Honors Curriculum

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The Honors curriculum consists of three main parts: Honors core courses, Honors elective courses, and the Honors thesis.  Honors students are required to complete at least two core courses, three elective courses, and the thesis sequence.

Honors Core Courses

Honors core courses tackle big questions that cross the boundaries of academic disciplines.  Each core course satisfies a Foundations requirement in a particular area (Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science) and will be focused in that area.  However, core courses include a variety of disciplinary perspectives to provide insight into questions and problems of enduring and vital importance.  The topic for each course depends on the instructor and may vary from semester to semester.

  • HON 201: Perennial Questions focuses on the Humanities. Recent topics include:
    • How to live a good, virtuous life.
    • Human origins: God, evolution, or both?
  • HON 203: Institutions, Society, & the Self focuses on Social Science. Recent topics include:
    • Democracy and its friendly critics.
    • Developmental disabilities, institutionalization, and the fight for inclusion.
  • HON 205: Scientific Approaches to Contemporary Challenges focuses on Natural Science. Recent topics include:
    • Are We Alone?: The existence and nature of extraterrestrial life.
    • The chemistry of weapons of mass destruction.

Honors Elective Courses

Honors elective courses are more engaging and focused versions of courses that satisfy Berry’s Foundations requirements.  They are taught by some of Berry’s best faculty and are usually discussion-oriented.  Examples include:

  • ECO 150 H: The Wealth & Poverty of Nations
  • GOV 207 H: Politics of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • RHW 102 H: Honors First-Year Writing Seminar
  • COM 203 H: Honors Rhetoric and Public Address
  • BIO 111 H: Honors Principles of Cell Biology
  • The Ideas and Influences of the Scottish Enlightenment: 18th to the 21st Centuries, taken at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

The Honors Thesis

The Honors thesis is your opportunity to engage in research or creative work in your field under the supervision of a Berry professor.  The Honors thesis sequence consists of the following three courses:

  • HON 300: Honors Transitions. This 1 credit course is designed to help you transition from your Honors coursework into the Honors thesis.
  • HON 450: Honors Thesis I. In this 2 credit course you will complete the preparatory work for your thesis and begin the thesis itself.
  • HON 451: Honors Thesis II. In this 3 credit course you will complete your thesis work and write the thesis paper.  This course may satisfy a senior thesis or project requirement within your major.

Examples of some recent Honors thesis titles include:

  • Hope and Nihilism: Leo Strauss and his Students (Philosophy)
  • The Magical Allure of Allende (Spanish)
  • The Effects of Modeling and Topic-Stimulus on Self-Referential Touching (Psychology)
  • Analyzing the Effects of the HOPE Scholarship Program (Economics)
  • Political Motivations Understood Through The Federalist (Government)
  • Differential Gene Expression Between Mictic and Amictic Populations of Rotifers (Biology)
  • BRT Polynomials of a Link Family (Mathematics)
  • Development and Testing of a "Safer" Tranquilizer Dart (Animal Science)
  • Uncovering Egypt: The Lives and Collections of Giovanni Belzoni and E. A. Wallis Budge (Art History)
  • Electrochemical Investigations of Acetylated Cytochrome c (Chemistry) 
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