Honors Program an Increasing Challenge

For many readers, this is the beginning of your second quarter at UCI. With at least one quarter over, students have received their first (or more) set of grades. Hopefully, they came out all right.
And if you had a stellar academic performance last quarter, congratulations. Welcome to the new year and all of the potential opportunities that come with the elusive 3.5-and-higher GPA.
Even after a single quarter, freshmen students are eligible for possible enrollment in the Campuswide Honors Program. Other students, particularly upperclassmen, might consider applying to the honors program in their respective schools.
The CHP offers many benefits and services for students, with priority enrollment being a particular favorite. Guaranteed on-campus housing, scholarship opportunities and the Honors Senior Thesis are included as well, not to mention the vibrant social atmosphere that exists among the 600 students.
Susan Csikesz, the senior advisor to the CHP, describes the program as being more ‘cross-disciplinary.’
‘If you started as a freshman, you would end up with an honors experience in humanities, social sciences and science,’ Csikesz said. ‘If you were only really interested in your major, you might be better served by your major honors program.’
For students interested in the CHP program, Csikesz advised that students ‘have to be in the position to still have time and the desire to complete at least one of our core sequences and do a research project and write it up as their honors thesis. The earlier they can identify they want to be in the program, the more time they have to take the benefits from the program.’
While a majority of the 600 students in the CHP are admitted into the program as freshmen, the honors office is still excited to accept students who have outstanding academic performance.
Csikesz estimated that roughly 20 to 30 people are accepted into the program each year. And while the process is grueling, she remained encouraging to students who wish to apply.
‘I give every transfer student I meet a copy of our application,’ Csikesz said.
Torch Sathienmars, a Peer Academic Advisor and CHP member, had his own insight on the program.
With regard to applying to the program, Sathienmars said, ‘Essentially, it’s up to the student. The nature of the application is so broad that you can do as much or as little as you want with it in terms of filling out the essays and adding important documentation.’
As far as his own application, Sathienmars said he included experiences from high school, including being an editor of a magazine he cofounded, photocopies of awards, photocopies of articles he published, resumes and other awards pertaining to scholarships.
However, his first attempt to apply to the CHP