Honors Curriculum

As an Honors student, you are part of a program that values critical thinking, self-reflection, social responsibility, and global awareness. The Honors Program provides a wide variety of interdisciplinary courses intended to challenge students who are motivated to pursue a rigorous curriculum. Every student will have unique requirements depending on their incoming credits and major, but the following is a list of the courses provided by Honors:

HON 110/111 – Honors Discover/Explore Chicago (Autumn Quarter)

Honors Discover and Explore Chicago courses acquaint first-year honors students with the metropolitan community, its neighborhoods, cultures, people, institutions, organizations, and issues. Students will also learn about university life and resources and will become acquainted with the honors scholarly community. The Discover Chicago course begins with Immersion Week, one week prior to the start of the autumn quarter, then continues through the first eight weeks of the quarter. Learning in both courses is accomplished through a variety of means including first-hand observation, reflection, discussion, writing, site visits, and encounters with Chicagoans, both in the classroom and on excursions. 

A grade of C– or higher in HON 110/111 is required to remain in the Honors Program.

HON 100 – Rhetoric and Critical Inquiry

This course covers the fundamentals of research and leads students through a sequence of writing assignments that require them to take positions and persuade audiences about issues of public concern. Students will create effective academic discourse, develop critical thinking skills, explore issues of form and style, and examine arguments. 

HON 100 is required for all Honors students. A grade of C– or higher in HON 100 is required to pass the course and remain in the Honors Program.

HON 101 – World Literature

Honors 101 focuses on the way writers use language to construct their worlds. Reading, writing, and informed discussions are at the heart of this course, which uses texts from a range of cultures and historical periods to explore how literary works represent issues of human importance.

HON 102 – History in Global Contexts

With the goal of enhancing historical literacy and critical thinking, this course invites students to explore how the interdisciplinary tools of historical inquiry aid them in their encounter with the multicultural past through study of a particular society or societies. Students discover how historians extract meaning from primary and secondary sources while exploring the problems and issues involved in analyzing and using a variety of sources. Each section of HON 102 will be subtitled to indicate its topic.

HON 104 – Religious Worldviews and Ethical Perspectives

This course focuses on the collective construction of cultural reality and examines people’s confrontation with the sacred as a formative instrument in this process. The overriding concern of Honors 104 is with the meaning and function of culture as a system or world that we inhabit. This world with its distinctive concepts of ultimacy, time, space, cosmos, and life passages is created and enacted through myths, narratives, and ritual performances. Students will develop analytical skills necessary to apply theoretical explanations and interpretations to the process of constructing cultural reality. All sections of the course will involve a field experience in which students enter the world of a community that is not part of their own familiarity.

HON 105 – Philosophical Inquiry

Providing an introduction to philosophy as a mode of inquiry, this course explores, from a variety of perspectives, the questions central to the human condition, placing philosophical positions within the context of human values. Students will address the themes of knowledge, action, and human identity, considering how one thinks critically about such questions and what it means to inquire about the human condition in a rational manner. Readings will be drawn from both primary philosophical texts and relevant material from other disciplines.

HON 180 – Data Analysis and Statistics

Not required for students who will take a course in Calculus, Statistics, or Discrete Math for the major. Students with IB, AP, or transfer credits for Calculus or Statistics will also be waved.

Using real-world data and open-ended investigations from a variety of disciplines, students apply quantitative and statistical reasoning skills to focus on the outcomes of their analysis. Students will explore the nature and description of data, probability theory, sampling, variability, estimation, analysis of correlation, hypothesis testing, and experiment design to become critical users of quantitative information. Prerequisite: LSP 120 or MAT 130, unless waived by placement test score.

HON 201 – States, Markets, and Societies

This course focuses on the organization of economic, political, and social relationships within the global system, including an analysis of how these relationships affect the distribution of power, resources, well-being, and cultural capital in different societies. It covers such topics as phases in the growth of global trade and investment; the role of economic incentives; the historical and conceptual relationship between markets; social stratification, culture, and forms of popular participation; and the development challenges posed by international inequality and social marginality. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

HON 205 – Interdisciplinary Arts

Not required for students in Music, Theatre, or BFA majors in CDM.

This course offers an interdisciplinary study of two or more art forms in a particular historical period, looking at relations among the arts and between art and its cultural contexts. Students will develop a critical vocabulary for the analysis of works in the visual arts, theater, music, literature, or other art forms. Work in the course will be interdisciplinary and will include readings, classroom exercises, visits to relevant performances or exhibits, and papers. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. 

HON 208—Topics in Sociocultural Inquiry

Focusing on the mutual impacts of society, culture, and individuals, students will explore and apply theories emphasizing human relationships as influenced by social, cultural, and behavioral forces. Students will choose from a variety of seminar offerings, each focusing on a specific issue related to the mutual impact of society and culture on individuals, and of individuals on society and culture.

HON 225 – Honors Lab Science Topics

Students with a major requiring a lab science course will replace HON 225 with an honors-approved elective. See below for requirements by major.

Students in Honors 225 will investigate a particular scientific topic or issue using readings, discussions, papers, and laboratory work. In the process of investigation, they will learn about the nature and processes of science and will be able to describe and explain their work in writing. Some projects may be done in teams. Variable topics; please see the schedule for current offerings. All sections of Honors 225 include a laboratory component. Prerequisite: HON 180 or first course of required math sequence for major. 

