close up of umd shuttle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Fall 2020


Knowing what is going on is an important first step to investing in your honors education. Here are several ways to make sure that you are staying up to date with UH information:

  1. Make sure to check (and read!) your email regularly, so that you don’t miss out on information or opportunities
  2. Connect with us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: @univhonorsumd)
  3. Email us at university-honors@umd.edu
  4. Reach out directly to a UH staff member with any questions that you might have

UH will provide lots of opportunities for students to engage both inside and outside of the classroom, even if the opportunities look a little bit different this fall. Whether virtually and/or in person, here are just some of the ways that UH can enhance your college experience:

  • Connections with UH faculty. You will have the opportunity to get to know faculty both inside the classroom and outside of it.
  • Support from UH staff. The UH team is committed to helping you succeed during your UH and UMD experience.
  • Student leadership. From our Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) to our network of peer mentors and tutors (Peer Mentor Network), UH is a community of student leaders. You’ll also have opportunities to join the UH Student Advisory Board, Student Life Council, and other leadership cohort groups based on student interest.
  • Professional development and academic opportunities. From workshops on developing your professional portfolio to opportunities to discuss current world events, UH offers numerous opportunities to learn outside of the classroom too.
  • And of course, fun! From friendly competitions, to fun programs, to opportunities to talk about self-care and wellness, UH offers lots of ways to meet new friends and have a great time.

Connection is a central part of any living-learning program, and UH is committed to finding new and creative ways that we all can connect, make friends, and come together as a community safely. This will partially be virtual, but may also be in person if we can host some initiatives safely. Help build your community experience by sending us your ideas, joining the Student Life Council, and getting involved. This is your UH! Some of the exciting plans that we are building include:

  • Virtual programs, initiatives, and study groups
  • A re-imagined Student Life Council
  • Opportunities to engage with peers and student leaders, both individually and in groups
  • Conversations and dialogues about events and important topics
  • Alumni networking opportunities
  • Cohort experiences based on Gateway Seminar participation
  • Connections with other engagement opportunities in the Honors College and at UMD

Your decision whether or not to live on campus may be complicated and will certainly be informed by many factors. And as a program, we fully support whatever decision you make.

  • If you elect to live on campus, we look forward to welcoming you back to College Park in the fall. You are encouraged to consult the Department of Resident Life webpage, where you’ll find information regarding housing assignments, roommate requests, what you can expect life in the residence halls this fall, FAQs, etc.
  • If you previously submitted your On-Campus Housing and Dining Agreement and are now reconsidering that decision, please be aware that Resident Life has extended its cancelation deadline. You now have until Monday, July 20 to cancel this agreement without incurring any financial penalty.
  • If you choose not to live on campus this fall, rest assured that our online seminars and virtual co- curricular programming will enable us to welcome you as fully participating members of the UH community.


Orientation


You only need to do one orientation. The Honors orientation covers all of the things that a regular orientation does, plus extra information just for University Honors students.

Registration for fall courses is part of your orientation. When you have completed orientation, you should be registered for a full schedule, which is generally between 14-17 credits for most Honors students.

Yes. You can drop and add classes during the summer, and through the first ten days of classes in the fall.

For questions about the orientation itself, please contact the Orientation office at askorientation@umd.edu or 301-314-8217. For Honors advising questions regarding course selection, please contact Mr. Dean Hebert, Asst. Director for Student Achievement, at dhebert@umd.edu.


Curriculum


One is required, two are recommended.

- Start with our Gateway Seminar (HNUH 100). This 1-credit course is required for all first-semester UH students. Gateway Seminar is offered in Fall semester only and is open exclusively to first- semester UH students.

- In addition, we strongly recommend that students enroll in a 200-level HNUH course selected from our Thematic Clusters and Theory & Practice Tracks. (See the website for more information.) All of our courses satisfy GenEd requirements and help you progress toward the completion of your Honors Citation, while allowing you to explore interesting topics outside your major. Cluster courses are non-sequential, and more than one may be taken in any semester.

If UNIV 100 is required by the your major, both should be taken. HNUH100, our Gateway Seminar, is designed for and required of University Honors students. Its content differs from UNIV 100. If UNIV 100 is optional for your major, then the decision to take both is more of an individual choice. The benefit of taking UNIV100 in addition to HNUH100 is that UNIV100 is a broader introduction to many University resources. Having said that, one of our goals in the UH living-learning program is to engage with our students and keep you informed of opportunities and resources.

