Hi! My name is Kari Parker. I’m a junior in the University Honors College (UHC) here at OSU. A little about myself: I’m a 3rd-year undergraduate in industrial engineering originally from Portland, OR; I’ve been a student here at OSU since fall of 2010, and so far my experience with both OSU and the Honors College has been pretty fantastic. Because of the encouraging environment in the Honors College, I have also decided to pursue two minors in business and theatre. These are my creative outlets when the engineering classes begin to cloud my brain with all sorts of numbers and formulas. I’m currently just beginning my thesis journey by working with my mentor Eric Hill on writing a monologue on women in engineering. This will allow me to combine my two passions in life: engineering and theatre, but I would not have decided to pursue such diverse subjects without the passionate environment that the University Honors College provides.
There are many different words that describe the UHC, but the best one I can think of is community. The UHC is first and foremost a collaborative community made up of motivated fun people. It is a place where the creative mind is encouraged and the disciplined student finds tangible feelings of success.
The way the UHC fosters this unique learning environment is by limiting class sizes to fewer than 25 students and by hiring only the finest professors in each department. Inside an honors classroom, you will find students who truly have an insatiable hunger to learn; likewise, you will find professors who are experts on each subject and who can create a learning environment where each student feels welcome. But actually getting into the UHC is no small feat.
The application process is highly competitive, but there are many opportunities for a prospective student to show where he or she shines. The requirements for first-year students to apply are a 3.75 GPA, an 1820 on the SAT, OR a 27 on the ACT. You only have to meet one of these minimums to apply. As a transfer student either at OSU already or transferring from a different college or university, you will need a 3.5 minimum GPA to apply. There are also two essay questions where the student gets to provide the honors college a peek into their own lives and experiences. In this section as well as in the activities section and the insight resume on the regular OSU application, the application committee really looks at the student to see how their life experiences have shaped the person they are today. As far as deadlines are concerned, the early round deadlines for students entering OSU directly from high school are November 1 and the primary round deadline is February 1. For transfer students (either currently attending OSU or another college or university), the application deadline is March 15. Check out the UHC application page: http://www.oregonstate.info/dept/honors/you-apply
After the student has been accepted, he or she will be required to maintain above a 3.25 GPA throughout their time in the UHC. The UHC also requires their students to write a thesis before they graduate as a capstone research project of their undergraduate career. This project is a way for the students to give back to the pool of knowledge that they have been gleaning from throughout their academic career.
Another benefit of being a part of the UHC is that there are honors academic advisors who are knowledgeable about every major across the university. They are resources that guide students along during their undergrad journey and help maintain the balance of being a dual citizen with the college of their major as well as the UHC. They are truly there to serve the students.
Some of the other privileges an honors student has includes, honors study lounges (SLUGs: Students Learning Underground), unlimited printing in the SLUG spaces, an honors themed on-campus residence hall (West Hall), the GEM (which offers an apartment setting close to campus, with priority placement for UHC students with a minimum of sophomore standing), study break activities, and honors exclusive trips like camping and skiing. Overall, being a student in the UHC means having a home where you can feel free to be creative and where you’re guaranteed success.