Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

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MrKappus
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 03, 2011 8:20 pm

rundoxierun wrote:
MrKappus wrote:That Ivy UG's and Top 10 law schools have "inflated" GPAs compared to their lower-ranked counterparts? I didn't know that was controversial.


The problem is that most of undergrad isnt graded on a curve. Because of this, a straight-up comparison can not be made between between Ivy UG and far lower-ranked schools. A comparison can only be made between schools that draw students of similar credentials. For example, you can say that Pomona College has inflated gpas as compared to Swarthmore but you cant say the same as compared to North Carolina Central.


(1) Dreadful Pomona trolling.
(2) I'm not sure what your argument is. Mine is that a person's perception of a grade is based not on how difficult it is to get that grade in the class where it was earned, but on the person's opinion of the school's quality.
(3) Curves have nothing to do with this.

GatorStudent
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby GatorStudent » Tue May 03, 2011 8:23 pm

glitter178 wrote: take the time it would take to write a thesis and use it to study for the LSAT.

your 3.98 and honors distinction won't mean anything if you get a 154 on the LSAT


Agreed. As someone whose numbers were very similar to a 154/3.98 when I first applied to law school (I retook, thankfully), it would be better to spend all of that time studying for the LSAT instead. With a 3.98 GPA (even from Auburn) and a high 160/170 LSAT, you're set.

Also, I graduated with honors from a no-name school. It didn't seem to affect my admissions at all, but then again, I can't read the minds of adcomms.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby ThomasMN » Tue May 03, 2011 8:41 pm

Auburn is not a ttt undergrad.

Honors programs can be really great for one thing: letters of recommendation. Auburn might be different than my undergrad, but my undergrad's honors program has smaller classes sizes as well as seminars with 5-10 students with two professors. Makes it easier to make a good impression on a professor and get a great LOR.

GatorStudent
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby GatorStudent » Tue May 03, 2011 8:45 pm

ThomasMN wrote:Auburn is not a ttt undergrad.

Honors programs can be really great for one thing: letters of recommendation. Auburn might be different than my undergrad, but my undergrad's honors program has smaller classes sizes as well as seminars with 5-10 students with two professors. Makes it easier to make a good impression on a professor and get a great LOR.


Just to be clear, I myself never implied that Auburn wasn't a good school (although after looking at my post, it may appear that way), and I loath the term "TTT."

You make a good point re: LOR's, but I still think spending hours on a 60-70 page thesis would be better spent on studying for the LSAT. But that's just my two cents!

dooood
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby dooood » Tue May 03, 2011 8:46 pm

OP, people here are generally right that keeping your GPA as high as possible is paramount at this point. However, (as is often the case on a site largely populated with 0Ls), this advice is a little short-sighted, and for two reasons. First, when you are applying for jobs come OCI (or your own networking efforts), details like this add dimension to your resume, which is important. Participating in an honors program that involves writing a thesis will convey that you have initiative, self-reliance and the capacity for abstract thought.

Second, there's a great possibility you'll enjoy this experience. You have a fantastic GPA, and not pursuing something you think you'll enjoy because it might it chip your 3.98 down to a 3.95 is silly (it likely won't harm your GPA anyway, since you've proven your academic prowess). Drawing on the first point, there are so many number-crunching tools in law school that your having something to talk about passionately during an interview will make you stand out. I know that writing my thesis was one of my most enjoyable experiences of undergrad. Either way, you're in good shape. Best of luck.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby ThomasMN » Tue May 03, 2011 8:48 pm

Sorry Gator, I was actually commenting more on something said earlier on.

A 50-70 page research paper is pretty heavy, but I don't think its really that rough. I admit I am a paper creation machine, so I'm a little biased. Plus, having written some hefty tomes, there is a valuable educational experience in creating a big paper like that.

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby AlabamaIceman » Tue May 03, 2011 8:48 pm

Sorry to jump back in to the discussion this late, but I want to thank everyone for their input. I do like the professor personally that I would be studying under, and the subject matter of the thesis is between he and myself, so it's certain to be a topic in which I have a modicum of interest.

As for the "time better spent on the LSAT" question, I'll be taking the LSAT in June and in October as a worst-case scenario plan B. The thesis would be researched and written throughout my senior (upcoming) year, and therefore would not directly infringe on my LSAT study period.
Last edited by AlabamaIceman on Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 pm

Very few people graduate with honors from undergrad, especially those applying to top law schools. This is a huge boost.

(Sarcasm)

But seriously, it won't be a huge distinction. The only question is: do you want to do it? If so, go for it. If not, then don't. I did an honors thesis thing and I enjoyed it.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby yngblkgifted » Tue May 03, 2011 8:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:Very few people graduate with honors from undergrad, especially those applying to top law schools. This is a huge boost.

(Sarcasm)

But seriously, it won't be a huge distinction. The only question is: do you want to do it? If so, go for it. If not, then don't. I did an honors thesis thing and I enjoyed it.


/thread

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Veyron
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby Veyron » Tue May 03, 2011 9:00 pm

AlabamaIceman wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Even still, no one thinks it's hard to get a 3.98 at a place like Auburn.


