Student Experience FAQs
**Written for Students by Students**
What is Campuswide Honors?
CHC Student Answer: Campuswide Honors is a challenging yet rewarding academic program at UCI, which provides students with an engaged community and countless opportunities to grow. The CHC academic courses are tailored to develop critical thinking and analysis skills and provide students with access to amazing, dedicated professors. The CHC faculty and my fellow peers have been an amazing support system during my time at UCI and CHC has opened many doors for me on campus in relation to clubs, research, academics, housing, and more – helping me broaden my horizons as a person and as a student.
Is it worth it to do honors? Is it only a “title”?
CHC Student Answer: The Campuswide Honors program is worth pursuing because it has allowed me to gain so many new experiences and allowed me to grow and expand during my time at UCI. With the honors core classes, wonderful professors, small class sizes and peer support, I have been able to delve into a variety of fields while learning to become a more critical thinker and engaged student. Also, the social aspect of having the CHC community has made my transition at UCI much smoother and more enjoyable and I am very thankful for that and it has made honors more than worth it for me.
How would you describe the honors community?
CHC Student Answer: The Campuswide Honors community, or CHCommunity as we endearingly call it, is a group of wonderful students, dedicated staff, and scholarly faculty who energetically strive to be the best they can be in their time here at UCI and beyond. Members of the honors community encourage the successes of others alongside their own, in an environment fostering collaboration over competition. By being actively engaged with Campuswide Honors, students can see that the honors community is much broader than just academics as we support each other in our shared honors classes, making lifelong connections with newfound friends and acquaintances. Since many students also choose to live in Honors themed housing, the academic learning honors community thrives as students get to know their fellow honors colleagues better as they study and have fun together.
How can I get involved in Campuswide Honors?
CHC Student Answer: As an honors student, you are a member of the honors community! Getting involved in Campuswide Honors can be as simple as coming to the weekly Coffee Hour or stopping by the Honors Office to chat with a Peer Academic Advisor. If you are looking for more, there are so many ways to get involved and gain leadership experience, depending on what your interests are. Campuswide Honors offers many opportunities to develop and grow as a leader in honors, including joining the Campuswide Honors Student Council or becoming a peer mentor. For creatively inclined students, there are the Campuswide Honors Yearbook and Neon Anteater Renaissance (NAR), a quarterly publication featuring student work such as poems and photography. In these positions, you can play a role in building the honors community.
Why should I get involved in Campuswide Honors?
CHC Student Answer: Participating in Campuswide Honors Events is an easy way to make friends within the honors community. There are many fun events hosted during the year that Campuswide Honors students can attend, including CHC Beach Day, Battle of the Brains (BotB), and other events hosted by the Campuswide Honors Student Council (CHSC). Honors students can also gain leadership experience by joining the aforementioned CHSC, becoming an Honors Peer Mentor, Honors Peer Academic Advisor, or Honors Resident Advisor. Through these opportunities, honors students get experience planning events, collaborating with other students to plan these events, as well as developing other soft skills that are helpful for professional development.
Are honors courses more difficult than non-honors courses?
CHC Student Answer: Honors core courses are taught by top-notch faculty who look forward to teaching honors students. In a sense, honors courses are more challenging because they go into greater depth—that’s a good thing as honors students are really engaged and do have lively discussions about course topics. I also find a lot of support from the professors who are happy to talk to me during office hours and from my classmates who are in my study group. In the end, I learn a lot from honors courses in terms of breadth and depth of topics as well as developing important critical thinking and study skills, which have helped me succeed in my major courses and research.
Is it possible for honors students to graduate in four years? to double major? to study abroad?
CHC Student Answer: Absolutely! The majority of CHC students graduate in four years, and there are countless Honors students who expand upon their academic experience by adding a second major or minor, or participating in other educational programs such as studying abroad, internships, or undergraduate research. One of the key factors that makes this possible is the incredible support and advising of the Honors staff, which consists of professional staff and student peer academic advisors whose goal is to ensure that students have their academic and course-planning questions answered. Whether it is via first-year one-on-one advising appointments with an Honors advisor, or having access to Honors graduate fellows to assist students with the process of their Honors research/thesis, the CHC is here to support students in achieving their academic goals at UCI.
CHC Student Answer: Of course! Many CHC students graduate within four years while adding another major or minor, or choosing to study abroad. If any CHC student feels that they have interest, they have a great support system with the Honors Advising staff. The Honors Advising staff, both the professional staff and the Peer Academic Advisors, are willing to help students with accomplishing their goals; this includes adding a major, minor, or wanting to study abroad. Honors students also have priority registration for registering for classes while they are within CHC. This allows them to enroll in classes that they need, without needing to stress over lack of spaces in those classes. Both of these Campuswide Honors perks can help any student thinking about double majoring, minoring, or studying abroad.
