OU Honors College: Pros and Cons and question

I have recently been accepted into OU and am looking to apply to their Honors College. What are some pros and cons to the Honors College? Also, on the application it has a dropbox to describe what type of student you are. I am both an IB student and incoming high school student. Which do you all suggest I choose? Thanks for the help!

I graduated with honors from OU in 2016 and I would say absolutely apply to the Honors College! At OU, the Honors College is something you do in addition to your main program, rather than a replacement for it, so there’s not much to lose by joining it. If you don’t like it for whatever reason (the courses don’t appeal to you, for example), you don’t even have to formally quit-- you can just stop trying to fulfill the requirements to graduate with honors.

But since you asked for pros and cons, here are some:


  • It has the feel of a small liberal arts college within a larger university, so you get to experience both things.
  • There are some really cool class offerings on really specific topics that the professors are passionate about.
  • Honors classes have smaller class sizes than a lot of classes outside the Honor’s College.
  • Honors informal reading groups are amazing.
  • Because class sizes are small, you can get to know professors more easily, which really enhanced my college experience.
  • Honors advisors are generally really good.
  • The library and courtyard in the Honors College buildings are great places to study!
  • The Honors College holds lots of interesting discussions and social events.


  • There can be a vibe of superiority to the rest of the school. If you join the Honors College, I’d encourage you to avoid thinking that all of the “smart students” and “students who care about school” are also in the Honors College. They’re all over campus!
  • My sense is that the Honors College is less diverse than the rest of the school, especially along the lines of race and class. This could be for a variety of reasons, including the differences in access HS students have to taking the ACT multiple times, the different amounts of spare time students have to take extra classes, and stereotypes of the Honors College, etc. It’s a problem I know the Honors College is working to address, but a problem nonetheless! And it’s further reason to avoid thinking that honors student are better than everyone else.

As for your IB vs. incoming HS student question, I’m not sure! From the Admissions Overview page (https://www.ou.edu/content/honors/admissions.html), it looks like the IB student status on the form may be particularly for international students, so if you’re an American IB student who took that SAT or ACT, maybe you’re supposed to select incoming HS student?

1 Like

Agree with the above post, nicely summarized. 3 points to add. Even non honors students can take Honors class, though there are some seats reserved for honors students. Many of the Honors college courses are multi-disciplinary and hence multiple profs from different dept involved for a given course. Finally OU has a program called FYRE (First Year Research Experience) and only for that program, only Honors students are eligible to apply. So if you are interested in research during UG, that is an opportunity. My D started in OU in 2016 and she enjoys so far OU. GL.

@se2012 When you say less diverse in race, what race is prominent in the honors college, asking out of curiosity.

My DD did FYRE and it opended many doors for her! Go for it!

When do you apply to the Honors College? The website says “after admission” but doesn’t say if that is before or after accepting your place/paying the deposit. Is there a deadline - no date is mentioned on the website?

If my memory serves right. You can apply after OU gives you the sooner id and email. You don’t have to accept and pay deposit to apply to Honors college. If you are a national merit scholar, if I am not mistaken OU automatically admits in Honors college.

There is no deadline for the Honors College application. You can apply at any time.

My daughter is struggling with the decision to attend Texas A&M as a regular full-time student to the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma…which would be more beneficial to her career in sports management and overall education?..her goal is to get a solid education and land a respectable job upon graduation:)