel as though I am getting a high quality education with the resources of a large state school at my fingertips.</p>

<p>Personally, honors seminars never meant anything to me besides passing CORE requirements. I'm also a comp sci/math double major. So maybe there is a difference if you take a more liberal arts track?</p>

<p>There are no seminar versions of math/science courses. Honors versions of those courses (typically only for very introductory courses) only mean more busy work.</p>

<p>I thoroughly enjoyed one of my honors seminars, really enjoyed another, and hated one. Overall, I'm glad they exist and you do meet some cool professors. </p>

<p>Eddie - when you say there's no seminar versions of math/science courses, what do you mean by that? There's definitely honors seminars that are about math and science. But what do you mean by versions? When I picked honors seminars I wasn't looking for a version of a class because I didn't think they're really supposed to be substitutes; I just took whatever looked most interesting to me. I mean they're really just to fulfill campus-wide CORE or fill in random credits, not intro classes right?</p>

<p>Well there's honors intro classes (like Math140H, CMSC131H, etc.) which are honors versions of introductory courses (Calc I and Object-Oriented Programming respectively). For the programming one at least, the only difference was that the projects had a 'for honors students' section, which pretty much meant 'honors kids, do what the normal kids are doing, plus this extra work.'</p>

<p>As for honors seminars (HONR courses), some of them are interesting and they do help fulfill random requirements. </p>

<p>But, all of the HONR courses that deal with math fufill the Fundamental Reasoning Requirement or something like that, which anyone with a science related major should have already fulfilled. In addition, most of the courses are like 'Math in Art' and stuff like that. Pretty much for liberal arts majors. </p>

Interviewer: So where did you go to school?</p>

<p>Me: I went to University of Maryland and I went to the Honors College!</p>

<p>Interviewer: What's special about the Honors College?</p>

<p>Me: Basically, I had smaller classes and could take seminar courses about politics and issues in society.</p>

<p>Interviewer: How does that make you more qualified to be a programmer/biologist/engineer/etc than a nonhonors student?</p>

<p>Me: ???</p>

<p>My biggest peeve is that the seminars are only offered to honors students for NO reason. These courses aren't so terribly advanced that only people with over a 1400 SAT can understand them. (I realized this doesn't really relate to the original question after I wrote this, but I feel its still a good point so I won't delete it).</p>

<p>tl; dr
While some honors seminars are interesting, I feel that there isn't any (overall) advantages to any regular student. I'd almost feel like I'm fluffing my resume when I write it.</p>

<p>EDIT: We can continue this conversation if you want via PM (if you want to) but I feel like this isn't answering the OP's question anymore so I would rather not keep bumping this thread.</p>

<p>I'm sorry if it seems like I'm attacking UMD (I do like UMD!!), but I'm was trying to give a blunt, neutral answer.</p>

<p>No you guys helped a lot. I understand what you're saying Eddie, and will talk to my counselor more once it comes time to decide what college I should decide to go to. I just wanted to hear from current UMD students and you guys gave me some good insight, thanks!</p>