How are the professors at UCI?
CHC Student Answer: The professors at UCI and especially within the CHC are distinguished and visibly passionate about the area of study they teach. Honors core classes and enriching seminars offer a more intimate group of students, and the professors illustrate a special focus not only on your success in the course, but on forming connections with their students. They are eager to discuss course topics after class, and support you in office hours. CHC also encourages students to complete research with faculty one-on-one, allowing for a personalized experience. Honors faculty are proud to serve honors students, and often interact with students outside of an academic setting through events such as CHC Coffee Hour and promote the CHC passionately on panels.
CHC Student Answer: Research allows honors students to delve more deeply into their area of study, exposing them to the topics and allowing them hands-on experience of the methodology of their chosen field. It can be as interdisciplinary as you wish and should be tailored to your own interests. Research takes place in many settings: you can work in a scientific laboratory, conduct a field study, or even choreograph a dance piece! I met with an honors advisor in a one-on-one meeting about strategies and resources for conducting innovative research such as the Honors Research/Thesis Online Handbook. I am currently doing research in computational biology, and I was selected to present at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium. My project is definitely a highlight of my academic experience!
How does doing an honors program prepare me for a professional career?
CHC Student Answer: The honors core curriculum—with its smaller class sizes, emphasis on active participation, and broad reach—provides students with a strong academic foundation that will enable them to succeed throughout college and beyond in their professional careers. Honors professors go out of their way to encourage independent thinking in an open learning environment, while simultaneously cultivating collaborative skills through group discussions and projects. Honors research allows honors students to plan and implement out a major project, which is crucial in all fields and careers. Honors students spend a lot of time working closely with faculty, fostering professionalism and leadership. Moreover, the Campuswide Honors community extends beyond college, with alumni happy to advise new honors graduates.
What’s special about honors housing?
CHC Student Answer: Leaving home for the first time to live on campus is an intimidating prospect for many students, but what’s special about Honors housing that can help alleviate some of these concerns is its warm environment that creates a great sense of community. In Honors housing, CHC students have the opportunity to live alongside fellow Honors students who not only share common CHC classes but often similar study habits and interests. Honors halls empower students to succeed academically through collaborating with their hallmates, while also making the transition to college life less stressful through hall dinners and other exciting hall activities hosted by Honors resident advisors.
CHC Student Answer: Honors Housing is very special, as you are welcomed into UCI with a supportive community of passionate learners like yourself waiting to meet you. You are able to live with peers taking the same honors curriculum as you, and it allows you to have familiar faces in class from day one. Honors housing encourages forming study groups with your roommates, to collaborate on complex topics and learn from one another’s perspectives. Another aspect is that your RA is also an honors student, who can be a mentor figure and relatable friend in helping you navigate the CHC. Honors housing also fosters close relationships beyond academics–events put on by the RA offer an opportunity to engage with your hallmates and make friends to last a lifetime.
What kind of social lives do honors students have?
CHC Student Answer: Honors life is not solely centered on academics. Honors students engage in and put on many different activities and events. Every Friday morning, students congregate in the Locus, the honors student lounge, for coffee, donuts, and conversation. The honors calendar is filled with beach bonfires, camping trips, and exclusive guest lectures. The Campuswide Honors Student Council plans a range of activities throughout the year such as flag-football between honors houses, a variety show, and even a whale-watching expedition. All of these events help bring honors students closer together over shared interests, creating a smaller family inside of the larger UCI community.
What is there to do at UCI?
CHC Student Answer: UCI offers a variety of activities, both on and off campus. There is a diverse array of student-run organizations such as dance crews, Greek life, and the e-Sports initiative. In addition to top-level athletic teams, students can join a host of intramural sports teams and take part in a range of activities at the Anteater Recreation Center. Honors students are involved in all of these activities and many of these organizations. UCI also brings many famous and high-profile speakers (prize-winning scholars, politicians, and activists) for lectures that draw large student audiences. Viet Thanh Nguyen and Colson Whitehead, the two latest winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, have visited campus and talked to UCI students.
Irvine is centrally located so that you can go to the beach or to the mountains on the weekends. There are many shopping centers nearby (some on the bus route): Fashion Island and Irvine Spectrum are where students enjoy restaurants and shopping—and even a trip on the Ferris wheel! There are also several amusement parks in the surrounding neighborhoods: Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.
Go back to the Campuswide Honors Prospective Students page