To graduate with All-College Honors, a student needs to take a total of eight Honors courses, one of which may be based on Honors Thesis research in the senior year. For students who study abroad for a semester, the requirement is reduced to seven courses, one of which can be an Honors Thesis.
In the Honors First-Year Seminar, students are introduced to the ways of thinking and communicating that characterize all Honors courses. Students examine timeless ideas, question their understandings of the world, and defend their interpretations of important texts. Entering students also have the opportunity to take an Honors course in Philosophy, Honors 250. Other Honors courses may fit into a first-year schedule, and students should enroll as space allows and interests dictate.
Sophomore and Junior Years
Sophomores and Juniors choose from a variety of upper and lower division courses, many of which are interdisciplinary by nature. Sophomore and junior Honors students generally enroll in one or more Honors courses each semester. The "Honors Option" is also possible -- taking a regular course in any department but doing an extra project with the professor. The Honors Option can count toward your Honors requirements. Normally no more than one Honors Option will be counted toward graduation with All-College Honors. Another way to fulfill Honors requirements is to participate in "Reading Groups." These groups are created at the request of students and involve a faculty moderator. Participation in four reading groups counts as the equivalent of one Honors course toward program requirements.
Juniors and seniors in Honors may take the year-long Great Books Seminar. For many Honors students, this is their most memorable experience within the Honors program. During the junior year, students who intend to do a Senior Honors Thesis should also take a 1-credit thesis preparation course, Honors 396. This course aims at formulating a research topic and finding a thesis advisor.
In the senior year, Honors students usually choose another course or two to complete the eight-course requirement within Honors. Students who have chosen the Thesis Track also focus on their Senior Thesis. The Senior Thesis is an opportunity for students to gain valuable experience in conducting intensive research and creative work in the Humanities, Arts or Sciences. Non-traditional or unusual thesis topics are encouraged since they allow students to stretch and explore the possibilities of research and creativity.