Honors Program Curriculum

The Honors Curriculum parallels the two-phase university core curriculum with its emphasis on general education requirements in the freshman and sophomore years, and the entry into a major area of concentration in junior and senior years. The student is not required to complete additional courses, but instead completes a series of core courses in freshman and sophomore year which also fulfill general education requirements.

The four core courses during the Freshman/Sophomore Phase are designed to promote cohesiveness among students and to provide an atmosphere that encourages a strong regard for scholarship and achievement. The Junior/Senior phase is designed to promote independent study and scholarship within the student’s concentration. Each department and school has developed an Honors Concentration in cooperation with the program director and by approval of the Honors Council. The Junior/Senior Phase of all areas of concentration includes:

• Independent Study in research methods

• Off-Campus Experience

• Honors Thesis

• Senior Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar (Hon 390)

The program has an interdisciplinary focus and emphasis, with a flexible organization that allows for cooperation across a variety of departments and schools.

• The program is thus able to draw on the expertise of scholars from all fields and disciplines, and to provide the students with an enriched, flexible curriculum that dovetails the regular course of study.

• The Honors Program fosters interdisciplinary studies, encouraging students to make connections between the disciplines, through course work, honors elections and independent study projects. The program thus stimulates faculty to present innovative courses and facilitate innovative indepedent study projects.

Note: All honors programs in the schools and departments at the University of Michigan-Flint are part of the Honors Scholar Program. Students receive Honors Scholar Program recognition only for work completed within the Honors Scholar Program, and approved by the director of the program. The director reports to the Associate Provost.

Detailed Program Description

Freshman/ Sophomore Phase of Program

The four Honors Core Curriculum courses (Great Books: Honors 155, 156 and Great Ideas: Hon. 251-251) are intended to encourage the students to look outside their own discipline, and to develop a more complex, multi-disciplinary perspective of the education process.

These core courses are taken together by the Honors Scholar Students as a class. These courses foster a closeness among the students, a cooperative approach to learning, and they encourage a spirit of beneficial competition. The four core courses are intended to encourage among a group of commuting students a sense of personal identification with the program, its aims, and its members.

1. Freshman Year Core Courses

Great Books: Honors 155 (5 credits) and 156 (5 credits)

• reading of literary texts

• critical writing of reports, papers, research projects

• literary studies from ancient to modern times

• attendance at conferences (voluntarily elected)

2. Sophomore Year Core Courses

Great Ideas: Honors 251 (3 credits) and Honors 252 (3 credits)

• stress key concepts and ideas in the history of civilization

• emphasis on the sciences and social sciences

• reading, critical writing, discussion play important role

3. Honors Elections:

• Students choose five Honors Elections or independent study projects, which are developed in conjunction with courses of the student’s choice.

• These projects offer enrichment and opportunities for independent study. They encourage an interdisciplinary perspective by focusing on courses both within (3 elections) and outside (2 elections) the students' concentration.

• Elections may include: special book reports, lab experiments , oral presentations, research papers, performances (music, theater), original compositions , community service, field trips and reports.

4. Enrichment and Special Activities

• Students (50 over the past three years) attend undergraduate conferences, give refereed papers, and have work published in a conference proceedings

• Freshmen participate in an annual day-trip to Stratford, Canada to attend a theater performance

• Students volunteer to work in recruiting, interviewing of freshmen candidates and various social and cultural activities in the program

Junior / Senior Phase of the Program

Sophomores apply formally to the Honors Scholar Program for the department or school in their major area of concentration and are accepted as Honors Scholars for their concentration. They must have a minimum of 3.5 gpa. Working one-on-one with an honors advisor in the department, students set up special research methods and independent study projects in preparation for their off-campus study. Students are encouraged to be proactive as they choose an advisor, develop independent research projects and prepare for their off-campus study experience.

1. Off-Campus Experience

The core of the concentration is the off-campus study project. Students are encouraged to travel to other states and other countries in order to benefit from a new and different context, offering an enrichment not available on a single, small campus such as the University of Michigan-Flint. Students enroll in Honors 495 and 496 (8 credits) The eight credits include the off-campus study, a follow-up report and the honors thesis.

2. Off-Campus Proposal

Students take the initiative in order to

1. develop a project in a specialized area

2. investigate several possibilities for the location of the project

3. apply for up to $3,000 reimbursement for expenses

4. submit the proposal to the Director and Honors Council for approval

5. submit a follow-up report on their return

3. Sites for Off-Campus Experience:

Students may travel to the following sites:

• university campuses

• research institutes

• places of business

• political offices (internship in Washing DC, for example)

• the field for work in biology, anthropology, archeology, health care

• any legitimate site agreed upon by the advisor and director

4. Honors Thesis or Production

The Honors Thesis or Production provides experience in research, developing a topic,

and shaping a final draft, then presenting and revising a paper, production or performance before a committee of professors or at a conference. The thesis provides expertise in the student’s discipline, and further experience and enrichment of the student’s curriculum. Honors theses have frequently resulted in conference presentations and publications in scholarly journals.

5. Senior Honors Seminar (Hon 498)

The interdisciplinary spirit of the program is further emphasized during the capstone senior honors seminar generally held during the winter of the senior year. The students who have completed their off-campus study come together to share ideas and perspectives, from a cross-disciplinary perspective and to discuss the results of their individual research in a multi-disciplinary setting.