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Honors vs. Scholars

 Written by    March 23, 2016

One of the most common questions I get on tour is “What the heck is the difference between Honors and Scholars?” I am here to make sure you future Buckeyes don’t have the same confusion they do. If you’re still confused after reading, leave questions in the comments below!


I’ll begin with Scholars

There are 17 programs to choose from, ranging from International Affairs to Politics, Society, and Law to Mount Leadership. They don’t necessarily have anything to do with your major. For example, as a business student you don’t have to join Business Scholars just because that is your major.


Business Scholars at 2015 Convocation

Scholars is co-curricular, meaning it affects your life outside of the classroom more than it does in the classroom. It’s more about programs and trips that correlate with the Scholars theme.

The two biggest facts about Scholars that may affect your decisions are

  1. You can only add Scholars as an incoming student! That means once you are accepted to Ohio State, you cannot go back and add Scholars.
  1. You live with your Scholars group your first year on campus. It makes your housing decisions much easier, but it’s something to keep in mind as you do your college research.


Switching gears to Honors

Honors takes place in the classroom. You have smaller and more challenging classes, and research is heavily encouraged. You have the opportunity to live with fellow Honors students as a first year, but it isn’t mandatory.

Contrary to Scholars, you can add Honors once you get to Ohio State as long as you have enough credits to complete the Honors version of your major. This also means there is a possibility of doing both Scholars and Honors.


International Affairs trip to Atlanta

My Experience

I joined International Affairs Scholars as an incoming first year student. I lived with the 80 other first-year Scholars students in Mack Hall and participated in programs about international relations, different languages, and the Olympics. I have loved my experience with Scholars, and students in the program are still some of my best friends.

I added Honors during the second semester of my first year. I have been taking Honors classes ever since, and my transcript will read both Honors and Scholars. I really like my Honors classes, especially the smaller class sizes that allow me to get to know my classmates better. I’m not saying to join one or the other, but everyone should at least look into both!


My Honors Cohort program and our professor


One Response

  1. Hello, Stephanie!
    Thank you for giving a clear explanation about scholars and honors! I totally agree with it!
    Your clarification helps to understand the difference among these two important parts! Thank you a lot!

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