FAQ

What kinds of classes can Honors students take?
We've offered courses in everything from "Victorian Illustrated Poetry" and "The 1960s" to "Quantum Physics" and "Evolution of Sex." You can see our full list of current courses here. 

What is an Honors course?
An Honors course is any class that is part of the Honors Program. Honors courses are recognizable by the "H" in the course number in the college's catalog and schedule. Honors courses are offered in the Core Curriculum, which is a set of courses that all undergraduate students must complete in order to graduate from Columbia. Many Honors courses are developed by full-time faculty members in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences with subject matter drawn from their research and scholarly interests. 

Are Honors courses more difficult than other courses?
This is a common concern, and you should know going in that Honors courses are meant to be challenging—we hope that's why you're taking them! That said, Honors classes are never about "doing more work." They're about putting you in a classroom with other students who are as motivated by challenge as you, and pairing you with a faculty member who is ready to help you meet that challenge. The actual workload will vary based on the instructor and the subject, which is true of all classes. 

One other difference: Honors courses are generally smaller. 

How does Columbia handle credits earned through Advanced Placement, International Baccaulaureate, or Dual Enrollment programs?
While Columbia has a generous policy for accepting pre-collegiate credits toward the Core Curriculum and even some major fields of study, all Honors credits must be completed in residence at Columbia.

Are transfer students eligible for the Honors Program?
Absolutely, although it may be a challenge to fit it into your schedule. Because Honors courses are offered in the LAS Core, and because transfer students have often completed a substantial number of these credits, we recommend that you work closely with your advisor to find Honors classes that meet the requirements you need to best fit your schedule and interests. If you have met most of your Core requirements, you may want to consider an Undergraduate Research Mentorship Initiative, which can be taken for Honors credit (junior standing required). 

I was invited to join the Honors Program when I was accepted into Columbia. Now what?
First, congrats! We're thrilled you'll be joining us. After you've followed the directions from Admissions, you should RSVP for your orientation session and complete a brief registration tutorial. We recommend taking at least one Honors course in your first semester of classes. For most students, this will be an Honors section of the First Semester Experience (known as "Big Chicago" course), or Writing and Rhetoric I: Honors or Writing and Rhetoric II: Honors.

Does the Honors Program offer any scholarships?
There are no Honors Program scholarships at present, but Columbia has many scholarships that reward incoming and current students based on need and/or academic excellence. Visit colum.edu/scholarships for more information. We also offer the Honors Library Research Award, which carries with it a stipend. 

If I'm in the Honors Program, do I have to take Honors courses every semester?
No, but you're welcome to take as many Honors classes as you like and can fit into your schedule. You should still be able to take all the Honors classes required to complete the program even if you're not able to schedule one every semester.

Are there extra fees associated with the Honors Program?
There are no course fees specific to Honors courses, but some courses do carry fees for specialized equipment or activities. These fees are indicated in the OASIS course listings and will appear on your tuition bill. 

How do I check my progress in fulfilling the requirements of the Honors Program?
If you've declared for the Honors Program, your Advising guide in OASIS will automatically track your Honors credits as you take them. If you have questions, ask your college advisor.

How does Latin Honors differ from the Honors Program?
The Honors Program is distinct from Latin Honors, which is based solely on GPA. However, you may graduate with both if you have met the requirements of the Honors Program (15 hours of Honors course credit) and have also maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher. Please see the description of Latin Honors (Summa cum Laude, Magna cum Laude, and Cum Laude) in the Catalog's Undergraduate Academic Policies.

What other opportunities are available for Honors students?
Check out our Honors Program Opportunities page for additional info.

Still have questions about the Honors Program at Columbia College Chicago? Contact Robin Whatley at rwhatley@colum.edu.