Academic Catalog

Honors Program

(413) 662-5371
www.mcla.edu/honr

Co-Director: Hannah Haynes, Ph.D.
Email: Hannah.Haynes@mcla.edu

Co-Director: Mohamad Junaid, Ph.D.
Email: Mohamad.Junaid@mcla.edu

Program Overview

The honors program presents the opportunity for highly motivated students to enrich their academic studies with challenging interdisciplinary courses, independent research, and intensive intellectual engagement with their peers. Open to students in any academic major, those who complete the program earn the distinction of All College Honors upon graduation.

AMGT 235H Honors: Fundamentals of Arts and Culture3 cr

Explores functional elements of arts and culture organizations with emphasis on strategic planning and organizations' fit in the arts ecosystem. An in-depth study of arts management focusing on topics including planning, organizational identity, environmental analysis, strategy development, marketing, human resources, financial planning, fundraising and control systems. Focus will be on the strategic management process and organizational innovation in the context of the contemporary arts environment.

Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
AMGT 345H Honors: Community Arts Education3 cr

Explores the work of artist educators in and out of school contexts; develops skills to identify learning objectives for their work; documents educational work; increases the potency of marketing and descriptive material.

Prerequisite: AMGT 130 or AMGT 235  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
ANTH 130H Honors: Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology3 cr

Introduces students to the basic concepts, theories, and methodologies of sociocultural anthropology. Creates an awareness of the wide spectrum of cultural variation throughout the world. Demonstrates that through the study of anthropology, we may not only gain an understanding of "exotic" cultures, but also of our own sociocultural experience.

Attributes: Core Self & Society (CSS), Honors Program (HONR)  
ANTH 355H Honors: Politics of Culture3 cr

Explores nation-states as social and historical creations. Examines the forces and factors that produce national, ethnic, indigenous and popular culture. Investigates gendered, ethnic and religious dissent, and controversies concerning diverse cultural claims and transnational processes. Considers the role of popular culture in shaping representations of self and others. Examples are drawn from the U.S. Israel/Palestine, South Africa, Egypt, Tibet, and more.

Prerequisite: ANTH 130 or ANTH 240 or instructor approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
BADM 440H Honors: Advanced Leadership3 cr

Examines various topics in leadership studies, both current and historical. Emphasis will be placed on exploring and developing the student's personal leadership philosophy, style, and approach. Possible topics could include operational, strategic, and ethical considerations within today's dynamic social, corporate, and non-profit environment. Additional research component will be required of students taking this course for honors credit.

Prerequisite: Junior status  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
BIOL 327H Honors: Plants and Society3 cr

Introduces students to the interactions between people and plants in cultures throughout the world. Topics to be discussed include the current and historical use of plants as food, fiber, fuel and medicine.

Prerequisite: Sophomore/junior/senior status  
Attributes: Environmental Studies (ENVI), Honors Program (HONR)  
BIOL 332H Honors: Bryology and Lichenology4 cr

Provides skills in identification and knowledge of taxonomy, biology and ecology of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, hornworts) and macrolichens, with focus on the taxa found in northeastern North America. Students will gain experience identifying these groups using hand-lenses and microscopes, dissections, and chemical testing, and will learn techniques for preparing a personal reference collection and specimens for museum-vouchered collections. Required laboratory; lab mostly outdoors.

Prerequisite: BIOL 160 or BIOL 235  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
BIOL 361H Honors: Advanced Biochemistry3 cr

Studies the chemical dynamics in living systems. Topics include enzymes mechanisms, metabolism and its regulation, and energy production and utilization.

Prerequisite: BIOL 360  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
CCSS 264H Honors: Mathematics of Fairness and Equity3 cr

Stresses the connections between contemporary mathematics and modern society by identifying important social problems and conflicts and applying quantitative methods to solve these problems or resolve conflicts. Utilizes the notion of "enlightened" citizenry," when students acquire broad knowledge of social problems and are able to apply quantitative methods to make personal judgements and decisions, as well as challenge our basic assumptions regarding a social setting.

Attributes: Core Self & Society (CSS), Honors Program (HONR)  
CCST 105H Honors: The Chemistry of CSI3 cr

Illustrates the intricate role that chemistry plays in solving crimes through the introduction and understanding of basic chemical principles. Forensic techniques such as fingerprint analysis, fiber identification, drug identification and DNA profiling will be introduced. Case studies and "CSI" episodes will be used to explore the scientific foundations for the examination of physical, chemical, and biological evidence. This course is intended for non-science majors.

Attributes: Core Science & Tech w/o lab (CST), Honors Program (HONR)  
ENGL 250H Honors: Introduction to Literature3 cr

Seeks to develop each students' ability to understand and respond to a variety of literary texts by repeated practice in textual explication through discussion and written work. While most readings will be drawn from poetry, drama and prose fiction, the course will also embrace, where appropriate, texts drawn from mass media.

Attributes: Core Creative Arts (CCA), Honors Program (HONR)  
ENGL 341H Honors: Hybrid Poetics3 cr

Investigates a range of experimental literary texts that cross, blur, or recombine different modes and genres of writing, in order to invent new forms of expression. Students explore the porous borders between poetry and prose, the creative and the critical, the visual and the verbal, the oral and the written, the factual and the imaginative. In their own writing, students are invited to move between two types of writing, creative and analytical, that are ordinarily kept separate.

