Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Class Sizes and CSE Course Offering in Honors College

CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
Does anyone have information regarding availability of introductory Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics in the Honors College?

I would like to know if these are offered and what the class sizes are? I am asking because Honors seems very beneficial for an engineering program because you are not in a large lecture hall for the beginning courses.

Replies to: Class Sizes and CSE Course Offering in Honors College

  • KajonKajon Registered User Posts: 4,448 Senior Member
    There are smaller classes for the Honors classes you referenced. Example - Physic Honors had 138 kids in each lecture and non Honors has 338. For each of these classes you will have a lecture, a discussion and a lab. Middlebrook Hall is the site for weekly study groups for these 3 honors courses.
  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    Are Calculus and Chemistry courses similar in size? Just trying to understand how beneficial Honors is. Having been an engineering major many years ago, smaller class sizes would have been very beneficial for the opening courses.

    Who teaches the Honors classes?
  • khidhalakhidhala Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    So I did a search for Fall 2015, just to give you a sampling for Calc and Chem. Here are the numbers:

    Calc (non-CSE students):
    Lectures: 220, Discussion: 28
    Calc (CSE students only):
    Lectures: 128, Discussion: 28
    Calc (CSE honors):
    Lectures: 63, Discussion: 28

    Chem: (intended for CSE, but not restricted):
    Lectures:357, Lab: 112
    Chem (CSE Honors)
    Lectures: 125, Lab: 24

    The lectures for honors sections are given by post-doc fellows, all of whom look young with impressive credentials. Don't know any of them personally, but I had my share of old professors for introductory calc- and I think young and smart is likely to be more engaging. Dr.Whitehead for calc, Drs. Penn and Maasari for Chem.

    With just a few exceptions, the non-honors sections are taught by "Staff". :)

    Hope that helps your research.
  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    Thanks. Very helpful! It would be good to get into Honors for sure for Chem and Physics. My experience from the Stone Age is that those are the two biggest weed out courses. Anything to help with those two would be very beneficial.

    If they do not get in Honors, then I will discuss with them the options. I am pretty sure they will not want to petition to get in. At least for sure my DD will not because she is not that aggressive. DS may depending on perceived value.

    I will let you know what happens.
  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    I think I am all about Stats due to my engineering/manufacturing background. A sad state. Maybe I need to be more open minded? :))
  • khidhalakhidhala Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    From my experience, Chemistry is more of the weeding course in Minnesota than Physics. Not that Physics is a breeze, but they take their Chem program seriously here, while Physics tends to reinforce Calc (if taken concurrently).
  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    Yes, I got that impression from the CSE tour. The ranking of Chem E is surely taken seriously. Godd my DS is taking AP Chem this year. That at least will give him a good foundation to start. I have expressed that he should take intro Chem classes even though he is taking AP Chem because it will be a thorough review.

    My feeling is the base has to be strong before you can build up.
  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member
    @khidhala Look at the size of entering Freshman classes below; along with middle 50% ACT:

    ISU 2332 25 - 30
    Purdue 1801 28 - 32
    OSU 1594 28 - 32
    Alabama 1342 27 - 32
    UMN 1060 29 - 33

    I see a very selective school which is hard to get into. Right now, in my opinion, the choice is either Alabama (slightly lower stats - very low cost) or UMN (higher stats - reasonable cost if get Gold National).

    Interesting comparison, don't you think?

    BTW, see my post on the Alabama forum on how much Alabama Eng has improved since 2010. They are being so aggressive that they will be in UMN league in another three years. Those full tuition scholarships to OOS students are paying off!!

    Check this article out:


  • khidhalakhidhala Registered User Posts: 319 Member
    We're facing about the same decision here. Being in-state to Minnesota, we have little to no expectation of any scholarship funds. Not that this is meant as a complaint- Minnesota has very good in-state tuition relative to its academic peers.

    Bluntly, it's not strictly a factor of stats vs. cost for DS. He has a menagerie of desires in a school, and for him, Alabama is coming out strong meeting or exceeding many of them. The cost is a plus for us who write the checks, but if it didn't meet his needs we wouldn't be looking at it.

  • CyclonesGradCyclonesGrad Registered User Posts: 499 Member

    My feeling right now is that UMN is the choice, if we get Gold National, because the incoming class size and the stats of incoming. UMN will be on par with UIUC and Purdue within the next few years in national rankings.

    Also, we are familiar with UMN because my D1 went there and graduated with a BA in Child Psychology.

    We have not spoken to Alabama yet. Maybe they will blow us away and my kids will want to go there.
  • KajonKajon Registered User Posts: 4,448 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    khidhala - 4 years ago our son was offered one of those full scholarships to Alabama. We never toured the campus, but did give it serious thought.

    He opted for the U of Minnesota and had an amazing experience as a Electrical Engineering Honor student in the 5 year Bachelor/Master program. This fall he will complete his masters.

    Trying to sort out how dollars work out with your finances, which school is the best fit for son and how the travel logistics and location affect your family can be a daunting task. Have you asked Minnesota and Alabama if they would agree to honor the scholarship awards if he selects one and then changes his mind next year?

    I think your son will have an amazing experience at either school!
This discussion has been closed.