Advantages of Honors
The number one benefit of Honors is the satisfaction you get in knowing that you have applied yourself, worked as hard as you can, and are set to reap the benefits. Sounds corny, but it's true. Our students report that the most satisfying part of Honors was completing the Honors Senior Thesis/Project, which they designed themselves and completed with the help of a faculty mentor.
The second best benefit of Honors is working with faculty. Through Departmental Honors, you are able to develop and foster close working relationships with the world-class faculty at Utah State University, often leaders in their fields. These mentoring relationships translate into strong letters of recommendation as well as additional insights into applying to graduate or professional school and life after college. Often these lead to opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and even employment.
I work hard and it pays off, and I'm not just talking about my grades. I'm talking about really learning something new. I feel like Honors classes and projects have stretched me in a personal and an intellectual way. I get to associate with professors who are passionate about their class, and passionate about teaching. Honors will help me even after I've graduated, whether I'm in graduate school or applying for Teach For America, or beginning to teach in my own classroom.
~ Amber Bowden, English Education, May 2009
Opportunities to do research. Honors students are encouraged to be doing research as early as possible in their undergraduate years. If not from day one, then from 2nd semester, we introduce you to the hows and whys of research through Honors Inquiry (HONR 2100). Why do research? Research allows you to engage in hands-on learning, to find answers to your own questions, and to learn the business of how we know what we know. To see more benefits of undergraduate research and to see why Utah State is a leader in undergraduate research, click here.
Honors offers a growing number of scholarships open only to Honors students, including the Morse Scholarship, the Helen B. Cannon Award, the Lawrence O. Cannon Award, and the Honors Study Abroad Scholarship. Read more about Honors Scholarships.
Being an Honors student will also make you more competitive should you choose to apply for a prestige fellowship: a national or international scholarship which will both grant you significant distinction and help fund you. In addition, you'll find the university's home base for prestige fellowship advising here in Honors. The Honors staff will help you revise drafts and strengthen your application.
Multiple leadership opportunities are available for Honors students through the Honors Fellows program, the Honors Student Council, peer mentorships in Honors House, and various committees, including the annual Last Lecture Committee.
Looking to the Future
Honors helps keep you focused on the future: on graduate school, professional school, or a distinguished career. Honors helps you surround yourself with people who are as motivated as you are, and that mutual support will help you meet your goals. The Honors community is strong and only growing stronger.
"Honors gave me the chance to start undergraduate research, which got me so excited about my major, and also opened internships with NASA, and now, career opportunities with Boeing, NASA, John Deere, and the Air Force. Honors creates opportunities!" ~ Daniel Guy Schauerhamer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, May 2006
Planning on attending graduate or professional school? Honors provides a path to set yourself apart and to get a head start on graduate or professional school admission.
Want a great job? With high unemployment, competition for good jobs has never been tougher. Honors gives you an edge: it shows prospective employers that you are a self-starter, that you are motivated, and that you go beyond what is required. Talking about your Honors contracts and thesis in an interview is a great way to demonstrate your skills.
Showcasing your work. Honors encourages you to engage in original work through research, and then to showcase it. Our seniors participate in Student Showcase each April, and many of our students present at Posters on the Hill in Salt Lake City and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Presenting your work is one more way to get ahead: you will have the kind of experience talking about your work that employers and graduate or professional schools are looking for.
Okay, there are some actual tangible benefits as well.
Honors students receive priority registration and will get to register even before university seniors. This means you'll never have trouble getting into the classes you need.
Honors Computer Lab
Yes, that's right. Honors has its own computer and study facilities in the library reserved for Honors students only. Once you're officially accepted into the Honors Program, come by the Honors office to get an entrance code to the computer lab.
Honors puts additional money on your USU card print account every semester you are active in Honors. You can then use your USU card to print in any computer lab in campus, which can really ease your wallet.
No Run Around
It is our policy in the Honors office to eliminate run around. If you're having trouble figuring out university procedures or who you need to talk to, come see us. We'll either know the answer to your question or know who you need to talk to.
Are you trying to decide which major is for you? Are the general education requirements confusing? Need some guidance with post-graduation plans? The Honors Office is staffed by helpful and friendly people, dedicated to making your experience at USU as rewarding as possible.
More often than not, you'll find a basket full of goodies in the Honors office, ready to aid the hungry Aggie.
Honors House provides an Honors housing community in the new living/learning community in the middle of campus. This state-of-the-art facility allows new and continuing Honors students to create a community of people who live, study, and socialize together.