May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Honors Program

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Learning Objectives

Honors Core (12 hours)

Honors Scholars take one Honors Seminar each semester for four semesters. In each seminar, students trace the development of the moral and political commitments, religious practices, scientific achievements, and artistic sensibilities that shape our modern world. The Honors courses are sequenced so that students read and assess past thinkers in their own right, as well as consider how subsequent thinkers use, abuse, enlist and/or reject thinkers who came before them. Honors professors encourage students to think hard about difficult ideas, to ask unsettling questions, to defend what they say with good reasons, and to write well. By engaging great thinkers who have come before us in this way, Honors Scholars come to better understand themselves and the world in which we live.

With the exception of HON 2013 , each Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block I or Block II general education requirements; HON 2013  can be used to fulfill Block II or Block III general education requirements. In Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences , no more than one Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block I requirements, no more than two Honors seminars can be used to fulfill Block II requirements, and no more than one Honors seminar can be used to fulfill Block III requirements. Honors courses cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

Honors Portfolio

At the end of each semester, Scholars assess the nature of their intellectual inquiries and personal development. The portfolio reflection advances in three parts.

  • With an annotated bibliography, Scholars index the ideas they have engaged over the semester.
  • Then, Scholars select a writing sample or some other artifact that represents their most meaningful work of the semester.
  • Finally, Scholars craft a succinct narrative where they distill the questions that have been animating their curiosity and articulate how they have been shaped by the semester’s studies.

By engaging in this end-of-the-semester reflection, students become more mindful of their own thinking and better able to articulate their most pressing questions and concerns and to assess their progress addressing them.  Honors professors also read these portfolio entries so they may help Scholars identify potential research questions, burgeoning interests, and emerging themes.

Honors Plan

After completing the Honors Core Curriculum, students may choose to design and implement an Honors Plan. The Honors Plan is an opportunity to design independent work that will complement a student’s growing mastery in their major and/or enable the student to continue to explore questions and interests that might otherwise fall by the wayside.

Figuring out just what sort of endeavors will best serve the student’s intellectual and educational aspirations is part of the challenge. Honors Scholars begin by reviewing their Honors Portfolio with two professors (one from the Scholar’s home major and one in a different discipline). Together, they identify strengths and weaknesses and articulate interest areas and questions around which the Honors Plan might be designed.

The Honors Plan may (but need not) include additional coursework, including graded independent studies. HON 4003 Senior Project  is available for such independent research.

Honors Scholars who wish to enrich their studies as an upperclassman with independent work must file their Honors Plan with the Honors Program Office by Oct. 1 of their fifth semester at TU. With the guidance of an Honors Mentor, Scholars then pursue their Honors Plan and continue building their Honors Portfolio.


If you have questions about the Honors Program, please contact Dr. Denise Dutton, Director of the Honors Program, at 918-631-2122 or

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