ANNOUNCEMENT (and update to my previous blog): If you haven’t heard, DePaul Activities Board
has announced that We The Kings will be playing at Polarpalooza this year!
It’s crazy to think about how my time as an undergraduate is
coming to a close. Last quarter, I completed the last of the requirements for
my Spanish major. After next quarter, I will have finished my International
Studies major and will be registered as a graduate student at DePaul. Right now,
though, I’m taking my final Honors class.
No matter what you study at DePaul (during your
undergraduate career, at least), you will have to take some series of liberal
arts classes to fulfill your degree requirements. For most students, this requirement
takes the form of the Liberal Studies Program. For other students, the Honors Program replaces the Liberal Studies Program. I know when I was applying for
the Honors Program, I really had no clue what it was. And now even as a senior,
I still meet students who have never heard about the Honors Program and know
nothing about it. With the deadline for Honors Program applications approaching
quickly (March 2nd, in case you were wondering), I thought this
would be a great time to talk about how the Honors Program differs from the
Liberal Studies Program.
The Liberal Studies Program is comprised of two parts: the
Common Core and the Learning Domains. The Common Core is a series of 7-8 classes
that all students in the program have to take, including the Chicago Quarter
class, the Focal Point Seminar, and the Sophomore Seminar on Multiculturalism.
The Learning Domains, on the other hand, are extremely broad categories. Each
student must take at least one class (depending on your major) from each of the
six Learning Domains. Each Learning Domain can be fulfilled by taking one of
~100 eligible electives.
The Honors Program is designed for students who want an extra
academic challenge. In particular, the Honors classes really emphasize writing
and critical analysis. That being said, participation in the Honors Program
severely limits your course options. While Honors students similarly have to
meet the same Common Core and Learning Domain requirements as Liberal Studies students, Honors students are
generally limited to the courses offered by the Honors department. For
instance, while Liberal Studies students can choose from a list of over 100 courses to fulfill the Arts and Literature requirement, Honors students take
HON101: World Literature (to be fair, the content of which can vary with the professor). While
I’ve heard of one or two people that really didn’t like the limited options, I
can say in all honesty that I’ve been genuinely satisfied with almost every
class I’ve taken in the Honors Program.
In addition to your transcript reading “Honors Program
Graduate,” the Honors Program offers a ton of perks. Seriously, I tell everyone
to apply to the Honors Program for one main reason: priority registration. At
DePaul, freshmen get last choice for signing up for classes. By the end of
registration week, a lot of classes are already full. As an Honors student, you
have first choice for signing up for classes, even before seniors. It’s amazing
(and a good way to make sure you always get the schedule you want). Beyond
that, the Honors classes are never more than 20 students. Never. I have four
years worth of emails from the Honors advisors reminding students not to waste
their time asking professors to make an exception for them. Because the program
is relatively small, you end up seeing a lot of familiar faces in your classes.
And if you want even more of a familial atmosphere, the Honors Program has its
own floor in Seton Hall.
The Honors Program may not be right for everyone, but I
recommend it to anyone who thinks it might be right for them. Check out their website and apply soon!