2018-19 Catalogs

Honors Course Descriptions

USM Core requirements met by Honors courses:

  • Entry-Year Experience (EYE): HON 101
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR): HON 105
  • Creative Expression (CE):  HON 107, HON 207
  • Cultural Interpretation (CI): HON 102, HON 202
  • Scientific Exploration (SE): HON 200/201
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis (SCA): HON 103, HON 203
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship (EISRC): HON 310
  • Diversity (D): HON 102, HON 103, some HON 101, some HON 299
  • International (I): HON 195, HON 310, some HON 299

Course Descriptions

HON 100 - Honors College Writing: This course combines the basic mechanics of a college writing course with the development of skills fundamental to all other work in Honors. The course is recommended for all entering Honors students. Prerequisite: Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 101 - Honors Entry-Year Experience [EYE]:  Each instructor uses a theme (see examples on the Honors website) to engage students in exploration of significant questions about human culture and the natural world. The course facilitates student transition to college by engaging students in active and collaborative learning that enhances their inclination and ability to view complex issues from multiple perspectives. Corequisites: College Writing, first year student, Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 102/HON 202 - Honors Cultural Interpretation: Cultural Interpretation courses engage students in the close analysis and interpretation of cultural representations to learn how people make sense of themselves and their world. Students critically evaluate and develop arguments about cultural representations or the contexts that produce them or give them meaning. Cr. 3

HON 103/HON 203 - Honors Socio-Cultural Analysis: Socio-cultural Analysis courses engage students in the examination of sociocultural systems and phenomena over time and across cultures. Students learn to use conceptual frameworks that shed light on human behavior in social contexts. This includes examination of influences on and effects of behavior associated with public and private roles students may experience. Cr. 3

HON 107/HON 207 - Honors Creative Expression: Creative Expression courses engage students in learning the value of the creative process, using it for developing talents and interests in the arts, and learning a set of skills that will enable them to engage in creative thinking in non-arts aspects of their lives. Cr. 3

HON 113 - Honors Principles of Chemistry I: A presentation of fundamental principles of chemical science. These principles will be presented in quantitative terms and illustrated by examples of their applications in laboratories and in ordinary non-laboratory experience. This course provides the basis for further study of chemistry. Pre- or corequisites: HON 101 (or concurrent), and MAT 108 (or concurrent) or MAT 140 (or concurrent) or MAT 152 (or concurrent) or permission. Cr. 3

HON 195 - Honors short-term travel courses are interdisciplinary and engaged learning opportunities that help students become global learners who can situate international social, political, economic and cultural issues in appropriate contexts. Courses help students develop functional learning, knowledge of cultural relativism, cultural sensitivity, interpersonal communication, etc. Students strengthen their knowledge and skills in relation to international issues of relevance to the course topic and focus. Each iteration of the course privileges experiential and applied learning opportunities. These courses are interdisciplinary, and are team taught by USM Honors faculty. Prerequisite: first-year student with Honors Minor and completion of at least 2 Honors courses. Cr. 3

HON 200/201 - Honors Science Exploration (+Lab): To think like a scientist, students must know how science knowledge is created and interpreted. In a Science Exploration course, content serves as a vehicle to illustrate how experiment, observation, and critical evaluation drive scientific understanding and progress. Science literacy and quantitative reasoning skills will be developed as tools to interpret and apply to natural processes. The Science Exploration course gives the student an appreciation of the applications and limitations of a science that investigates natural processes. It combines concepts and methods of inquiry from multiple disciplines such as biology, chemistry, psychology, anthropology, ecology, history, or public policy.  These explorations are synthesized by students in an independent project. To satisfy the Science Exploration requirement, the student must successfully complete the lecture and corresponding lab. Cr. 4

HON 215 - Thinking in Honors: This course has 2 major goals: first, to engage students in planning their intellectual path through USM and beyond; second, to gain the necessary skills for success in upper level Honors courses and to develop their own signature works.  Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge.  By the end of the semester, students will be able to critically review literature, understand intellectual property rights, and navigate research participant safety issues.  Students will be introduced to a variety of research methods and learn the processes for funding, presenting, and publishing intellectual inquiry.  We will explore ethics and values in research and scholarship.  In short, this course offers an extended exploration of how we learn what we need know.  Our hope is that students in this course will develop a supportive group of intellectual peers and to chart an academic path from themselves in the USM Honors Program and beyond. Cr. 3

HON 299 - Honors Topics: [Core designations vary by topic] Honors program electives include departmental courses that embody the Honors experience. Honors students typically share the course with students majoring in course-related disciplines. The course may be repeated for credit when topics differ. Prerequisites vary by course topic, but include Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 310 - Honors Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship courses focus on a theme that engages students in critical reflection on their responsibilities for informed decision-making and action in their public and private roles. They require students to frame, analyze, and evaluate ethical issues, as well as to articulate and evaluate their own viewpoints and actions in relation to the ethical frameworks introduced. Cr. 3

HON 311 - Honors Community-Based Learning: Students, working individually or in a group, receive permission from the honors director, recruit a faculty sponsor, locate a placement in the Casco Bay region, and develop a learning contract. Prerequisite: sophomore standing (ideally 2nd semester sophomore) and honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 321 - Honors Internship: Students receive permission from the honors director, locate an internship placement with support from Career Development, and develop a learning contract. Prerequisite: junior standing (ideally 2nd semester junior) and honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 331 - Honors Directed Research: This optional course allows an Honors student with interests in a particular subject area to research that area under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The research may be carried out in any subject area. Prerequisites: Honors student and permission. Cr. 1-3

HON 415 - Honors Capstone: This one-credit add-on augments any regular three-credit Capstone course by allowing students to reflect on their learning in previous Honors and other Core Curriculum courses.  Students will assess how skills and perspectives first developed in general education are informing their Capstone projects as well as project forward how they will use their undergraduate education as participants in future academic, professional, and political communities.  Students will meet as a support and discussion group as well as write reflections and present their Capstone work to an outside audience. Cr. 1


Thesis Sequence 

HON 410 - Honors Thesis Writing Workshop: To graduate with General University Honors, a student has the option to complete a multiple-semester thesis project in lieu of an Honors Capstone. In the first-semester workshop, each student develops research skills, shapes a preliminary idea into a formal thesis proposal, and organizes a faculty committee to advise the student in HON 411/412. Course may be taken for credit twice. Prerequisites: three credits of honors coursework, junior standing, and Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 411 - Honors Thesis I: In the second semester, students independently execute the plan developed in HON 410, under the guidance of the thesis committee. The emphasis is on in depth reading, field work as applicable, and completion of the introductory thesis chapter and literature review. Note: it is possible to complete the thesis in HON 411, without proceeding to HON 412. Prerequisites: HON 311 (B- or higher grade) and Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3

HON 412 - Honors Thesis II: In the third and final semester, still working with their thesis committee, students write their remaining chapters; submit a completed draft; substantially revise that work based on feedback; and present their work in an oral, public defense. Prerequisites: HON 411 and Honors student (or permission). Cr. 3