Beginning in their second semester, Honors students take a sequence of four courses in Western Culture. The courses survey the development of Western culture from the ancient world up to the present day. Students read original documents in literature, philosophy, religious thought and social thought. The classes combine some lecture and much discussion about the assigned readings for the day. By the end of the series, students have gained a broad perspective on the main values and themes of the Western tradition.
A topical methods seminar is offered for students in the 1st semester of the freshman year. The Honors Composition courses are connected to this seminar and to the first Western Culture class.
Honors students also take two courses in non-Western culture, which they select from offerings in history, anthropology, political science, art history, or other approved areas.
In the junior or senior year, Honors students enroll in a tutorial. This is a small class, usually with six to eight students. They pursue intensive study of a given topic with a faculty member who is an expert in the field. The tutorial introduces students to timely and important areas of research and it usually requires a major writing assignment.
How Does the Honors Program Fit into the College Curriculum?
The Honors Program provides an alternate route for completing basic required courses. Honors classes satisfy general distribution requirements for the various units on campus. If a student leaves the program, the classes easily translate into a normal college program with no loss of time or credit. Honors courses are demanding, yet the atmosphere is supportive and honors students generally maintain the same GPA in the program as they would taking ordinary courses.
Apart from their Honors requirements, Honors students follow a normal course of study in their own area of concentration, together with the other students in their unit. They must maintain a 3.5 GPA to remain in the program.
There are no special charges or fees for participation in the program.