Honors program should offer diverse courses

Students at UM have endless academic opportunities. And our options are growing each semester. But in the University Honors program, I see room for improvement.

To graduate with honors, students in the program need to complete 24 honors credits, which is an average of one honors course each semester. However, with such sparse honors offerings, finding a class that sounds interesting or fits your schedule can be challenging.

Luckily, courses at the 500 level automatically count for honors credit, but those require prerequisites. As a freshman, I feel like I didn’t have many options while registering.

The solution right now is to “pink-sheet” your class so that, with professor approval, you can complete more assignments and get honors credit, but honors classes are not supposed to be about having more homework.

Honors courses should entail learning in new ways, being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are up for the challenge.

I would love to see an honors program with more diversity – interdisciplinary courses rather than honors-coded sections of a run-of-the-mill class. More specialized programs like PRISM would also create stronger intellectual communities of talented faculty and students.

The Honors College at the University of Maryland offers six entirely different programs with innovative themes like entrepreneurship, research and digital culture. Although I’m glad I chose to attend the University of Miami, Maryland’s honors program was one of the big draws when I applied there.

An improved and differentiated University Honors program would attract top-tier students looking for an exceptional education and set UM apart from other schools.

Lyssa Goldberg is a freshman majoring in journalism and political science.