Interdisciplinary Program Director: Anthony Cunningham
The Honors Program gives students opportunities to enroll in Honors versions of Common Curriculum courses and to engage in independent thinking, research, and writing. Select and invitational, the Honors Program is open to entering first-year students by recommendation of the admission committee and the director of Honors. Well-qualified students may also enter the Honors Program at the sophomore level by submitting an application to the Honors Program in the spring semester of their first year.
Each semester, Honors courses are offered to fulfill Common Curriculum requirements: Honors First-Year Seminar, Mathematics, Fine Arts, Social Science, Natural Science, Theology and Humanities, as well as upper-division Theology and the Ethics Common Seminar. In addition to regular Honors courses, Honors Reading Groups (under Honors 270 and 370) provide students with an opportunity to discuss great books of mutual interest with a professor and small group of classmates beyond the usual classroom.
Students in Honors may also earn 4 Honors Option credits by contracting with instructors of Common Curriculum or departmental courses to supplement normal course work with an additional reading, research or writing project. The Honors Option requires the approval of the Honors Director. In exceptional circumstances, students may be allowed to earn 8 credits. Students interested in an Honors Option should contact the Honors Director. Students are encouraged to plan Honors Common Curriculum courses and the senior project into their four-year plan of study carefully, especially if they intend to study abroad.
To graduate with "All-College Honors" students must earn 32 credits or more in honors courses, including 12 credits in 300-level courses and achieve at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA. With the approval of the Honors Director, an Honors Option may be used to fulfill 4-8 of the 32 credits required. For students who enter the program in their sophomore year or who spend a semester abroad, the 32 credit requirement is reduced to 28 credits with 8 credits in 300-level courses. In this case, only one Honors Option may be used to fulfill 4 of the 28 credits required.
To graduate with "All-College Honors with Thesis or Departmental Distinction" one of the required Honors courses must be the Honors Thesis and the 0 or 1-credit Thesis Proposal course. If the grade received on the thesis is B or AB, students will receive "All-College Honors with Thesis." If an A or H is earned, the citation will be "All-College Honors with Departmental Distinction."
First-year Honors students need to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of their first year to remain in the program. Sophomores must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 each semester to remain in good standing. Juniors and seniors must maintain a 3.4 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing.
Students normally take one Honors course each of the eight semesters they are enrolled for a total of seven courses plus the senior Honors Thesis. However, students who want an additional challenge are encouraged to take two or more Honors courses in a given semester.
First year: 100 and 101 and/or Honors Philosophy (H250).
Sophomore year: One or two 200-level or 300-level courses each semester.
Junior year: One or more 200- or 300-level course each semester or an Honors Option. In addition, Honors 396 in the fall or spring semester.
Senior year: Honors 398 in the student's major field (normally required first semester of a student's senior year) and an additional 300-level honors course or an Honors Option.
Courses may be repeated for credit, if the content varies, with the permission of the director.
100-101 Honors First-Year Seminar. (4, 4)
A two-semester course with an emphasis on developing the skills in interpretation, writing, discussion and research which characterize all honors courses. Fulfills First-Year Seminar requirement and eight credits toward graduation with "All-College Honors."
210 Honors Natural Science. (4)
A study of great scientists, scientific ideas, and/or the most influential of scientific developments and revolutions in our culture. Fulfills the Common Curriculum Natural Science requirement.
220 Honors Social Science. (4)
A study of the most significant ideas and developments in the history of the Social Sciences. Fulfills the Common Curriculum requirement for the Social Sciences.
230 Honors Fine Arts. (4)
A study of great authors for the theater, artists and/or composers and their works. Fulfills the Common Curriculum Fine Arts requirement.
240 Honors Theology. (4)
The Christian Tradition rests on the Bible in combination with the received wisdom and practice that has been handed down for over two-thousand years. Students study and apply the interpretive methods for understanding the sacred text. The course then examines the major questions of Christianity by incorporating theological works, novels, the arts, and film into class discussion. Fulfills the lower-division Common Curriculum requirement for Theology.
250 Honors Humanities. (4)
An introductory study of great literary writers, philosophers and/or historians. Fulfills one course of the Humanities Common Curriculum requirement. The Philosophy section of Honors 250 is primarily reserved for first-year students.
270 Honors Special Topics. (0-4)
Special topics courses offered according to student and faculty interest. Honors reading groups (0-1 credit) fall under the special topics heading. Honors students play the main role in determining the theme and frequency of such groups.
271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of the director of honors and undergraduate research required. Not available to first-year students.
310-311 Great Books, Great Ideas. (4,4)
A year-long discussion-based seminar for juniors which concentrates on many of the world's greatest works of literature, political philosophy and intellectual history. Authors include Plato, Aristotle, Biblical writers, Augustine, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Goethe, Marx, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Freud, Woolf, Faulkner, O'Connor, Nadine Gordimer and Toni Morrison. Students selected for this seminar are asked to read a number of novels and plays to prepare themselves for participation. Interview required in the Spring semester of a student's sophomore year.
320 Honors Social Science. (4)
A study of great ideas and developments in the social sciences. Fulfills the Common Curriculum requirement for the Social Sciences.
340 Honors Upper Division Theology. (4)
An in-depth study of great writers, texts, developments and ideas of our Judeo-Christian culture and its traditions. Fulfills the upper-division Theology Common Curriculum requirement.
350 Honors Humanities. (4)
A study of great philosophers, literary authors and/or historians and their works. Fulfills one course of the Common Curriculum Humanities requirement.
370 Honors Special Topics. (0-4)
Special topics courses offered according to student and faculty interest. Honors reading groups (0-1 credit) fall under the special topics heading. Honors students play the main role in determining the theme and frequency of special topics courses.
371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of the coordinator of honors and undergraduate research and completion (or concurrent registration) of 12 credits within the program required. Not available to first-year students.
390 Honors Ethics Common Seminar. (4)
Analysis of societal and personal ethical issues. Topics are interdisciplinary and are chosen because they defy easy answers and widen the field of moral vision. This honors course fulfills the Common Curriculum Ethics Common Seminar requirement.
396 Proposal for Honors Essay, Research or Creative Project. (0-1)
Regular meetings with an advisor from the student's academic major and completion of a proposal for a senior honors essay or project. Normally taken spring semester of the student's junior year.
398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Close work with a faculty advisor from the student's major department in writing a thesis, conducting research or executing a creative project, often in an area closely related to the advisor's own research or creative work culminating in a public defense. Students receiving a grade of A or H receive departmental distinction within their major. Normally taken fall semester of the senior year within the student's major (e.g., CHEM 398, ENGL 398, PSYC 398). Note: also available to students not in the Honors Program. Prerequisites: HONR 396 and approval of the appropriate departmental chair and the coordinator of the honors and undergraduate research program.