For some reason, many students consider a degree in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and other related subjects to be hard to obtain. The truth is that none of these scientific fields are hard. As long as you know the basics of a given subject, there’s nothing to worry about. And the same applies to an honors degree in chemistry.
No, honors in chemistry is not hard. Although it requires more effort to get an honors degree compared to a non-honors degree in chemistry, the coursework is not hard by any means.
If you’re considering applying for an honors degree in chemistry but the thought of the coursework being hard is holding you back, this article is for you. The text explains what an honors degree in chemistry is and what the major differences between honors and non-honors degrees in chemistry are. You can also find more information about the types of honors degrees in chemistry and how to get one. Finally, we discuss whether it’s actually hard to obtain an honors degree in chemistry and if it’s even worth it.
What Is an Honors Degree in Chemistry?
There are a few different types of degrees in chemistry that students can apply for. An honors degree in chemistry is just one of them.
The Degree with Honors in chemistry is an undergraduate bachelor’s program that includes an independent research project under the supervision of a chemistry professor or faculty member. Honors degrees typically have a more extensive curriculum that focuses on specific subjects students choose based on their specialization.
Basically, an honors degree in chemistry is just a variant of an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
Here’s how an honors degree in chemistry is referred to in different countries:
- The United States – The Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry
- The United Kingdom – The Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Chemistry
- Canada – The Bachelor with Honours / The Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry
So, whether you come across the term “A Degree with Honors in Chemistry” or simply “Honors in Chemistry,” it’s the same exact undergraduate bachelor’s degree.
Study Portals shares further information about honors degree programs in different countries.
What Are the Differences between an Honors Degree and a non-Honors Degree in Chemistry?
As a bachelor’s degree and an honors degree in chemistry are two similar but different types of undergraduate bachelor’s degree programs, let’s highlight some of the key differences.
The main difference between an honors degree and a non-honors degree in chemistry is that getting an honors degree involves completing more advanced and in-depth coursework as well as research projects. As a student of an honors degree program in chemistry, you’ll most likely be required to satisfy higher academic standards.
An honors degree program in chemistry involves gaining an in-depth knowledge of different aspects of chemistry while focusing on a few selected subjects. On the other hand, a non-honors degree in chemistry covers a few different subjects while providing you with general information about each.
Besides, an honors degree in chemistry usually requires conducting independent research under the supervision of your professor. You may also be required to deliver oral presentations and submit a written thesis based on your research results. Contrarily, a non-honors degree may involve a few research projects, oftentimes group projects rather than independent ones.
Finally, the requirements for getting an honors degree in chemistry may include passing a few additional exams based on your selected subjects of specialization. In the case of a non-honors degree, you are not required to take any extra exams to graduate.
How to Get an Honors Degree in Chemistry
Honors degree requirements vary based on the country and university you study at. Still, a higher level of academic achievement is pretty much essential.
In fact, honors degree qualifications largely depend on where you study. To get an honors degree in chemistry, you may either be required to have an excellent academic standing or take additional courses apart from your regular bachelor’s degree subjects.
For instance, many American universities offer honors degrees to students with high cumulative GPAs. These are the Latin honor awards in the US:
- cum laude – at least a 3.50 GPA
- magna cum laude – minimum of a 3.70 GPA
- summa cum laude – a 3.90 GPA or higher
In other countries, such as Canada, a bachelor’s degree that takes 4 years to complete and involves more advanced coursework is referred to as an honors degree.
The most popular destination for students enthusiastic about gaining an honors degree is probably the United Kingdom. In the UK, the majority of bachelor’s degrees are actually honors degrees. These programs require students to conduct research and submit a thesis in the final year of study. Based on your academic performance, you can earn one of the following awards:
- Ordinary Bachelor’s Degree
- Third-Class Honors Degree
- Lower Second-Class Honors Degree
- Upper Second-Class Honors Degree
- First-Class Honors Degree
To get a general understanding of what honors degree requirements may look like, check this article by the University of Delaware. Here’s the structure of a bachelor’s degree program with honors in chemistry at the University of Oxford.
