I came to Pitt knowing very little about majors or minors. I was the first from my family to study in the states for my undergraduate studies, so I did not exactly have any guidance like that either. However, my focus was Neuroscience and so that is what I decided to major in. It was a decision that I made as a junior in high school and I have to say, studying neuroscience at Pitt has made me love it more than ever. I have been fascinated by neuroscience and how this subject uses Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and even computer science at times. In high school, I enjoyed learning all those 5 subjects and understood how seamlessly they flow together while discovering the brain.
I knew a little about the general education requirements, but I was very excited looking at the course catalog. I did not get the opportunity to study the arts in High school, so I thought of exploring in my college career. I realized that I was very drawn to learning French culture and study theatre arts. Consequently, I decided to minor in them. These classes are great, and they add such a good balance to all my other science classes. I did declare an Applied Fitness minor in my Sophomore year as well, but unfortunately, I could not fit all my classes appropriately. Pittsburgh, in general, is very artsy too. A lot of TV shows and movies are shot here, and it is amazing how we get to see our city on the big screen often. A fun fact I learned in my Paris urbanization class last spring, is that Pittsburgh is actually called the Paris of the Appalachia!
Since my freshman year, I was eager to take honors classes because I heard so highly of them from others. I wasn’t a part of the honors college when I entered so I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to attend, but I quickly realized I was and started taking advantage of that opportunity. All honors courses are significantly smaller than regular classes. This means you get to interact more with your class and professors more. Be sure to take advantage of that! Attending office hours or talking to your professors before/after class is a great way for them to get to know you better. It’s very inspiring and motivating to listen to their stories about how they ended up teaching/doing research at Pitt.
Most of the Honors courses exams have an open-ended section or are totally open ended. On the other hand, the regular courses are all multiple-choice questions. I personally have never been good with MCQs, so I find the testing method better with honors courses! As for the content, all the honors courses are application based. Lastly, all of the honors courses are 1 credit more, which corresponds to one extra 50-minute session per week – so keep that in mind as you plan your schedules!