Why the Honors Program?

The following entry was written by Molly Benjaminson, Class of 2016.

When I first looked at the website for the Honors Program, it seemed intimidating. I had always done pretty well in school, but I wasn’t sure I was ready for a challenging interdisciplinary program.

Then I carefully thought over my academic history: I had taken the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program offered at my high school, and those classes (much like APs) were more academically rigorous. Because I chose to pursue an IB diploma, every one of my courses for two years was considered advanced. My choice to take IBs had been less about the work and the material, and more about being part of a community of learners who were eager to apply themselves in intellectually creative ways. When I realized this is very much like the philosophy of Emerson’s Honors Program, I applied.

Students in classThe benefits of the Honors Program are many. The most obvious is the half-tuition scholarship that comes with being admitted into it, but it’s more than just a merit award. The Honors Program requires students to have an engaged attitude about learning since we constantly challenge ourselves intellectually and gain perspective through seminars, mentoring, and discussion. Doing well academically is important too — a 3.3 GPA is required to retain a place in the Honors Program. It’s true that we’re required to do a lot of reading and a lot of writing, but the payoff is huge: I’ve never been more fulfilled by an academic course. I have found a great community within which to pursue interesting classes that delve deeper into important social and philosophical themes.

If this sounds like it might be a good fit for you, keep it in mind when you apply for admission. The application process is easy – just check off your intent to apply to Honors on Emerson’s Common Application supplement, then submit an additional essay.

The Honors Program isn’t for everyone, but choosing it was one of the best decisions I made when applying to college and I continue to reap the rewards.

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