Curriculum. Students typically enroll in one Honors course during each of their eight semesters at Susquehanna. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all Honors Program courses. All Honors courses satisfy specific combinations of central Curriculum requirements. Only Honors students may register for Honors courses.
Students participating in the Honors Program must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.40 during each semester at Susquehanna. If a student earns any grade below a C- in any Honors-designated course, the student, at the discretion of the director, may be removed automatically from the Honors Program. The director of the program reviews students' GPAs at the end of each semester. If an Honors student's GPA falls below the 3.40 level, the student will receive a warning letter. After a second semester below a 3.40 level GPA, the student is dismissed from the program.
During the first year, students must successfully complete HONS-100 Thought, which focuses on ideas and their expression, and one of the following: HONS-200 Thought and Civilization, an interdisciplinary look at literature and cultures; HONS-210 Thought and The Arts, which focuses on Western aesthetics as seen in varied artistic forms; or HONS-230 Analytical Thought-Logic, a course that examines symbolic logic as the generative epistemology of the scientific method..
In their sophomore year, students must successfully complete either HONS-240 Thought and Social Diversity or HONS-250 Thought and the Natural Sciences, which offer cross-disciplinary approaches. Sophomore Honors students also must successfully complete HONS-260 and HONS 261, the Sophomore Colloquium, in which they engage with an interdisciplinary view of a chosen theme and write a reflection-portfolio.
As juniors, students must successfully complete eight semester hours from a series of HONS-301 seminars that serve as especially interesting and challenging electives. If the chosen course is part of the student’s major, the student must submit an “honors-level form” to the Honors Program Director describing, in consultation with the instructor, how the course assignments for the honors student differ from the other students’ work. Since some HONS-301 seminars are occasionally offered as electives that do not fulfill Central Curriculum requirements, students need to check individual course descriptions for Central Curriculum categories and communicate with the Honors Program Director for any needed equivalency adjustment.
The Honors Program culminates in the Honors Research Project, an experiential learning project that applies an interdisciplinary frame to a topic chosen by the student. The research project must last for a minimum of two semesters (two courses, with a minimum of 1 SH each), and may be built around the student’s capstone project. Students may register for HONS-450 after completion of the Sophomore Colloquium (HONS 260+HONS 261), and after the project proposal is officially accepted by the Honors Program Director, which requires securing an academic research mentor. The conclusion of the research project must include a public presentation, usually in a forum organized by the Honors Program.
The Faculty. Honors Program faculty, selected from many disciplines and departments, are committed to fostering a diverse and challenging intellectual community for the university
A study of ideas and their expression, this course examines how we learn, what constitutes serious thought within various disciplines and how we distinguish knowledge from opinion or belief. Through analysis of traditional and contemporary paradigms of thought and by means of individual practice, students investigate how hypotheses are formed, how assertions are made and how thinkers arrive at coherent statements. 4 SH. CC: Writing and Thinking.
HONS-200 Thought and Civilization
An introduction to Western thought, emphasizing how thinkers resist or assimilate tradition. Philosophical, historical, religious and literary texts and other forms of art are examined in the light of unifying themes. 4 SH. CC: Literary Expression.
HONS-240 Thought and Social Diversity
An introduction to the social sciences in the context of issues of substantial concern to individuals and society, this course identifies specific social issues and explores them in their historical, psychological, political, and ethical contexts. Students study concepts and methods central to the social sciences, read primary sources in several disciplines, and learn in a highly participatory classroom environment. 4 SH. CC: Social Interactions, Diversity, and Writing Intensive.
HONS-250 Thought and the Natural Sciences
This history and philosophy of science course focuses on science as a human activity. Through an examination of methods, explanations, limitations, and applications of science, students are given sufficient background to be able to recognize distinctive attributes of both actual science and pseudoscience. The course introduces students to the complexity of ethical, political, and social issues that are byproducts of science and technology. Experiments in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics are used to illustrate the nature and progress of science across time. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary, Scientific Explanations, Writing Intensive, Team Intensive.
HONS-230 Analytical Thought: Logic
Logic was one of the original disciplines in the trivium, the tripartite foundation block of the liberal arts. This course addresses critical thinking within the time-honored frame of deductive argumentation using standard notations, principles, and methods used in modern symbolic logic. Logic is examined as the generative epistemology of the scientific method. 4SH. CC: Analytical Thought.
HONS-210 Thought and The Arts
An introduction to Western aesthetics, this course emphasizes how creative processes either align themselves with canonical traditions, or oppose and dismiss them. The course may focus on one form of artistic expression, or, unified by a thematic umbrella, on a combination of various forms of artistic expression. 4 SH. CC: Artistic Expression.
HONS-260 + HONS-261 Sophomore Colloquium
This colloquium teaches students how to develop an interdisciplinary learning framework. Over the course of two semesters, students attend interdisciplinary lectures, workshops, and field trips. Before each activity, students receive preparatory materials to study ahead of the event, so as to guarantee optimal integration of content. Following each event, students produce critical reflections as assigned by the Colloquium coordinator. At the end of the year, students prepare a portfolio with their critical reflections on attended events, and an overview that demonstrates the interdisciplinary reach of their intellectual engagement. The two courses must be taken consecutively, but may be taken in different academic years. 1 SH CC: Interdisciplinary.
HONS-301 Honors Seminar
Each Honors student must complete a minimum of eight hours of 300-level upper-division Honors classes. These courses may be designed for a departmental major, but may also be open to Honors students from any major, perform very well in such challenging interdisciplinary environments. Several Honors seminars are offered each semester. If the chosen course is part of the student’s major, the student must submit an “honors-level form,” describing, in consultation with the instructor, how the course assignments for the honors student differs from the other students’ work. 4 SH.
HONS-450 Honors Research Project
The Honors program culminates in an experiential learning project to be completed in a minimum of two and a maximum of four semesters. This research project must address a topic not fully addressed by any specific course at SU. In case the topic relates to a course, a clear and detailed explanation is expected on how this honors project supersedes and transcends the classwork of other students in the respective course. If students choose a topic in their major, some degree of interdisciplinarity is nevertheless expected of their work. In the semester prior to the registration, Students must submit a research proposal describing the duration and methodology of the project and the final deliverable product. The proposal must name an advisor from the faculty that has agreed to supervise the project. The project may be interrupted for study abroad, and may be prolonged, should the advisor deem an extension necessary for quality assurance. Once completed, the project is publicly presented in events organized by the Honors program. Minimum of 2 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary. Capstone.