Different Types of Honors Degrees in Chemistry
Depending on what your study preferences and career goals are, you can choose from a few different types of honors degrees in chemistry.
There are four main types of honors degrees in chemistry. These are a bachelor’s degree with an honors project, a single honors degree, an integrated/embedded honors degree, and a joint/combined honors degree.
- A bachelor’s degree with an honors project in chemistry is the most basic honors degree you can opt for. It involves conducting a research project and/or submitting a thesis paper in the final year of study. A degree with an honors project is usually worth 360 credits compared to a regular bachelor’s degree which is worth 300 credits.
- A single honors degree in chemistry is a stand-alone degree that you can take as an additional course after completing your undergraduate study. To get a single honors degree, you’ll need to choose one course from your undergraduate courses as your specialization.
- An integrated or embedded honors degree in chemistry is a degree awarded to students who complete the honors degree requirements within the duration of the study. In the case of choosing an embedded honors degree, you don’t have to take an extra course to get the honors degree.
- A joint or combined honors degree in chemistry is for students who want to specialize in two or more subjects. A combined honors degree is the most advanced honors degree you can get.
Choosing one of these honors degrees in chemistry totally depends on your study goals, personal preferences, and interests. There is no specific answer to which honors degree program is the best. Make sure you take your time to contemplate your academic goals before opting for one.
Can I Get an Honors Degree in Chemistry Online?
While there are many online honors degree programs offered by leading universities, not every subject can be mastered remotely.
It’s highly unlikely to get an honors degree in chemistry online. This is because chemistry is a laboratory-based science and coursework involves lectures, seminars, and lab sessions.
If you want to specialize in chemistry, you should probably forget the online degree programs. While you can definitely learn the theoretical aspects of chemistry, it’s pretty much impossible to master the technique of performing lab experiments.
Without attending actual lab sessions, you won’t be able to get an honors degree in chemistry.
So, Is an Honors Degree in Chemistry Hard to Obtain?
No, getting an honors degree in chemistry is not hard. However, there are a few factors you should consider.
If you’re enthusiastic about studying chemistry and obtaining a higher academic degree while specializing in a selected subject is something you’re passionate about, then getting an honors degree in chemistry shouldn’t be hard.
Obviously, getting a bachelor’s degree, especially one with honors, isn’t something you can accomplish effortlessly. You’ll need to spend hours attending lectures and laboratory courses while devoting additional time to studying at home.
However, getting an honors degree in chemistry shouldn’t be regarded as something extremely hard or even impossible.
As long as you already know the basics of chemistry and you actually want to specialize in this subject, you can definitely obtain an honors degree in chemistry.
Keep in mind that if studying chemistry isn’t something you’re truly passionate about, choosing an honors degree in this field may seem like an absolute nightmare.
Is an Honors Degree in Chemistry Worth It?
But is it even worth it to put your resources into getting an honors degree in chemistry? While there is no specific answer to the question, here’s what you should take into account.
Getting an honors degree in chemistry is worth it if chemistry is a field you want to specialize in. Having an honors degree in chemistry will also equip you with the skills, knowledge, and experience to take further steps toward becoming an actual chemist.
As we’ve mentioned above, an honors degree in chemistry usually includes a more specific and in-depth curriculum. Gaining a better understanding of the selected subject and being involved in an independent research project under the supervision of a faculty member definitely helps you achieve academic success.
Besides, having an honors degree in chemistry means that you have an in-depth knowledge of that particular subject, making you a perfect candidate for master’s degree and Ph.D. programs.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your academic goals and personal preferences whether you opt for an honors degree program in chemistry or you choose a standard undergraduate degree instead. Having a non-honors bachelor’s degree in chemistry will also enable you to achieve success in the field.
Best Study Destinations for Honors in Chemistry
If you’ve decided to opt for a degree in chemistry with honors but you have no idea where to get started, here’s what you need to know.
The best study destination for getting a bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry is the United Kingdom. You can also get an honors degree in chemistry in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, and a few more European countries. Besides, there are plenty of American degree programs in chemistry that offer in-depth knowledge in the field.
While degree requirements, course structure, and award titles vary for different countries, you can achieve your academic goals, no matter what study destination you choose.