Your primary academic advising comes from your major, which is in one of the colleges and schools that make up the University. Many of the colleges have a general advising office in your first year or two, and typically assign you a staff or faculty advisor in your junior and senior years. If you are a double major, you’ll pick one of them to be your primary major, which will provide your main academic advising. In University Honors, Dean Hebert (Assistant Director for Student Achievement) serves as an extra advising resource for UH students. Please feel free to consult him directly with questions concerning UH course offerings. For further information about academic advising at Maryland, please see here: https://academiccatalog.umd.edu/undergraduate/registration-academic-requirements- regulations/academic-advising/".

A Thematic Cluster is completed when you successfully complete two of its courses, with one of the two courses being the required I-Series course. The two cluster courses do not need to be taken in any particular order. They can be taken in different semesters or together in the same semester.

A Track is completed when you successfully complete its two courses: the Theory Seminar and the Practice Seminar. Both are required. For most Tracks, its courses need not be taken in any particular order. They can be taken in different semesters or together in the same semester.

- UH’s curriculum unfolds in three phases. Our Gateway Seminar is Phase I, and its number is HNUH 100. Thematic Clusters and Theory & Practice Tracks are Phase II, and these are 200-level courses. The Vantage Point Seminar is Phase III, and its number is HNUH 300.

- Phase II course numbers are grouped by cluster or by track. For example, HNUH 228A, 228X, 228Y, and 228Z are the courses in one cluster, while HNUH 238A, 238X, 238Y, and 238Z are a second cluster. The course number ending in “A” is the required I-series course, while the small seminars in each cluster typically end with “W,” “X,” “Y,” or “Z.” Theory & Practice track course numbers will end in “T” (Theory course) or “P” (Practice course).

- Clusters are offered for two years, starting in Fall semester. For example, a Cluster that begins in Fall 2020 will be offered through Spring 2022. Clusters offered for the first time in Fall 2021 will be offered through Spring 2023. Typically, all of the courses that comprise a Cluster are offered in every semester in which the the Cluster runs. In 2020-21, the first four Clusters will be introduced. In Fall 2021, a second set of four Clusters will be offered. Thereafter, eight Clusters will be offered every academic year.

- Tracks do not have a predetermined lifecycle. Most will be offered for at least two academic years.

- A more detailed chart of the timeline of each Cluster and Track will be provided on the University Honors website, so that you will know when registering how much remaining time you have to take a second course in that cluster.

The short answer is six: HNUH 100 in your first semester, four 3-credit courses in your first and second year, and a 2-credit Vantage Point Seminar in your fourth or fifth semester. The four 3-credit courses can be either two courses from two different Thematic Clusters, or they can be two courses from a Cluster and two courses from a Theory & Practice Track. This totals the 15 credits of UH coursework that is required to earn the Honors Citation.

The courses under the “HONR” prefix are reserved for students who matriculated into University Honors prior to Fall 2020.

University Honors courses are different than regular courses. Our smaller seminars, for instance, prioritize discussions and group work that can be more difficult to achieve in large lectures. And UH courses are “enriched” with visiting speakers, field trips, curricular programming, etc. Also, in all of our courses, writing assignments are more typical than multiple choice exams. The overall goal, though, is not to give you extra work, but for the work to be interesting and engaging, with enhanced academic resources, in a setting where you have more individual attention than larger classes provide.

No, new UH students are not required to take an H-version course. Honors students are able to take these courses, which are often smaller in size. However, no H sections are required for completing your Honors citation, and these courses do not count toward the completion of your citation.


Living in University Honors


No, University Honors does not have a residency requirement. However, if you choose to live with University Honors students, you will reside in Hagerstown Hall your freshman year. When you apply for on-campus housing, Resident Life will automatically assign you to Hagerstown Hall unless you request otherwise.

Because we do not have a residency requirement, yes, you are welcome to live with someone outside of University Honors, unless that individual has a residency requirement of their own (for example, if they are part of a different Honors or Scholars program). You will need to coordinate with that person to find out whether you are eligible to live with them. Ultimately, roommate requests are arranged directly with the Department of Resident Life.

The residence hall at Varsity Fields is estimated to open in December 2021. We will have more information about room availability by the end of 2020.

University Honors students, being part of the Honors College, are able to return to traditional campus housing through their senior year, provided that they remain in campus housing continuously (except for study abroad) and meet Resident Life deadlines for housing contracts and room selection. We cannot guarantee a specific residence hall for returning students; the room assignment is dependent on space availability in a given building. Please refer to Resident Life Housing Commitments Policy at: http://reslife.umd.edu/housing/housingcommitments/.