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Honors Courses & Seminars

Each semester, the Honors General Education course offerings and Honors Seminar topics change. Check here for the latest on current and upcoming course offerings.

Four Year Program Pathway
Four-Year PathwayCreditsSemester
IDH 1041 Honors Core: Social Science  3 Fall semester, freshman
IDH 1043 Honors Core: Natural Science 3 Spring semester, freshman
IDH 3701 Service Learning and E-Portfolio Development 1 Fall or spring semester, sophomore
IDH 3055 Honors Thesis Research Methods 1 Spring semester, sophomore
IDH 403@ Honors Seminar 3 Varies
IDH 403@ Honors Seminar 3 Varies
IDH 4970 Thesis (or complete Capstone as Thesis) 3-6 Fall, Spring, and/or Summer semester senior
E-Portfolio N/A Begin in IDH 3701 and submit final draft prior to graduation
Community Service N/A About 80-100 hours total across four years
Presentation of Honors Thesis N/A Typically in last semester of thesis registration

Honors Core: Natural Science is the second and final course in the Honors Core sequence. All first-year Honors students take the course in the spring semester of their first year. Dr. Alexis Janosik is the instructor. In this course, students will explore what it means to be a human in the biosphere while utilizing a strong emphasis on cultivating new methods of thinking and communicating ideas. This is an interdisciplinary course which involves engaging and enriching class discussions, in-depth thinking, reasoning, and active research to form the foundation of the academic experience unique to the Kugelman Honors Program. This course will focus on human literacy and diversity: awareness and understanding of the fundamental concepts about what it means to be a human and our interaction with the biosphere. We will explore how humans interact with their various environments, from biological and social to economic and physical. Our mission is to demystify and humanize science in an open conversation that instills passion, awe, and responsibility for humans and the Earth.

In this course, students will explore the philosophical underpinnings of community and investigate the distinctive features of communal life. This foundation will prepare students to address those features of modern society that either support or threaten community. Specific attention will be given to conceptions of justice and equality, political engagement, social interaction, urban design and city planning, public presence, personal meaning and usefulness, notions of public/private property and collective responsibility, and shared physical and virtual space. Likewise, we will consider threats to community including: (potentially) social networking and technology, lawlessness and violence, collective efficacy and problems of collective action. Students then will consider the ways in which citizens can benefit from engaging their respective communities of interest, can foster more meaningful civic life, and can provide leadership to build a better future. By the end of the semester, you should be thinking about your community and raising the following questions. What is your community? How do you define it? What does it provide you? How is this community different than it was for your parents and grandparents? What can you do to enhance this community?

IDH 4035 Medical Humanities

What might you see if you were to read literature through a medical lens—for instance, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Or to analyze the portrayal of the AIDS epidemic in Larson’s musical Rent or Mortality in a film like Fetter’s Remember Me? None of these pieces are explicitly medical, yet what drives the emotional impact they have on their audiences is largely related to themes of health and humanism. This course will seek to explore a variety of media that would not be overtly considered ‘medical’ and analyze it through a health lens. To do so is to see how themes of health and humanism are intimately interwoven into all forms of art and, thus, life. This is an excellent course for students who are interested in a healthcare career, but it would be of benefit to anyone interested in the exploration of the relationship between art, health and being human. The course will culminate with a project that will allow you to create or select a piece of art—e.g., poetry, prose, film, sketch, etc.—and analyze it through a health lens.

IDH 4036 Prehistoric Technologies/Experimental Archaeology

Introduction to archaeological experimentation—replicating ancient technologies. Flint working or knapping is a large focus of the class as are the imitation of other prehistoric technological advances such as pottery and other weapons or composite tool production. In the process, students become informed about the history of research behind and contextualization of these modern-made artifacts within the past archaeological record.

IDH 4037 Classical Antiquity and Modern Art

This course analyzes the influence of Classical Antiquity in the Modern Art history framework. As a collective, we will study several artists (chief amongst them Klimt, Modigliani, Rodin, Mucha, and more), and their works. We will extrapolate symbolism, formalism, and philosophical ideologies by contextualizing the Modern work and comparing it to the Classical counterpart. We will attempt to create a painting as a response.


Students will be introduced to various professional development topics with the goal of preparing the student for their future careers. Students will self-select a group based on their career goals and interests to learn more about the specifics of that career path. Students will also learn how to access and develop the online e-portfolio software and study basic approaches to e-portfolio development.

Students will explore how to align their service activities with future career goals.