Curriculum- Frequently Asked Questions

Choose one of the following topics:

1) Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors College

2) Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors Research Project

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1) Frequently Asked Questions about the Honors College

  • What is so special about being in the Honors College?
  • Some say that I will not have a life once I get into the Honors College and that it will be too hard. Is that true?
  • What are the requirements to remain in the Honors College?
  • To graduate with honors, what requirements must I fulfill?
  • If I have a friend who is currently not in the Honors College and would like to apply, what should he or she do?

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What is so special about being in the Honors College?

There are so many special benefits that you will receive as an Honors student at The University of Akron. Academically, you will have special Honors sections of many courses and will take three (2-credit) colloquium courses. The topics vary, but the classes are small and are just for Honors students. You will have personal advising from the beginning of your program with a designated advisor from your major area of study. (Undeclared? - that's no problem, there is special advising for that, also).

In place of the general studies university requirements, you will be able to substitute the honors distribution requirements. You and your Honors advisor will design these requirements to allow you to study selected courses based on your interest. You can explore new topics, or study a known area at a much higher level. The honors distribution requirements will open up opportunities for you to use the many areas of study offered at a major university.

Your final year on campus (or perhaps even earlier) will include an undergraduate research experience. The Honors Research Project is a chance to complete a research project with a faculty member in your chosen area of study. Many students describe this as one of the best experiences of the entire Honors requirements. If graduate school is your next goal, then this research provides a particularly strong foundation for your moving to the next academic step.

Special housing is another benefit. The Honors/Orr Complex residential and academic center houses nearly 420 Honors students, and includes the Honors computer lab, classrooms, as well as the Honors College offices. You can work with other students in the many rooms available for group study, or relaxing.

Many of the students in the program receive some form of scholarship as they pursue their degree. A wide range of scholarships is available.

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Some say that I will not have a life once I get into the Honors College and that it will be too hard. Is that true?

Many students say that the courses are more interesting, even if more challenging. For several of your courses, you will be with like-minded students who want the opportunity to learn in an environment that supports self-motivation. Honors courses typically involve more discussion and, perhaps, more reading and group interaction. You will be given opportunities to refine your writing and verbal skills while learning a variety of topics.

The Honors Colloquia are good examples. A small class format, an unusual topic, a great teacher, and other Honors students give you a special academic experience. Faculty members select topics that are of special interest to them. The class discusses, reads, and learns together about this area of study. Why not go to the Curriculum page and check out some of the upcoming colloquia topics?

In terms of life, we think that you'll find that Honors students are some of the most active on campus. They are leaders in student government, athletics, honoraries, and social fraternities and sororities. Many of the students have jobs, while many participate in intramural sports, or go to plays and lectures. One thing is for sure, Honors students seem to realize the value of the many activities available to them on campus and take advantage of these opportunities.

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What are the requirements of retaining an Honors scholarship or for remaining in the Honors College?

There are gpa and some course requirements for each of these cases.

For Honors scholarship retention, the gpa requirement is on a sliding scale. The cumulative gpa should be 3.25 after two semesters of study (or at least 32 credits toward graduation), 3.30 after four semesters of study (or at least 64 credits toward graduation), 3.40 after six semesters of study (or at least 96 credits toward graduation). The sliding scale for the gpa allows students time to find a major they like and become established in it. Also, the Honors Research Project proposal must be submitted by the 14th week of the semester in which you attain 96 or more credits.

For remaining in the Honors College, a student must maintain a cumulative grade- point average of at least a 3.0 overall and a 2.0 in any semester in order to maintain status in the Honors College.  Students who do not meet these requirements are candidates for dismissal from the Honors College.
Students that are dismissed from the Honors College lose the rights and privileges associated with the Honors College.  At the time of dismissal students are given an option to remain with the Honors Distribution (less any remaining Honors Colloquia and the Honors Research Project) or to follow the General Education requirements. Students who raise their grade-point average to a 3.0 or higher are eligible for readmission to the Honors College.

While completing your major and college requirements, an honors student files a Honors Research Project proposal at least by the end of their junior year, registers for the Honors Research Project in the senior year, and completes the honors distribution requirements before graduation.

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To graduate with honors, what requirements must I fulfill?

The traditional honors titles associated with any qualified student at graduation are all expressed in Latin: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude (listing those categories here in increasing order of gpa). Many of the honors students graduate with either the magna or the summa prefix, but the lowest category requires at least a 3.40 graduation cumulative grade point average, and that gpa is also the minimum needed to graduate as a University Honors Scholar. One tricky thing about the gpa is that it is not necessarily the one on your semester report, as the "graduation" gpa includes courses you may have repeated. That's a university rule. You might need to ask the registrar about your graduation gpa.

University Honors Scholar is the title that will appear on the transcript of all the honors students who have (i) completed the three honors colloquia seminars, (ii) received at least a B on the Honors Research Project (and turned it in on time), (iii) completed the honors distribution requirements (as submitted with the advisor's signature), and (iv) have the gpa as described above. On all official UA transcripts, under degree honors, students receive the University Honors Scholar title. An honors student who completes all of these requirements, but whose graduation gpa is below 3.40 still has the phrase Completed Honors College Requirements listed on their transcript under the "degree honors" listing.

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