What Are Honors Seminars?
Honors classes are intensive seminars focusing upon a problem or theme which is investigated and deconstructed from multiple perspectives. These courses utilize fundamental and provocative theories and experiments to help you come up with your own perspective on topics. Often, professors and the program supplement classroom education with out-of-class activities, such as trips or speakers. Honors students are held more personally responsible for their learning in these seminars.
Honors courses are divided into five categories: honors Ithaca seminars, honors special topics seminars, honors intermediate seminars, and honors senior seminars.
- Honors Ithaca seminars, worth four credits, are offered in the fall semester for first-year students, who are divided into sections. The sections meet together during a fourth hour for open discussion on a topic which varies from week to week.
- Honors special topics seminars carry between one and three credits and may be scheduled in blocks or over a whole semester. Some of these seminars may be set up around the visits of major scholars to campus, such as the Distinguished Speaker in the Humanities or the C.P. Snow Speaker, or they may focus on experiential or service learning. These seminars typically do not have general education designations.
- Honors intermediate seminars, worth three credits, are the backbone of the honors academic experience. These seminars are all inter- or multi-disciplinary, rely heavily on reading and discussion of primary sources, and aim at the provision of a highly enhanced experience in the liberal arts.
- Honors senior seminar, worth three credits, is taken during the seventh or eighth semester, and is a capstone course based on a relatively universal theme or issue.
Honors Ithaca seminars and honors intermediate seminars help to satisfy the general education requirements of the School of Humanities and Sciences as well as distribution requirements used in the professional schools.
Honors Courses for Non-Honors Students
Students not in the Ithaca College Honors Program may take honors seminars, provided that an opening in the section exists and permission is given by the instructor. Interested students should contact the honors program director.