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Honors Curriculum - Details

Honors Curriculum - Details

See the sections below for details about various aspects of the Honors Curriculum.

The Human Situation

Honors College students who wish to graduate with University Honors complete this two-semester sequence, typically during the first year after they are admitted to the College. As the signature course of the Honors College, “Human Sit” emphasizes reading, writing and critical thinking in the “Great Books” tradition. Through a combination of lectures and small group discussions facilitated by engaged teachers and disciplined by the texts themselves, students are invited to join the great conversation that is the common heritage of educated persons. Thus, Honors College students participate in this complex and sometimes contradictory heritage; they begin to understand, to appreciate and to use what they encounter in Human Sit to test the conventional wisdom and the cultural assumptions of our time. Return to Curriculum main page.

The Human Situation: Antiquity

Prerequisite: Placement into course by the Honors College Admissions Committee

In the first semester, students explore antiquity by examining the Greek, Roman, Hebrew and Christian cultures. The modern world is deeply rooted in these cultures, which were inspired and shaped by Greek and Platonic philosophies and by the Bible. The key texts or classics such as the Homeric epics, Greek philosophy and drama, Roman moralists and the variety of writings that gradually came together to form what we call the Bible present compelling, though not entirely harmonious, insights into abiding features of the human situation. Return to Curriculum main page.

The Human Situation: Modernity

Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in the ENGL portion of the Human Situation: Antiquity or approval of an Honors College advisor

In Modernity, students continue the study and interpretation of the various forces that shaped the set of assumptions and allegiances that constitute the Modern mindset. Among these are the primacy of the individual over the collective with its attendant ideology of personal rights; the setting apart of humans from the natural world as its decipherers and manipulators; the rise of the nation-state as the exclusive focus of political allegiance; and the idea of continual progress toward material security and intellectual enlightenment. Return to Curriculum main page.

Honors American History

History 1377H and 1378H are Honors sections of the two-semester survey of U.S. history (from beginnings to 1877, then 1877-present). Honors College students fulfill their state-mandated American history core requirement by taking both of these or one plus an approved 3000- or 4000-level Honors course in the subject area. The course experience varies depending on the instructor, but in all the Honors sections, students read and discuss more primary source material than in the regular sections, which are taught exclusively in a lecture format. Return to Curriculum main page.

Honors American Government (Political Science)

POLS 1336H is the Honors section of the state-required course on U.S. and Texas Constitutions and politics. Honors College students fulfill their state-mandated American government core requirement by taking this course plus an advanced three-hour political science course in certain subfields. The course experience varies depending on the instructor, but in all the Honors sections, primary source material and political concepts are emphasized much more than in the regular sections, which are taught exclusively in a lecture format. Return to Curriculum main page.

Honors Mathematics

MATH 1313H  Finite Mathematics
Recommended for freshman pre-business majors, this Honors course covers topics essential to its audience, including functions; solving systems of linear equations by using matrices; an introduction to linear programming; the mathematics of finance, sets and counting techniques; and probability and statistics.

MATH 1450H-1451H  Accelerated Calculus
Honors Accelerated Calculus offers Honors engineering, mathematics and science majors the opportunity to cover three semesters of calculus topics in only two semesters. Topics covered include differential and integral single-variable calculus; sequences and series; an introduction to vector geometry and elementary linear algebra. The course is fast paced, placing emphasis on conceptual understanding, the development of problem solving skills and logical thinking. Return to Curriculum main page.

Honors Sciences

BIOL 1361H-1362H  Introduction to Biological Sciences
This two-semester freshman sequence is highly recommended for pre-medical studies majors, bioengineering majors and students who completed AP biology in high school but who wish to review concepts prior to MCAT study. The course covers key aspects of the molecular and cellular basis of life and will include writing assignments that give students the opportunity for in-depth analysis of some of the topics covered.

BIOL 3301H  Genetics
Taught by Honors freshman biology Professor Anna Newman, Honors Genetics is a one-semester course in genetic analysis, focusing on classical and molecular genetics. The class will consider the distinct strategies used in forward and reverse genetic analysis and how these strategies can be used together to obtain a deeper understanding of biological systems. The course also explores how model organisms unify the multiple types of genetic analysis.

CHEM 1331H-1332H-1112H  Fundamentals of Chemistry
This freshman chemistry sequence is recommended for all science majors who have completed at least two years of chemistry in high school. Students enroll in only one lab course, offered in the spring (CHEM 1112). Students who earn at least a C- in the two lecture courses and one lab receive advanced placement credit for the first semester lab (CHEM 1111). Like the regular sections, the Honors sequence studies math-based modern concepts of atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, equilibrium, kinetics, and elementary inorganic, nuclear and organic chemistry. Return to Curriculum main page.

Honors Colloquia

Honors students will deepen their understanding of particular topics by completing upper-division work in a selected advanced course. Three semester hours in an approved 3000- or 4000-level Honors Colloquium provide an opportunity to explore a singular subject through various contexts and interpretations. Colloquia are selected for their emphasis on student participation as well as their inherent interdisciplinary approach. Honors Colloquia are listed each semester at the back of the Honors Coursebook and are selected with the idea that the course either satisfy a major, minor, core or elective requirement for the student while providing a satisfying and challenging upper-level course experience. Return to Curriculum main page.