What is Kilachand Honors College?
The mission of Kilachand Honors College is to offer a challenging education grounded in critical and creative thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving. Kilachand provides an integrated, four-year curriculum in which students address important global, societal, corporate, and geopolitical challenges over the course of the program.
Kilachand coursework is augmented by an extensive series of co-curricular opportunities, including visits to cultural institutions, arts events, and discussions with leading scientists, artists, and professionals. In their last year, Kilachand students complete a research project and share the outcomes of their work in a celebratory Symposium. All of these endeavors occur within a supportive living-learning community that offers students educational experiences similar to those of a small liberal arts college with the resources and intellectual depth of a major urban research university.
Being a part of the Kilachand Honors College community really enriched my experience at BU. I had friends who were engineers, philosophy majors, and communications majors. While studying biology myself, it was stimulating to consider my major through the lens of other disciplines, and the Kilachand Honors College community provides an ideal environment for this.
Patrick Reidy (CAS’14), Biology
Kilachand students pursue majors and minors offered by the schools and colleges across Boston University. English, chemistry, and neuroscience majors from the College of Arts and Sciences find themselves working in teams with biomedical engineers from the College of Engineering, business majors from the Questrom School of Business, and painters from the College of Fine Arts. All our first year students live together in Kilachand Hall, where the College advisors, staff, director, and associate directors also have offices. Co-curricular events that enhance the educational goals and the community of the college are also held in Kilachand Hall, offering students opportunities for frequent, informal interactions with faculty and staff.
The students who thrive at Kilachand are intellectually curious and courageous, and they want to put their knowledge to use to benefit their communities. We seek students who wish to study an array of subjects across the liberal arts and sciences, as well as focus deeply on their major interests. The Kilachand curriculum asks students to use the tools and methods of every academic discipline to understand global challenges and develop practical solutions. Through rigorous courses and co-curricular activities, students hone their capacity for critical reasoning and effective communication, skills that are crucial to every academic, intellectual, and socially responsible enterprise as well as to that all-important pursuit of shaping an engaged and fulfilling life beyond the university.
Writing Your Essay
High school seniors applying for admission to the Kilachand Honors College often ask what we’re looking for in our potential students and what they should include in their essays.
First, read the information on this website. Look at how the Kilachand Honors College fits with your program of choice. Read more about the co-curricular events and the purpose they serve. Peruse our course offerings and look at the four-year curriculum of the program. The Kilachand Honors College isn’t for everyone, but if it is a good fit for you, you’ll know after reading this information.
Second, think about what your personal goals and interests. Kilachand Honors College students stand out for their accomplishments, motivation, and excitement about the opportunities around them.
The relaxed atmosphere and intimacy of a six-student class allows for flexibility in the curriculum, and it also provides an open forum for discussions of observations and ideas. I like how I’ve used what I’ve learned in this class in my others, in terms of addressing all sides of arguments and being comfortable during open discussions.
Marissa Petersile (CAS’15), Undeclared
If you’re like many of the Kilachand Honors Students, you probably still want more information. Here is Professor Charles Dellheim, Director of the Kilachand Honors College, explaining how Kilachand Honors College students stand out from students in a traditional honors program:
“What are we looking for? We’re looking for people who are intellectually curious, motivated; they may have an intense interest in the subjects. A lot of our students are doing a number of different things. I’ll tell you what we don’t want—If you are an English major, or a chemist, or a violinist, and all you really want to do is English or chemistry or violin; if you don’t want to learn about other disciplines and other ways of looking at the world, you would be very unhappy in the Kilachand Honors College, because that’s not our purpose. We give people a lot of opportunities, especially in the second year, to pursue their own interests; in fact, we require them to do that. What we want are students who will be engaging with different ideas, different methods, different approaches, different ways of looking at the world. And also people who will enjoy being in a community that is made up of students from all over the University.
I’ve had conversations with students who were accepted and said I only want to be with students from my school; I want to be with the students in my degree. I have to tell you, I think that’s a disaster. When you’re with one group of people, especially when you’re in college, it can get old really quickly—you don’t learn anything about the disciplines outside of your own.
It isn’t that we’re looking for people who are well rounded—that’s a phrase I don’t like. I had a professor who said “Well-rounded—that means a person without edges! Without personality!” We are trying to find students who have a lot of ability and who would really flourish in college and add something to the community, but maybe didn’t have the highest SAT scores or GPA.”
If you’re interested in sitting in on a Kilachand Honors College class or talking with a current Student Ambassador, please contact us.