Core and Graduation Requirements
All students must successfully complete 120 credits to graduate. Of these, 36-40 credits are in the Honors Core. The Honors Core is devoted to obtaining a broad-based education in the liberal arts and sciences through courses that emphasize critical thinking and writing skills. These courses introduce students to ways of thinking about science, politics, history, ethics, culture, visual images, and literature. Some of these courses serve as introductions to a specific discipline. Others approach problems and themes in ways that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. In addition, students take 26-43 credits of other graduation requirements, as well as a thesis, study abroad or internship, and coursework in the concentration.
Other Graduation Requirements:
Core Requirements – Writing
A list of WAC courses is available online.
All Honors College students will have a mid-career assessment of their writing at the end of their sophomore year. This involves assessment by a committee of faculty of a writing portfolio. The portfolio will consist of essays with professors comments, and should be turned in to Jeremy Hoyt in the Honors College Dean s Suite no later than the last day of the spring semester of the sophomore year.
This essay must meet the following four requirements:
If you do not turn in your writing portfolio by the deadline, your advisor will not lift your advising hold for the next registration period until you submit your portfolio.
Core Requirements - Areas of Study
Mathematics (6-8 credits, two courses)
One goal of the honors core is to help foster mathematical literacy. Mathematics is the languages of science and technology and increasingly of the social sciences. By virtue of its precision, mathematics allows a clear understanding of the world and our place within it. Indeed, important health and environmental issues (acid rain, water management, greenhouse effect) cannot be understood without mathematical literacy. By taking two courses in mathematics students will sharpen their critical thinking skills, learning to distinguish evidence from anecdote, and causality from correlation.
Natural Sciences (6-8 credits, two courses)
By taking two courses in two distinct disciplines within the natural sciences, students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the natural world as well as our place in it. At least one of these courses will include a laboratory section to give students hands-on experience and allow them to understand the meaning of science in both theory and practice.
Social and Behavioral Analysis (3 credits, one course)
The courses in social and behavioral analysis familiarize students with different approaches to the study of individual behavior and social institutions, and introduce them to some of the concepts and methods of the social sciences. The courses aim at an understanding of the reciprocal relations among people, societies and institutions, and encourage students to think critically and systematically about how these societies and institutions can best be arranged.
Culture, Ideas, and Values (3 credits, one course)
The courses in culture, ideas and values seek to help students understand and think critically about different value and belief systems across cultural and historical boundaries. Students will examine questions such as "what is the life worth living?", or "what is the basis for distinguishing knowledge from belief?" Some courses emphasize how these questions have been approached throughout history, others focus on how different cultures have addressed these questions, and some grapple with these questions without regard to their historical or cultural context. In any case, students will be asked to articulate, evaluate, and defend moral, aesthetic, or other value judgments, such as judgments about how one ought to live and claims about the validity of knowledge.
Literature (3 credits, one course)
Courses in literature are intended to develop students' ability to appreciate and understand literature, looking at texts in their historical and cultural contexts or examining themes, approaches, and generic conventions across time.
Arts (3 credits, one course)
Courses in arts are intended to develop students' ability to create and appreciate the arts in all of their forms, to enhance sensitivity to artistic expression and to increase familiarity with theories central to these forms. Courses may be structured historically, culturally (e.g., Chinese Art), or thematically.
Other Graduation Requirements
Distribution Electives (6 credits, two courses)
Many students arrive at college unfamiliar with the specialized areas of study within the social sciences and humanities. Students have the opportunity to discover and explore these by taking two additional 'distribution electives'. While these may be courses that satisfy the Social and Behavioral Analysis, Culture, Ideas, and Values, or Literature and the Arts requirements, they may be courses from any two distinct disciplines, one within the social sciences and one within the humanities.
Foreign Language (8 credits, two courses)
Learning foreign languages provides access to other cultures and worlds, to other ways of thinking. As this is an important objective of the Honors College, students are expected to take two courses in a language, and are encouraged to incorporate the study of language into a study abroad experience.
Critical Inquiry Seminars (5-9 credits, 3 courses)
Students take three Critical Inquiry Seminars. These seminars are specially designated one or three-credit team-taught courses that engage in interdisciplinary inquiry. At least one of the three courses must be a 3-credit course. The aim of these courses is to explore problems from a variety of perspectives and to reflect on the connections and shared concerns of scholars from distinct disciplines. For example, a psychology professor and a philosophy professor may team-teach a course on free will; or a political science professor and an anthropology professor may team-teach a course on indigenous religion and trans-nationalism in the Americas.
International and Environmental Studies