The Honors Program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney is a central academic priority within an undergraduate curriculum noted for integrating liberal arts education and disciplinary specialties, executed by a faculty known for individualized work with students in the classroom and lab. Designed for students of high academic abilities, the UNK Honors Program offers an exciting experience in the liberal arts tradition.
Cutting-edge classes encourage active engagement in class discussion, and increase opportunities for in-depth intellectual exploration. At the same time, this four-year program enriches and supplements all academic majors in the university by including requirements in both the general studies and in a student's chosen discipline.
Each semester approximately twelve to fifteen different general studies classes from a wide variety of departments are offered as Honors classes. These classes fulfill University general studies requirements as well as Honors requirements. The program also offers interdisciplinary seminars, designed to reveal the relationships between the disciplines. One course example is "The Human Genome," a class students may take for Political Science or Biology general studies credit. This class explores the scientific, legal, ethical, economic, and social aspects of the mapping of human DNA. Another example is "The Search for Myth," which can fulfill Psychology or English literature general studies credit. This class explores a wide variety of cultural and historical mythologies and their current significance through readings of literature and non-fiction. The evaluation and assessment of student output in these Honors general studies seminars is wholly under the aegis of the faculty of these courses.
Upon completion of 15 credit hours of Honors general studies classes, Honors students complete 9 hours of "Honors Options" in their respective majors in which an Honors project is developed within the context of a required 300-400 level course. Generally students will opt for 1-2 h-options in the junior semesters, and complete the final h-option, the Senior Study, as a senior. Students work side by side with a professor to complete the Honors level work and through this mentoring gains much more knowledge of his or her discipline. Collaboration to determine what type of research and/or projects will take place within the context of the course is between the faculty mentors and the honors students. The purpose is to provide Honors students with the opportunities to explore particular topics in more depth within their respective disciplines, and to foster scholarly mentoring relationships with faculty in those disciplines.
The third and final Honors Option course, the Senior Study or Capstone Course is designed to allow Honors students to call upon their collective knowledge gained throughout their university careers, and bring this knowledge together in the form of a capstone project/research paper to be archived in the Honors Senior Study Archive/Library. More specifically, the Senior Study/Capstone Course is designed to enable students to:
- demonstrate the ability to form and support a coherent position on an issue or topic, utilizing critical thought, reason, and analysis;
- demonstrate the ability to use, in writing or multimedia, the forms of reference, the materials, and the ideas of specific academic areas in the manners of discourse appropriate to particular disciplines.
Previous Mission, Replaced Spring 2006