First and Second Year Honors
First and second year Honors (sometimes referred to as "underclass" Honors) activities are administered by the Honors office. This program offers students a variety of Honors courses in many different fields, individual academic advising at least once a term (more frequently if the student chooses), and special programs and activities.
Several types of Honors courses are offered for first and second year students:
- courses offered by various departments intended only for Honors students (for example, Philosophy 297)
- sections of regular courses for Honors students (e.g. Honors sections of Bio 171 and Political Science 160)
- courses sponsored by the Honors Program (e.g. Honors Seminars and College Honors 290).
Some upper level courses also count as Honors courses for first and second year students and many courses may be converted to Honors courses with the agreement of the professor and the Honors Program. These options will be discussed later in this chapter.
Underclass Course Requirements
General guidelines for underclass Honors students, if they are to remain in good standing in the Honors Program, are based on standards developed during the Program's forty-one year history. They are designed to provide a sound base for the undergraduate experience and to allow students to acquire knowledge, develop analytic skills, exercise creative abilities and critical faculties of mind. If you have a legitimate reason to deviate from these guidelines, you should discuss it with an Honors advisor.
The basic three requirements for an underclass Honors student are:
- an average of two Honors courses per term for the four full terms of underclass Honors
a course load of 14-18 credit hours
- an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 or better
- the Texts and Ideas requirement. Except in very rare circumstances, every first year Honors student must elect one of the following courses in each semester of the first year:
Fall Term, First Year
Classical Civilization 101 (Honors section) or Great Books 191 (any section)
Winter Term, First Year
Classical Civilization 102 (Honors section), or Great Books 192 (any section) or an approved alternative
The readings for Great Books 191 and Classical Civilization 101 (Honors section) overlap considerably but they have somewhat different emphases. Satisfactory completion of either one of these courses fulfills the first-year writing requirement. These courses stress the writing of essays, and the instructors pay attention to writing techniques and problems. Because Honors students are required to elect one of these courses, students who have been invited to participate in Honors and have accepted the invitation are not required to complete the Directed Self-Placement conducted by the Sweetland Center for Writing. Their writing performance will be evaluated in the Great Books or Classical Civilization course and, if there are problems, solutions will be determined. Honors students are not required to take English 125. Prior to the registration period for each term, a list of courses which fulfill the second half of the Texts and Ideas requirement is published on the Honors website. This list varies from term to term so you should check the current listing before taking a course for Texts and Ideas credit.