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Honors Seminars for Fall 2013

Previous Honors Seminars

Thesis Checklist

Apply for the Honors Program
(Currently Enrolled Students)

 

The eight-semester program is organized in three phases. The first phase provides the option of a one-semester hour seminar (HON 101), graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, specifically designed for first year students who might be interested in joining the Honors Program. This seminar introduces exceptional students to the Honors Program and the practice of collaborative learning before the student officially applies for the Honors Program.

The second phase focuses on scholarship in breadth and communication with people whose interests may be outside one's own area of interest and expertise. Students formally enrolled in the Honors Program participate in two one-semester hour seminars (HON 201), each overseen by two faculty members from substantively and conceptually different academic disciplines. These seminars are built around the interests of the students, who are equal partners in directing the content of the seminars and the central questions which inform them. Students carry out research relevant to the topic, writing and presenting thoughts, analysis, and findings related to the seminar. Students practice and refine many of the skills and techniques necessary for the third phase of the Honors Program. Note that students who elect to enter the Honors Program later in their scholastic careers must still take these two seminars at some point.

During the student's sophomore year, each Honors student is encouraged to seek out a faculty mentor(s) in the subject area in which he or she expects to produce a thesis. Due to faculty constraints and particular subject area expectations, a student must contact a faculty expert in the field to identify whether there are specific disciplinary requirements or processes by which an Honors student would secure a faculty Reading Committee. These processes may exist outside of the general Honors Program structure, so the earlier a student identifies these expectations, the more likely the student will be able to successfully complete the Honors thesis project.

The third phase of the program focuses on in-depth scholarship and effective communication of the results of that scholarship to people in the field of study, as well as those outside it, through honors students pursuing an original independent research project under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. The responsibility of securing a faculty mentor lies with the Honors student. Each student is encouraged to seek out a mentor in the area in which he or she wishes to pursue thesis research as early as possible because it is at each professor's discretion as to whether he or she serves on a thesis committee. This third phase of the program begins with selection of a Reading Committee and the drafting of a research prospectus in the student's third year and culminates in the production of an honors thesis (or project) in the final year.

During the fall semester of the junior year, the student secures a thesis supervisor and enrolls in Honors I. Honors I carries one-semester hour graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, with the grade to be determined by the Honors Program Director in consultation with the faculty supervisor. Satisfactory completion of Honors I is required to continue in the program. In the spring of the junior year the student enrolls in Honors II, a one-semester hour course, graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, in which the honors project is further refined and researched, culminating in an honors thesis prospectus approved by one primary and two secondary faculty readers. The construction of the first draft of the thesis commences during this semester and will continue through the summer prior to the senior year.

Upon successful completion of Honors II, the student enrolls in Honors III during the fall semester of the senior year. This is a two-semester hour course enabling intensive research of the thesis topic. A first draft of the thesis must be submitted to the student's reading committee by the end of this semester. The reading committee provides the student with feedback, including recommended revisions. After successful completion of Honors III, the student enrolls in Honors IV, a required course which carries two-semester hours of academic credit, during the spring semester of the senior year. Students are encouraged to submit their theses to appropriate competitions or for publication. Students are also required to present their thesis research/project at the annual Symposium in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. The final draft of the thesis is presented to the reading committee at least one week prior to the end of classes. At the reading committee's discretion the student will be asked to make a formal defense of the thesis. The faculty supervisor, in consultation with the reading committee and the program director, determines whether honors is to be awarded by the first day of the final examination period.

Schedule for Honors Program

Fall Semester Spring Semester

Freshman Year

Recruitment/Application.
Social activities.
Informational activities
HON 101.  Introduction to Honors. 1 hour.
Seminar led by two faculty from disparate disciplines.   Graded A-F.
Prerequisite:  permission of honors program director
HON 201. Honors Seminar. 1 hour

Sophomore Year

Seminar led by two faculty from disparate disciplines.
Graded A-F.
HON 201. Honors Seminar. 1 hour
Seminar led by two faculty from disparate disciplines.
Graded A-F.
HON 201. Honors Seminar. 1 hour

Junior Year

Development of Honors Project prospectus and reading list.
Initial reading. 
Attend research skills sessions. Graded S/U.
HON 301. Honors I. 1 hour
Refinement of prospectus.
Honors Project Research.
Prospectus must be approved by select faculty to continue. Project research and preparation of initial draft of thesis commences.
Graded S/U.
HON 302. Honors II. 1 hour

Senior Year

Project research and preparation of initial draft of thesis. Critique by reading committee.
Graded A-F.
HON 401. Honors III 2 hours
Preparation of final draft of thesis.  Defense. 
Presentation of Honors work.
Graded A-F
HON 402. Honors IV 2 hours

The following courses are offered for the Honors Program:


HON 101: Introduction to Honors (1 hour)
This seminar introduces first year prospective honors students to the Honors Program by combining the features of the HON 201 seminars with a general introduction and overview to the aims and features of the program. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

HON 201. Honors Seminar (1 hour)
This seminar, led by faculty members from two substantively and conceptually different disciplines, considers a question, problem, proposition, text, period of time, project, etc. The seminar focuses on student research, writing and presentations and emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach. Seminars have included: Self Reference - Artificial Intelligence, Literature and Society, Science and Postmodernism, Moderns Confront the Classics: Hobbes and Thucydides, Evolutionary Psychology, Creativity, Politics and Theatre, An Intimate History of Humanity and Gender and Discourse. Two semesters of Honors Seminar are required. Graded with a letter grade "A-F." Prerequisite: Application and admission into the Honors Program.

HON 301. Honors I (1 hour)
In this course, with the aid of a faculty supervisor, the student selects and begins to research a thesis topic. A preliminary prospectus is developed along with a reading list. The student attends a series of research skills sessions. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisites: Permission of the Honors Program Director and the faculty supervisor, a 3.3 overall grade-point average and a 3.5 grade-point average in the field in which the honors research is to be conducted. Specific disciplines may have additional expectations for successful completion of an Honors thesis in that area. Please see specific discipline/major web-pages or faculty for details.

HON 302. Honors II (1 hour)
In this course the student continues to research in order to refine the prospectus of the honors project. The prospectus and related materials are submitted to a select group of faculty who must approve the student's preparedness to continue the program. Honors students enrolled in this seminar will present their scholarship proposals before the group. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Satisfactory grade in HON 301.

HON 401. Honors III (2 hours)
Under continued direction of the faculty supervisor, intensive research of the thesis topic is undertaken in this course. Preparation of a first draft is submitted to the student's reading committee. Graded with a letter grade "A-F." Prerequisite: Satisfactory grade in HON 302.

HON 402. Honors IV (2 hours)
Revisions are made and a final draft of the thesis is submitted to the student's reading committee. A formal defense of the thesis may be scheduled. An appropriate oral presentation of the honors work also will be required in an academic setting. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of "C" in HON 401. Grade of "I" for HON 401 is not acceptable.

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