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Choosing an Honors College at UMD College Park

My son has to indicate his top 3 honors college choices by next week. He is having trouble finding much information on each other than what is on their web site. He was admitted into the engineering school and has a strong interest in math and science and is not interested in Gemstone since it is a 4 year commitment. He is also looking at this as a way to hopefully make the school smaller and interact with others with the same interests. I am assuming has cannot do honors and Virtus because they both have a living component so what would be the pros and cons if anyone knows of choosing one or the other. Does anyone know which honors college attracts the most engineering students?
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Replies to: Choosing an Honors College at UMD College Park

  • sl4122sl4122 24 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Both University Honors and ACES have a lot of engineering students.
    Speaking as an ACES student, most of my peers in ACES are computer science, computer engineering, math, or electrical engineering. There are a few businesses majors, English majors, and music majors. I am math and computer science and I find ACES coursework to be relevant. We also get the nicest dorm and the most career opportunities (a general consensus among Honors students).
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  • NoVaRatNoVaRat 99 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Are students who were admitted to the Honors College required to join an LLP? My daughter isn’t really interested in any of them. If she doesn’t select one, is she then no longer considered an Honors College student? If so, does it even matter?
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  • maryversitymaryversity 2042 replies75 threads Senior Member
    @NoVaRat Your daughter is not required to join a LLP; what she received is an invitation to join one. However, if she does not select one, then she is electing to not participate in Honors College. So, if she declines, then she will not be an Honors College student as a freshman.

    Unlike other schools' honors colleges, Maryland's Honors College is a program, not a status. The only "status" it confers is eligibility to take any H level course or honors seminar. Upon completion of the program, she would receive a citation on her transcript and there is some nice bling to wear at graduation, with a listing in the program that she completed the honors college program.

    There are other options available as a students to participate in honors programs for after freshman year.

    If she is a student in the CMNS department or business or engineering schools, then she is eligible to apply for QUEST, which is a three-year honors fellows program. You apply as a freshman for this program which commences sophomore year and it would make her an Honors College student again. She would be eligible to take any H level course or honors seminar as a QUEST student.

    If you are looking for academic recognition on your college diploma, there are only two ways to get that: departmental honors and latin honors.

    Departmental honors is something that you apply to only after you have matriculated as a student and only your college grades are considered (high school performance is not taken into account for departmental honors) as well as your rank within your department. Most departmental honors programs start junior year, but there are a few that start sophomore year. If admitted to departmental honors as an upperclassman, she would be eligible to take any H level course or honors seminar.

    Latin honors (cum laude, etc) is based on college gpa and each department sets its own range for qualification. Since Latin honors is only determined for graduation, it does not confer any eligibility to take any H level course or honors seminar.

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  • maryversitymaryversity 2042 replies75 threads Senior Member
    @User2987456 See above response for the pros of being in honors college. Virtus has all the bells and whistles of support for engineering students. While things could be different now, it is true that your son will likely have to choose between honors and virtus because of the residential component/commitment. Your son has to decide what is more interesting/important to him.

    My son (several years back) had the same decision about scholars v virtus. He chose scholars for a few reasons, but the primary reason was location of the dorm. Cambridge community is the closest to the engineering buildings, and he wanted to sleep in as much as possible, haha. However, he moved to South Campus Commons as a sophomore, which is the largest distance he could go, and it did not hinder his success as a student. In classic engineering style, he saw a problem and figured out a solution: he got a bike on campus to buy himself that extra time in bed. He also chose scholars for the same reason he didn't choose a tech school - he wanted to meet a diverse group of people, not just engineers.

    As for virtus, you should know that the engineering curriculum is very intense. Even students that attend "very competitive" high schools are challenged by the rigor of engineering courses at the college level. Virtus is specifically designed to support the needs of engineering students to ensure they succeed and therefore stay in the major. It has all the bells and whistles (tutoring specifically for engineering classes right in your dorm, block scheduling with peers for ease of study groups, career counseling, etc). It's a very successful program.

    Of course, students not in Virtus have access to tutors, career counseling, etc, but they have to make a little more effort to get it because it's not available in their dorms.

    So, there are pros and cons for both, and the decision really depends on each student.
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  • NoVaRatNoVaRat 99 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @maryversity Thanks for your response. My daughter spoke to a couple current UMD students over the weekend and ended up submitting the Honors LLP preference form. I think the dorm associated with each LLP played a large role in how she ranked them.
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  • NoVaRatNoVaRat 99 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited February 24
    My daughter received an email today informing her that she got into ACES, which she had listed as her first choice LLP. The e-mail only went to her, not to me, and as with virtually all the e-mails she has received from UMD, it was in her spam folder.
    edited February 24
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  • momsearchengmomsearcheng 78 replies10 threads Junior Member
    My DC got into UMD Honors (GPA 3.9999 unweigheted, 4.65 or more weighted) - not her first choice but fine.
    DC wrote essay as required to get to dorms - LLP.
    They gave DC 5th choice - University Honors!
    DC is in tears. It sounds that we are going to skip dorms all together if will chose UMD at all.
    What is wrong with UMD?
    They do not want good students?
    What should we do to move her to any LLP but not University Honors. Give a student 5th choice out a 5 possible programs is ridiculous.
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  • momsearchengmomsearcheng 78 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Apparently there are 6 choices, but DC was not interested in Gemstone at all.
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  • NoVaRatNoVaRat 99 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My DC got into UMD Honors (GPA 3.9999 unweigheted, 4.65 or more weighted) - not her first choice but fine.
    DC wrote essay as required to get to dorms - LLP.
    They gave DC 5th choice - University Honors!
    DC is in tears. It sounds that we are going to skip dorms all together if will chose UMD at all.
    What is wrong with UMD?
    They do not want good students?
    What should we do to move her to any LLP but not University Honors. Give a student 5th choice out a 5 possible programs is ridiculous.

    I don't see the issue here. University Honors seems like a solid program. It's the most flexible LLP, and they're going to have the newest dorms in the 2021-2022 school year.

    I think you're placing a little too much emphasis on whatever LLP your daughter applied to. UMD is a fine school; your daughter is not entitled to anything. Frankly, your entire post is a bit off-putting. Thousands of applicants would love to be in her position.
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  • PurpleLlama066PurpleLlama066 102 replies7 threads Junior Member
    is it bad that I didn't hear back?
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  • NoVaRatNoVaRat 99 replies1 threads Junior Member
    is it bad that I didn't hear back?

    I believe the preference form said that if you submitted your preferences by February 17, you would receive an invitation to an LLP by March 1. You should also check your junk/spam folder just in case. My daughter's LLP invite was in her spam folder.
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  • PurpleLlama066PurpleLlama066 102 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @NoVaRat, thanks, I did submit before then, not in spam. anyone hear from ILS?
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  • SoofDadSoofDad 1250 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Students can always drop out of whatever Honors program that they are in.

    Also, UMD is assigning Honors Programs to Admitted Students. Not all of these students will actually enroll. They all have until May 1 to make a final decision.
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  • User2987456User2987456 5 replies1 threads New Member
    @PurpleLlama066 it is also on Coalition if you have not found the email. If you can't find an email and it is not on your Coalition, I would call and make sure they received your selection form.

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  • PurpleLlama066PurpleLlama066 102 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @User2987456 , oh i found it on my coaltion. Thanks!
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