The best way to increase the possibility of completing a Houghton degree in less than the traditional four years is to follow these two guidelines:
Maximize your time spent at Houghton
Students at Houghton can take anywhere from 12 to 18 credit hours per semester. If you make wise use of your time at Houghton, as well as taking Mayterm courses and summer online courses, you could shave off a semester or two of college.
Strategize in high school
If you plan strategically, college credits earned during high school will transfer as credit to Houghton and start chipping away at your degree requirement and those 124 hours you need to graduate. Opportunities could include signing up for A.P. or college courses offered at your school. You could also look into taking CLEP exams or college courses over the summer. Taking a summer online course at Houghton is a great option!
Here’s a framework for you to keep in mind as you plan to complete your degree in less than 4 years:
- Plan ahead with your guidance counselor if you are still in high school.
- Get in touch with your Houghton College admission counselor.
- Get to know the degree requirements of the major you want to pursue.
- Get to know the General Education requirements.
- While at Houghton, meet with your faculty advisor regularly and consult with the registrar’s office.
- Make use of your college breaks to take additional credit at Houghton or elsewhere.
- Buckle up.
It is important to know that graduating early is not a guarantee, as there are some “ifs” that depend on factors such as course availability. However, you can be assured that you will be helped through the process by experienced Houghton faculty and staff.
Some Common Questions:
What if I want to have a minor or double major?
Since 2005, over 100 Houghton students graduated in fewer than 8 semesters. Of those students, 20% had a second major. Hence, the first thing to know is that it can be done. The second thing to know is that deciding to add a second major will influence the time it takes to complete your degree.
I’d like to travel abroad, can I still do that?
Study abroad opportunities at Houghton are varied: full-semester programs, Mayterm, summer trips or weeklong excursions. The short answer is: you can travel abroad and still complete a degree in less than four years. The question remains as to how long you can study abroad and achieve your goal of graduating in under four years. Talk with your advisor about what program you are interested in and he or she will see if it is a possibility within a three-year time-frame.
Can I still play on an athletic team?
Yes. You’ll need to weigh your time commitments carefully so that you do not overwhelm yourself with a rigorous academic schedule alongside a rigorous athletic schedule. Coaches know that they are working with scholar-athletes and it is no mistake that the term “scholar” comes first in that phrase.
I’ve been invited to participate in Honors at Houghton, how will that work?
You’ll need to talk with your advisor and look at the credits you have already earned entering Houghton and those that in your honors track will satisfy. Participating in Honors at Houghton does not preclude completing your degree requirements in less than four years. It is important to stress that participating in Honors at Houghton is a great opportunity, even if it means staying at Houghton for seven or eight semesters instead of six or seven.
Does my financial aid still apply if I decide to stay for the full eight semesters?
All financial aid awards are intended to be four-year awards. If you decided to stay for the entire four years, your financial aid package would most likely remain the same provided that you maintain the requisite GPA if you qualified for an academic award and your family’s financial situation does not change substantially if you qualified for need-based aid. At the point at which you are making that decision, you can talk with our financial aid office to make sure you have a clear financial picture.