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What is an Honors Course?


Content of an Honors Course

The purpose of an Honors course is to show students how knowledge in the field is discovered, developed, evaluated, argued, tested, compared, and applied. Honors students should learn what research looks like in the field and understand the scholarship behind the discipline’s core principles. Honors courses often are multidisciplinary and may also emphasize internationalization or diversity. Typically reading of more depth than ordinary is required, along with original interpretation, writing and research. Primary sources should be emphasized, and students should be made to confront these sources in discussion and writing. Assignments should stress theory, analysis, and synthesis of principles, studies, concepts, and applications. Original research, whether it be in the library, field, laboratory, or on the internet, should be required in most disciplines, along with a culminating project that is publicly shared and critiqued (excerpted from Cheryl Achterberg, Ph.D. (2004), former dean of Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University).