I won't start an argument on that point, but I can certainly tell you that I'm having a harder go of it that some of my friends and relations who are graduating places with more "prestige" in the area, such as Vanderbilt and others. Then again, I can't expect much else, I guess most people on this site get off to pictures of ivy league seals, so I'll just shut up and wait until I come back with an LSAT score.

But that's off topic.


To ad-coms, "hardness" = median undergrad LSAT score and major. HTH.

GatorStudent
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby GatorStudent » Tue May 03, 2011 9:08 pm

ThomasMN wrote:Sorry Gator, I was actually commenting more on something said earlier on.

A 50-70 page research paper is pretty heavy, but I don't think its really that rough. I admit I am a paper creation machine, so I'm a little biased. Plus, having written some hefty tomes, there is a valuable educational experience in creating a big paper like that.


No worries.

It seems that the OP just stated that it wouldn't interfere with his LSAT study time, so if that's the case, I think it's a good idea.

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T6Hopeful
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby T6Hopeful » Sun May 08, 2011 11:51 am

I agree with the majority of the above posters that writing an honors thesis isn't necessarily a significant distinction; however, I think it's been hinted at that this is specifically for law school admissions. If for whatever reason you decide not to go to law school or to put it off for a year or two, would you THEN be wishing you had done it? Like a few people above said though, do it if you'll enjoy doing it, not because it will boost or cut down your GPA, and not just because you'll get another line to put on your resume.

FWIW, I took the LSAT early (June, retook in October), and had almost no overlap with my thesis. Did well on the LSAT and I'm incredibly proud of my thesis.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun May 08, 2011 1:18 pm

Just as an anecdote, the couple people on this site who went to state schools and then transfered to top undergrads have all talked about how much harder it was at the top undergrad. There was a thread about it awhile back. For me my econ classes at my new undergrad are all curved to a B or B+ and the average numerical grades are often in the fifties. At my old school, which has at least as good of a rep as auburn, the classes often didn't need the curve or needed a much smaller one because the content was easier. Also because the competition is far greater here it's harder to finish higher on the curve. I actually think our average graduating gpa is slightly higher at this new school simply because it is harder to fail but it is also much harder to get an A.

The point being, average graduating gpa's is, at best, misleading people into thinking it's easier to do well. And at worst people know it's a stupid statistic and purposefully misrepresent what the data means.

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby AlabamaIceman » Sun May 08, 2011 1:20 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:Just as an anecdote, the couple people on this site who went to state schools and then transfered to top undergrads have all talked about how much harder it was at the top undergrad. There was a thread about it awhile back. For me my econ classes at my new undergrad are all curved to a B or B+ and the average numerical grades are often in the fifties. At my old school, which has at least as good of a rep as auburn, the classes often didn't need the curve or needed a much smaller one because the content was easier. Also because the competition is far greater here it's harder to finish higher on the curve. I actually think our average graduating gpa is slightly higher at this new school simply because it is harder to fail but it is also much harder to get an A.

The point being, average graduating gpa's is, at best, misleading people into thinking it's easier to do well. And at worst people know it's a stupid statistic and purposefully misrepresent what the data means.


That's great and all, and I agree with you (although I think that the difference is less drastic than you might argue), but what does that have to do with the topic?

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Patriot1208
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun May 08, 2011 1:25 pm

AlabamaIceman wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Just as an anecdote, the couple people on this site who went to state schools and then transfered to top undergrads have all talked about how much harder it was at the top undergrad. There was a thread about it awhile back. For me my econ classes at my new undergrad are all curved to a B or B+ and the average numerical grades are often in the fifties. At my old school, which has at least as good of a rep as auburn, the classes often didn't need the curve or needed a much smaller one because the content was easier. Also because the competition is far greater here it's harder to finish higher on the curve. I actually think our average graduating gpa is slightly higher at this new school simply because it is harder to fail but it is also much harder to get an A.

The point being, average graduating gpa's is, at best, misleading people into thinking it's easier to do well. And at worst people know it's a stupid statistic and purposefully misrepresent what the data means.

That's great and all, and I agree with you (although I think that the difference is less drastic than you might argue), but what does that have to do with the topic?

None whatsoever, but it does have to do with conversation that occurred in this thread. And in my experience it's pretty drastic, I put in probably double the time and my gpa at the new school is .2 lower.

maybe it's just my two schools but another person on here who transferred to vandy said the same thing.

Eta to adress your question, no the thesis is not worth it.

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AlabamaIceman
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby AlabamaIceman » Sun May 08, 2011 1:29 pm

maybe it's just my two schools but another person on here who transferred to vandy said the same thing.


Well like I said in a different topic, perspective is a damnable and elusive thing... I'm not doubting your word or that of your friends, but I have anecdotal examples from other schools as well, and at least in my college at this university and with the professors I have taken, I still feel like I have earned my GPA.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Graduating with honors distinction from undergrad

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun May 08, 2011 2:02 pm

AlabamaIceman wrote:
maybe it's just my two schools but another person on here who transferred to vandy said the same thing.


Well like I said in a different topic, perspective is a damnable and elusive thing... I'm not doubting your word or that of your friends, but I have anecdotal examples from other schools as well, and at least in my college at this university and with the professors I have taken, I still feel like I have earned my GPA.

I'm sure you did. A GPA that high requires hard work no matter where you go to school (well, pretty much). Nor did I mean to downplay your accomplishments.




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