What is the Pforzheimer Honors College?



Joseph Peterson

The Pforzheimer Honors College bills itself as a “community of talented undergraduate scholars,” but for many University students, the college is a noteworthy addition that is rarely discussed among non-members. From honors floors and lounges to honors classes, the average University student knows little of why the honors college exists and why students choose to join it.

The honors college promises it’s students a lot of opportunity; priority class registration, a mentor to help students stay on track, specialized advisement, special events (with free food!), sizeable scholarships, and much more. For the students in the college, it’s the relationships formed that make membership worthwhile. As University junior Kyle Igarta states, “The staff go out of their way for their students.” Even if it’s just a movie night during a stressful week. The faculty, staff, students, and professors in the honors college have a unique sense of community that can be taken advantage of in the University.

Furthermore,Honors Collegestudents are encouraged and required to engage in advanced research rarely found at the undergraduate level. Each honors student must complete a senior thesis on a topic in their major. Completing this rigorous academic research puts a student on track for graduate school and even job placement.

Perhaps the best thing about being in honors can be summarized by freshman Vincent Cuiffo, “Bill.” Dr. William Offutt has worked for the honors college since 2001, serving as a Director and now as a faculty advisor. His unique flexibility and charm make him just as lovable as he is helpful. Offutt truly cares for each and every student in the college and the students feel it. However, it’s not just Offutt, Director Jaclyn Kopel loved attending Pace’s honors college so much she returned post-graduation as a staff member, becoming the director in July 2017. Her put-together nature combined with a friendly smile and genuine care set her apart from the average director. She has honors blood in her veins and is not afraid to show it. These two super-powers, along with the additional wonderful staff, make honors worthwhile. It’s hard to fail when you are surrounded by people fighting for your success.

Getting intoThe Pforzheimer Honors College freshman year is no small feat. The college requires a 90% average in high school and a 1270 on the SAT. Students currently enrolled in the University also have the opportunity to transfer into the college. In order to transfer, a student must have a 3.5 GPA and fill out an application. The college is open to all schools and majors, including the performing arts. Once inside the college, students are expected to maintain a 3.3 GPA as well as take 8 honors classes during their four years (6 if they are a transfer student).

All in all, what The Pforzheimer Honors College provides is simple: community and opportunity. The students and staff love each other and together they form, as Jaclyn Kopel puts it, “a home away from home.” To learn more about The Pforzheimer Honors College, stop by the honors office on the second floor of One Pace Plaza.