College of Arts and Sciences
University Honors Program

Course Descriptions

  • First-Year Honors Schedule

    Fall: The Ancient World


     HONR 1010 Ancient Greek Philosophy    4 cr. 

    Introduces the methods of philosophical questioning and thinking while exploring the work of its founders:  Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

    HONR 1110 Greek and Roman Literature    4 cr.

    A study of classical Greek and Roman literary works by Homer, Vergil, Euripedes, Aristophanes, Hesiod, Ovid, Cicero, Seneca, Catullus, and others.

    HONR 1120 Mediterranean Civilization    4 cr.  

    The development of civilization in the Near East and Mediterranean world.  The rise and fall of city-states, Macedonia/Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman Republic/Empire. 


    Winter:  The Middle Ages


     HONR 1030 Medieval Philosophy and Theology    4 cr.

    Medieval philosophy and theology as shaped and influenced primarily by Augustine, Boethius and Thomas Aquinas, as well as other religious figures and traditions.

    HONR 1130 Medieval English and Continental Literature    4 cr.

    Medieval English and Continental literature: readings and discussion of works such as Arthurian romances, Dante's Divine Comedy (selections), Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, (selections), de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies and others.

    HONR 1230 History of the Middle Ages    4 cr.

    Christian, Muslim, and Jewish society, economics, and politics; rural and urban life; the development of the papal state and national kingdoms; law and parliamentary institutions; the geographic expansion of Europe; towns and long-distance trade; church-state relations; late medieval unrest and warfare; universities and the spread of literacy.

    Outside Course    5 cr.


    Spring: Toward New Worlds


     HONR 2010 Early Modern Philosophy    4 cr.

    The major issues in Western philosophical thought from the 17th through the 18th century: Descartes, Leibniz, Hobbes, Locke, Hume and others.

    HONR 2110 Renaissance to Neoclassical Literature    4 cr.

    A study of 16th- and 17th-century literature with an emphasis on the creative use of language.  Authors to be studied include Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and others.

    HONR 2210 Early Modern History    4 cr.

    Renaissance, Reformation, Wars of Religion, European expansion and the rise of colonialism, Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. 

    Outside Course    5 cr.


    Second-Year Honors Schedule

    Fall:  The Rise of Modernity


     HONR 2020 18th- and 19th-Century Philosophy    4 cr.

    The major issues in late 18th and 19th century thought through the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Mill and Nietzsche.     

     HONR 2120 18th- and 19th-Century  Literature    4 cr.

    Eighteenth and 19th century English, Continental and American literature as represented by Swift, Blake, Wordsworth, the Brontës, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Dickinson and others.

    HONR 2220 18th- and 19th-Century  History    4 cr.

    Course examines the West's changing relationship to the world: intellectually through the universalists of the Enlightenment; politically through the American and French revolutions; economically through industrialization and militarily through imperialism. 

    Outside Course    5 cr. 


    Winter: The Contemporary World


     HONR 2030 20th- to 21st-Century  Philosophy    4 cr.

    Reading and discussion of 20th-century and 21st-century philosophers such as Sartre, Heidegger, Foucault, Arendt, Wittgenstein and others.  The seminar raises contemporary philosophical questions. 

    HONR 2130 20th- to 21st-Century  Literature    4 cr.

    The literature of the 20th century and 21st  centuries as represented by such writers as Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Harold Pinter, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Chinua Achebe. 

    HONR 2510 Social Science Seminar    4 cr.

    An examination of influential social science thought as it evolved since the 19th century.  The seminar is offered with a focus on economics, political science or sociology. 

    Outside Course    5 cr.


    Spring: Engaging the World


     HONR 3000 Global Engagement Seminar    4 cr.

    In this seminar, students focus on an international problem or a social problem with global ramifications.  It asks students to analyze the historical roots of this problem and devise possible solutions to it and/or ways of mitigating its effects.  The course would have different emphases depending on the specialities of the instructors (e.g., "Genocide in the Modern World" or "Revolution in the Modern World").

    HONR 3010 Religion in the Contemporary World    4 cr.

    This seminar asks students to reflect on questions of meaning, spirituality, values, and ethics within the context of the contemporary world and the challenges we face in it.  The course would have different emphases depending on the specialities of the instructors (e.g., "Religion and Science" or "Spirituality, East and West").

    Two Outside Courses    10 cr.