Why Houghton

“Houghton College provides an academically challenging, Christ-centered education in the liberal arts and sciences to students from diverse traditions and economic backgrounds and equips them to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world.”

At Houghton College, students find an experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Here, you will find a unique combination of rigorous academics, vibrant faith and authentic community. Since 1883, Houghton has been a place where students come to receive top-notch preparation for their future while being empowered to take ownership of their faith – all within a global context and a supportive and challenging Christian community.

We look for students who are academically curious, spiritually invested, interested in real connections with other students and professors and who looking to understand their place in the world and who God is calling them to be. Houghton strives to provide an atmosphere where each student can better understand the story that God has placed them in.

What’s the difference?

So, what makes Houghton different than a Canadian university or any other college or university for that matter?

Like a Canadian university, Houghton College offers four-year bachelor’s degrees. The terms “college” and “university” in the United States are used differently than in Canada. Here, students will receive a nationally-recognized bachelor’s degree as they might at a University in Canada.

The content of a Houghton degree versus one obtained elsewhere is where the true differences lie. In a typical Houghton student’s four year experience here, they will have had the opportunity to study abroad all over the globe, participate in campus athletics, join numerous clubs and organizations, get plugged in to a local church, wrestle with deep questions of faith and culture, make lasting connections with other students to form life-long friendships, and truly grow into a “whole person in a fragmented world,” as our president describes.

Another difference that you will find at Houghton is that we emphasize what is known as the “liberal arts” approach to education.  This means that, along with studies in your intended major or program, you will have the ability to take courses in theology, history, art, philosophy, science, psychology, film, digital video, outdoor leadership training, and many others.

Why so many options?  We believe that God has created a diverse world and in this world you will be faced with diverse challenges.  History tells us that graduates from a liberal-arts approach tend to be well-suited to the changing and challenging times in which we live.  Exposure to philosophy, theology, history, art, literature and music enables students to think deeply about their own chosen profession and to make connections between disciplines. Houghton students can commonly be found double-majoring or pursuing majors and minors in seemingly disparate disciplines: art and biology, music and physics, intercultural studies and equestrian, psychology and computer science, to name but a few. Not only does this allow students to think deeply and broadly but it exposes those who are somewhat unsure of their interests and future plans. Houghton’s General Education curriculum will give each student the opportunity to experience a variety of disciplines and, along with individual course advising from faculty members, hone his or her interests.

Unique programs and strengths

Among our 70 areas of study, Education, Pre-Med, Pre-Law and Intercultural Studies can be used as examples of fields in which Houghton offers a unique experience to Canadian students.

Majoring in Education at Houghton (through Inclusive Childhood Education or Adolescence Education) is analogous to how the “Concurrent Education” system works in Canada.  Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree at Houghton College, Canadian graduates are able to teach in Canada without needing to take extra course work or “Teachers’ College.”  Provinces vary in their requirements, so it is advisable to stay up to date on what your particular province requires of its teachers.

The medical school placement rate for Houghton College graduates is excellent and graduates are consistently placed among the best medical schools in North America and abroad.  Canadian graduates of our Pre-Med program in particular have gone on to medical schools throughout North America, including Dalhousie School of Medicine, McGill University, University of Texas and University of Florida. Other medical schools attended by Houghton graduates include Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University, Penn State, and many others.

Pre-Law at Houghton College serves as an umbrella under which many disciplines may fall. Those wishing to pursue law school commonly major in history, political science, philosophy, English and math, but biology, computer science, and other majors are also represented among our law school matriculants. Students are paired with a faculty advisor who will assist them in choosing classes that will best prepare them to take the LSAT (entrance examination for those considering law school). Skills that are essential to do well in law school are the following: critical thinking (the ability to understand and analyze complex problems and issues) and communication (the ability to transfer information coherently by text and by speech). Recent graduate have been accepted to law school at Harvard University, Duke University, University of Virginia, Regent University, and Baylor University among many others.

Intercultural Studies is one of the rapidly growing majors at Houghton College and covers Foreign Languages, Missions, Development, Islamic Studies, and others.  Students pursuing a major in Intercultural Studies have studied abroad in such locations as Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Spain, Australia, France, and Thailand.  A degree in INCL Studies could lead to a career in a variety of disciples: translation (e.g. Wycliffe), teaching English as a second language, diplomacy, full-time missions, international politics, and community development.  Intercultural Studies is often chosen as a double-major with other areas such as Business, Music, Education, and Biology.  For instance, those doubling with Biology often have an interest in medical missions.

There are just a few of the many options that Houghton provides for students.