Plan II Honors Program Description
Established in 1935, Plan II is a challenging interdisciplinary curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Plan II differs from most honors programs in that its core curriculum is itself a major. Over a third of the courses required for a Plan II degree are limited to Plan II students. Plan II students also have access to other honors-level courses at the University. The remaining classes are chosen from the extensive list of the University's departmental offerings. Many of these classes will be as challenging as honors courses.
- a year-long freshman course in world literature from the ancients to the present
- three semesters of interdisciplinary tutorials and seminars which develop and refine students' analytic and synthesizing capacities
- a year-long philosophy course for sophomores
- a semester of honors social science
- two semesters of non-US history
- a four-semester honors sequence in modes of reasoning, theoretical math or calculus, life sciences, and physical sciences
- a senior thesis, a major independent research and writing project, which is the culmination of a student's academic program in Plan II
In addition, students must satisfy University and College requirements with courses in both US government and history, a fine arts/humanities sequence, foreign language proficiency, and additional math or science.The elective hours incorporated into the Plan II curriculum provide flexibility if Plan II students choose to complete the equivalent of a second major in a particular subject area. For instance, a student might take electives in English in preparation for English graduate school. Someone wanting a career in banking might concentrate elective hours in economics, or even the Business Foundations certificate program. Many students complete the premed curriculum or a pre-law concentration in conjunction with their Plan II major and go on to medical school or law school. Often, Plan II students take an additional year and simultaneously earn a second degree––in business, engineering, or architecture, for example. Hence, it is possible through the electives to achieve some degree of specialization in tandem with the broad-based Plan II curriculum.
Admission to Plan II is competitive and is separate from admission to UT-Austin. In 2009, the program received over 1300 applications for the 180 freshman spots. The average SAT score of the 2009 freshman applicants was 1427 (Critical Reading and Math) 2059 (total). Six-hundred and nine (609) or 46.6% of the 2009 applicants were in their (ranking) high school's top 5%. Nine percent of the applicants were the valedictorian of their high school and over 50% had some kind of National Merit recognition. However, admission to Plan II is not based on scores and grades alone; other criteria include a lively spirit of intellectual adventure; a genuine desire for a broad education in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences; and the capacity for imagination and originality.