Exploring Ideas in Community
The Honors Program is a select group of students who explore an exciting world of challenging ideas together. CSB and SJU Honors students pride themselves on their shared love of learning and they relish their exchanges of ideas and hard questions. These exchanges go beyond the classroom walls to everyday life.
Hear from some of our current students:
I find myself loving the depth of the courses and curiosity of my peers while at the same time having plenty of time and energy to experience all that college has to offer. More.
The Honors program is a chance for me to challenge myself intellectually and develop the skills necessary to become a contributing member of society who is curious about the world around her. More.
I find the discussion and topics exhilarating, and the connections with other students and professors to be fun and beneficial. More.
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. First-year students also have the opportunity to take an Honors Philosophy course, Honors 250. First-year students are encouraged to consider other 200-level Honors courses.
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, where a student takes a regular course in any department for Honors credit by 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 0-credit or 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.