Description of Courses: General Studies Seminars and Major Classes
Each semester approximately 12-15 different general studies classes from a wide variety of departments are offered as Honors classes. Typically Honors students complete 9 hours of Honors general studies courses and 9 hours of Honors Options in the upper-division courses required by majors. The Program also offers interdisciplinary seminars, designed to reveal the relationships between the disciplines. One example is “Law and Science: The Human Genome,” a class students may take for PSCI credit or BIOL 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 is usually offered as either PSY or ENG credit. This class explores a wide variety of cultural and historical mythologies and their current significance through readings of literature, non-fiction, and film. The evaluation and assessment of student learning outcomes in these courses is wholly under the aegis of the faculty in these respective departments.
After the general studies are completed, students take Honors Options—classes required by the student’s major that can be taken for honors credit. A student chooses an upper-division class, and the honors work he/she does. It is a mentoring relationship between the student and the faculty member. Traditionally, students complete at least 9 hours of “H-Options.” The final H-Option is considered a Senior Study. Students submit a copy of the completed Senior Study to the Program for placement in a Senior Study Archive. These take many forms: research papers, internships, performances, portfolios. These too are evaluated by faculty in the students’ disciplines. They are assessed by Honors administration primarily for form and presentation, depth and quality, and by the the faculty mentors of the Honors Options, primarily for content.