1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Honors vs non honors physics

  1. Nov 21, 2008 #1
    Hey guys,
    I am applying to University of Delaware and was wondering if the title of graduating in honors physics was all that much better than simply physics. It is alot more writing intense according to the description, which makes me think that it will bring my grade down, because writing bores the hell out of me. Anyway, is taking honors worth it for getting a better job/better grad school versus the chance of lowering GPA?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It's my understanding that most graduate schools accept only people who have completed honours programs. The non honours streams tend to have too general of a focus and don't often give the student the appropriate background to prepare him or her for graduate work.
  4. Nov 21, 2008 #3
    What matters most if you applying to a graduate program (in my experience) is your research experience and GRE's. The questions you need to know the answers to are: Will your research opportunities (at your home institution and for summer programs like REU's) be limited on a non-honors track? Will your courses prepare you adequately for the GRE and for graduate core coursework on the non-honors track?

    Note: you will need to write scientific papers if you go on to get your Ph.D.
  5. Nov 21, 2008 #4
    Now-a-days most scientific communication is written... So no honours, no Phd.
  6. Nov 21, 2008 #5
    Wow. Some of them answers were not at all what i expected, but hey, thats why i asked the question right? I had no idea that an honors degre mattered so much in the area of acceptance into graduate school. Is this pretty much universal or for just sciences? For example, would a mathematics major be expected to be honors to get into a PHD program? just curious. Thanks for the responses guys.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  7. Nov 21, 2008 #6
    Well, lax1113, working in the lab has taught me an important thing: mastery of mundane scientific concepts is not enough to be a scientist. One must be able to communicate to truly be a scientist, after all, a scientist unable to communicate his findings or his data correctly and eloquently cannot survive too long.

    The honors curriculum pushes the student to perform unique research and to get a taste of graduate school and what is to be expected in your future endeavors.
  8. Nov 21, 2008 #7
    Thanks for your reply. It definetly makes sense the concept that knowing is different than being able to put something in a way that other people can also know. I know that sounds very basic, but I completely understand what you mean, and it does appear that honors is the way to go for futher studies. I sent my application last night without applying for the honors program but if i do end up going there, one can apply for honors after the first semester as long as a 3.40 is maintained and the faculty approve of it. Of course, if I cannot maintain a 3.40 there is no reason for me to think about honors because the course load would have been too heavy as it is. I doubt this will be an issue though. Thanks you very much for replies fellas.
  9. Nov 22, 2008 #8
    I'm sure maintaining the 3.40 isn't going to be hard. That's a little over a B+ average. I'm sure you have an aptitude for Math and Physics as well.

    Work hard and good luck. I'm glad I could be of help.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook