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The Honors Program

Honors Course Descriptions and Learning Outcomes for Core Courses

Please note that each syllabus will additionally describe learning outcomes specific to the course itself and that all courses are subtitled.

HON 151 – Honors In the Humanities

Fulfills UK Core Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities

Honors Humanities topics offered by various professors (topics announced the preceding semester). Whatever the topic, the Honors Humanities courses reflect on the human condition through works of art and literature (including folklore and film), philosophical and religious contemplation and argumentation, and historical narrative. They undertake interdisciplinary investigations of significant intellectual and cultural issues of our past and present (and thus of our future) and are designed to stimulate individual thought as well as develop writing, critical thinking, and small-group discussion skills.

This course satisfies the Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities requirement in UK Core. Thus, by the end of the course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to present and critically evaluate competing interpretations through analysis and argumentation in writing and orally.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish different artistic, literary, philosophical, religious, linguistic, and historical schools and periods according to the varying approaches and viewpoints characterized therein.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to identify the values and presuppositions that underlie the world-views of different cultures and different peoples over time as well as one's own culture. Students will therefore analyze and interpret at least one of the following: works of art, literature, folklore, film, philosophy and religion, language systems or historical narratives (or the primary sources of historical research).
  4. Demonstrate disciplinary literacy (vocabulary, concepts, methodology) in written work, oral presentations and in classroom discussions.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to conduct a sustained piece of analysis of some work of art, literature, folklore (or popular culture), film (or other digital media), philosophy, religion, language system, or historical event or existing historical narrative that makes use of logical argument, coherent theses, and evidence of that discipline, with use of library sources when applicable. The student’s analysis should demonstrate appropriate information literacy in a particular discipline of the humanities, which, depending on the nature of the assignment might include, for example:
  • posing questions that shape an inquiry and identify sources necessary for this purpose
  • getting and checking facts
  • getting overviews, opposing views, background information, context
  • recognizing and finding primary sources and distinguish primary from secondary sources
  • identifying scholarly publications (monographs, articles, essays)
  • locating them (library stacks, Internet, other libraries)
  • citing them (MLA, Chicago styles)

HON 152 – Honors in the Natural/Physical/Mathematical Sciences

Fulfills UK Core Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural/Physical/Mathematical Sciences

A hands-on, science course for Honors student in which they ask a question requiring scientific analysis, develop a related experimentation regimen, collect data, do the experimentation, analyze the results, draw conclusions and appropriately disseminate the results. Students will directly experience the scientific process to learn how scientists work.

This course satisfies the Intellectual Inquiry in the Natural/Physical/Mathematical Sciences requirement in UK Core. Thus, by the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge and distinguish scientific fact from pseudoscience.
  2. Explain fundamental principles in a branch of science.
  3. Apply fundamental principles to interpret and make predictions in a branch of science.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of at least one scientific discovery that changed the way scientists understand the world
  5. Give examples of how science interacts with society.
  6. Conduct a hands-on project using scientific methods to include design, data collection, analysis, summary of the results, conclusions, alternative approaches, and future studies.
  7. Recognize when information is needed and demonstrate the ability to find, evaluate and use effectively sources of scientific information

HON 251 – Honors in the Social Sciences

Fulfills UK Core Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences

Courses in this category promote the understanding of individuals in the context of social interactions, groups and societies. The courses will focus on the subjective, intersubjective, and structural aspects of society, with the goal of helping students to enhance their understanding of the phenomenon that is human society.

This course satisfies the Intellectual Inquiry in the Social Sciences requirement in UK Core. Thus, by the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theories associated with a social science discipline, either broadly or as applied to an important social science topic.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of methods and ethics of inquiry that lead to social scientific knowledge.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to identify and use appropriate information resources to substantiate evidence-based claims.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of how a social science discipline influences society.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to identify a well- formulated question pertinent to a social science discipline and to employ the discipline’s conceptual and methodological approaches in identifying reasonable research strategies that could speak to the question


HON 252 – Honors in Arts and Creativity

Fulfills UK Core Intellectual Inquiry in Arts and Creativity

The creative process and its products and results are the focus of these Honors courses, and include but are not limited to, visual, verbal, musical, spatial, or kinesthetic forms of expression. Readings and final projects vary at the discretion of the faculty.

This course satisfies the Intellectual Inquiry in the Arts and Creativity requirement in UK Core. Thus, by the end of the course, students will personally perform, produce, fabricate or generate an artifact or artifacts that demonstrate their engagement with the creative process (e.g. an object, product, installation, presentation, record of a performance etc.) either as an individual or as part of a collaborative. As part of this process students will:

  • Define and distinguish different approaches (historical, theoretical, and methodological issues) to “creativity” as appropriate to the disciplinary practices specific to the subject, medium, or approach that informs a particular course.
  • Apply the logic, laws, or constraints of the area of study, (e.g, “out of the box” thinking, or the masterful, elegant treatment of given rules or forms).
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze work produced by other students in this course and in co-curricular events using appropriate tools. These analyses should utilize relevant information resources to incorporate historical, theoretical, and or cultural factors.
  • Evaluate results of their own creative endeavors and, using that evaluation, reassess and refine their work.

Additionally, the primary emphasis of courses in the Area of Inquiry must be on active learning through student performance, expression, and/or production (what is known as “process-focused” creativity). This emphasis should be documented through the number of assignments or class meetings devoted to this work (expressed as a percentage) or through the grading mechanism for the final grade for the course.

Though “process-focused” the course may highlight other approaches to creativity.

Students may be expected to explore forms of creativity that are constraint-focused (mastering or overcoming established “laws” or “systems”), product-focused (emphasis on the originality, utility or value of the thing produced), transformation-focused (risk-taking, willingness to make mistakes, role of chance) or fulfillment-focused (personal or professional accomplishment). Proposals for courses should identify which approaches are present in the syllabi. Syllabi must incorporate assignments or exercises whose final product reflects a process of analysis, evaluation, reassessment, and refinement.

Syllabi must include projects or exercises that introduce tools or develop information literacy appropriate to the discipline. Syllabi must incorporate attendance and/or participation in relevant co-curricular activities as part of the course. Students should be required to critically engage with these activities through a written analysis or similar project.

HON 301 – Proseminar

An interdisciplinary seminar in the history of culture; topics will vary from semester to semester, but a substantial research essay is always required.  

HON 352 – Study and Travel Abroad

An experiential, travel-abroad course that requires pre-travel class preparation followed by travel abroad that will provide students with multi-cultural exposure, leadership and a new frame of reference for understanding the world and their role in it.

HON 399 – Honors Service Learning and Community Engagement

This is a service- or community-based learning experience in the field under the supervision of a faculty member.