HON 301—Honors Junior Seminar in Multiculturalism

This seminar asks students to conduct research on complex issues related to multiculturalism. Topics may cover various dimensions of identity including issues of race and ethnicity, class, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation, disability and nationality. Students are encouraged to develop a critical perspective about the meaning of multiculturalism and to understand the historical and/or contemporary manifestations of inequality. All students prepare research projects and participate in seminar discussions. Variable topics; please see the schedule for current offerings. This course meets the university’s requirement in multiculturalism and may not be replaced by study abroad coursework. Prerequisite: Junior standing. HON 301 is a prerequisite for the Honors Senior Capstone.

HON 350 OR 351 OR 395—Honors Senior Capstone

Each student in the Honors Program will complete either an Honors Senior Seminar course or an Honors Senior Thesis to fulfill the capstone requirement for the Honors Program. Some students will also be required to complete a capstone for the major. Both Honors Capstone formats require students to use the research skills they developed in the Junior Seminar to carry out projects independently.

HON 350—Honors Senior Seminar

This course is designed to engage students in a discussion of meaning and values, and to foster skills in interdisciplinary research and writing. In a seminar setting, students explore a designated topic, develop related projects, and pursue work in an area defined by the Honors faculty member who designed the particular course. Seminars will be offered in broad interdisciplinary areas, allowing seniors to choose from diverse topics. Prerequisites: Senior standing and completion of HON 301.

A grade of C– or higher is required to pass the course.

HON 351— Honors Senior Seminar in Service Learning

This course is designed to foster skills in interdisciplinary research and writing. The course also brings students into the community to explore theories of service and the relationship between altruism and activism. Outside of class, students will devote a minimum of three hours each week to service work at one of the sites offered through the course, prompting them to consider the role that service will play in their lives after DePaul. This course meets the university’s Experiential Learning requirement for students who have not yet fulfilled this requirement. Prerequisites: Senior standing and completion of HON 301. 

A grade of C– or higher is required to pass the course.

HON 395—Honors Senior Thesis

The Honors Senior Thesis offers students an opportunity to reflect on and synthesize their years of education at DePaul by designing a meaningful project that they research and write under the supervision of two faculty members, independent of a classroom structure. The project builds on students’ gathered expertise, combining work in the major with concepts gained from other coursework. The thesis project requires extensive research and/or creative work, and it should be original in the sense of bringing ideas together in a way that is the student’s own. The thesis is presented at the Honors Student Conference and displayed at the Honors Senior Gala. 

A grade of C– or higher is required to pass the course.

Fine Arts Elective

The Fine Arts Elective allows students to experience art from the artist’s perspective and to become aware of the creative process through practice and critique. Students will choose a studio, performance, or workshop course from one of the following disciplines: Music, Theatre, Performance of Literature, Studio Art, Creative Writing, or Digital Media.

• A list of approved courses is available from the Honors advisors and the honors website.
• Students must choose a Fine Arts Elective outside of their major department.
• Music, Theatre, Education, and other BFA majors do NOT have a required Fine Arts Elective.

Experiential Learning

Honors students are required to meet the goals of the university’s Experiential Learning requirement. This may be accomplished by completing an internship reflection course, a service learning course (such as HON 351), or by participating in a study abroad program. College of Education, School of Music (except for BA Music majors), and Theatre School students meet this requirement through the major.

The Language Requirement

All Honors Program students (with the exception of Music, Theatre, and BFA ART or CDM majors) have the following language requirement:

Only language courses numbered 104 or higher count toward the language requirement. Courses numbered 101-103 count as open elective credits.

The language requirement cannot be fulfilled through language proficiency or high school language study. Only university or AP/IB credit can fulfill the honors language requirement.

All honors students should complete the placement test for their high school language.

For language placement lower than 200-level:

• Language study will begin as determined by the placement test and continue for at least 3 courses and completion of at least 106.

• If you opt to begin a new language, 2 years of language study (6 courses) is required.

Courses at the beginning level (101-103) count as open electives.

For language placement at the 200-level:

• Complete three 200-level language courses
This will position you to achieve a minor or second major in the language

• Begin a new language and study it for one year (101-103.)

Verifying Language Proficiency: Students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in a language for which an exam is not available should contact the Modern Language Department at 773-325-7320 for assistance.

Students who completed 4 years of high school Latin or ASL will fulfill the language requirement through one of the following options:

• 1 year of intermediate Latin or ASL or 1 year of new language study.

Students who have completed less than 4 years of high school Latin or ASL will fulfill the language requirement through one of the following options:

• 1 year of intermediate Latin or ASL or 2 years of new language study.

Honors Science Requirement

Honors Science courses (HON 225) are lab-based courses in Anthropology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or other Science Topics. The Honors science requirement varies according to college and major.

Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Communication, Music BA,
AND College of Science & Health students with BA majors in Psychology or Mathematical Sciences
: HON 225 AND 1 science course chosen from the university’s Scientific Inquiry list.

Education: HON 225 and one or two additional SI courses, one of which must be Biology. Confer with College of Education advisor, as the science requirement for COE students differs according to major.

Business and CDM: HON 225

Music and Theatre: 1 science course chosen from the university’s Scientific Inquiry list.

Students who have a lab science requirement as part of the major will replace the honors science requirement with Honors Approved Electives.

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