Prerequisite: Junior/senior status  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
ENGL 368H Honors: The Age of Milton3 cr

Studies Milton's major works, emphasizing the relation between his development as a poet and the intellectual and social currents of the Puritan Revolution and of the restoration of the monarchy. Includes such works as "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity," "L'Allegro," "II Penseroso," "Lycidas," "Sampson Agonistes," and "Paradise Lost".

Prerequisite: ENGL 250 or department approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
ENGL 372H Honors: Arts of Medieval and Renaissance Britain3 cr

Explores medieval and Renaissance British literature, history and culture. The course includes a spring break travel component. During travel, students contextualize literature with the cultural heritage experienced via the visual arts, architecture, music, theatre, dance, fashion, food, and landscapes and cityscapes of Britain.

Prerequisite: ENGL 250, sophomore status, instructor approval (Students pay travel fee)  
Attributes: Additional Fees Apply (FEE), Honors Program (HONR)  
ENVI 150H Honors: Introduction to Environmental Systems4 cr

Provides an interdisciplinary foundation in the physical, chemical and biological principles of environmental science in order to explore earth's terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric systems. Historical case studies illustrate political and ethical dimensions of environmental issues. Lab exercises familiarize you with the forest and freshwater environments of the northeast and how the scientific method is used to analyze and understand the relation between humans and the natural environment. Required laboratory.

Attributes: Core Science & Tech w/lab (CSTL), Environmental Studies (ENVI), Honors Program (HONR)  
ENVI 152H Honors: Environmental Sustainability4 cr

Provides a foundation in the nature and properties of natural resources in the context of sustainable environmental management. Students will consider and apply the paradigm of social, environmental and economic sustainability to a variety of natural resource issues such as fossil fuels, renewable energy, wastewater, forestry and wildlife, land protection, food production, urbanization and solid waste and recycling. Required laboratory.

Attributes: Environmental Studies (ENVI), Honors Program (HONR)  
ENVI 340H Honors: Environmental Law3 cr

Studies the development of American consciousness toward the environment throughout our nation's history, emphasizing the political, economic and social forces at work in the consequent creation of United States environmental law. This law will then be considered in detail through the examination of federal, state and local environmental protection legislation, regulations and related court decisions.

Prerequisite: Junior status  
Attributes: Environmental Studies (ENVI), Honors Program (HONR)  
HLTH 150H Honors: Introduction to Community and Public Health3 cr

Introduces the fields of Public Health, Health Education and Health Promotion. Topics will include the history of public health, health status, health care philosophy, health and wellness, chronic and infectious diseases, health-related behavior, health theories and program models. Students will learn to use library databases and write a review of health-related literature. A service learning component will allow students to establish projects and relationships that will benefit the community.

Attributes: Core Self & Society (CSS), Honors Program (HONR)  
HLTH 210H Honors: Human Growth and Development3 cr

Explores the life cycle from conception to death. Biological, sociological, and psychological perspectives will be examined and applied to everyday situations and social issues.

Attributes: Core Self & Society (CSS), Honors Program (HONR)  
HONR 100 The Nature of Human Nature3 cr

Explores the problematic notion of human nature employing the open-ended question-asking and interdisciplinary discussion which characterizes the Honors Program. The course ranges widely over philosophical, psychological, literary and anthropological texts, as well as works of art, which propose competing definitions for human nature. Students are asked first to understand and then to criticize each perspective in turn and finally to formulate their own understanding of human nature.

Attributes: Core Human Heritage (CHH), Honors Program (HONR)  
HONR 102 Topics in Honors3 cr

Explores designated intellectual topics employing the open-ended and interdisciplinary research and discussion methods which characterize the Honors Program. Provides an opportunity for critical examination at the honors level in various domains.

Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
HONR 201 Special Topics in Honors3 cr

Undertakes a concentrated study of an interdisciplinary subject to be determined by the honors director in consultation with the Honors Advisory Board.

Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
HONR 210 Director's Book Course1 cr

Reading of a single text chosen by students in the Commonwealth Honors Program. The text is discussed and augmented by student presentations on related topics. Includes teamwork with Commonwealth honors students at other campuses, perhaps meeting with the book's author and attending lectures on specific related topics. Course lasts seven weeks.

Prerequisite: Membership in the Honors Society  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
HONR 301 Special Topics in Honors3 cr

Undertakes a concentrated study of an interdisciplinary subject to be determined by the honors director in consultation with the Honors Advisory Board.

Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
HONR 401 Special Topics in Honors3 cr

Undertakes a concentrated study of an interdisciplinary subject to be determined by the honors director in consultation with the Honors Advisory Board.

Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Unlimited Credits  
HONR 500 Independent Study in Honors1-12 cr

Open to juniors and seniors who desire to read widely in a given area or to study a specific topic in depth. Written reports and frequent conferences with the advisor are required.

Prerequisite: Department approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Maximum of 12 credits  
HONR 550 Commonwealth Scholar Thesis Research3 cr

Independent research, writing, and editing of a Commonwealth Scholar thesis under the direction of a faculty sponsor and the director(s) of the honors program. Program of study to be approved in the previous semester, and culminating in a public presentation and defense of the thesis. This course is repeatable for a maximum of 6 credits.

Prerequisite: Honors Program Director Approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Maximum of 6 credits  
IDST 150H Honors: Introduction to Cross-Cultural and Social Justice3 cr

Opens up a perspective on cultural diversity in local and global contexts. Takes an interdisciplinary approach to consider how historically shaped intersections of race, class, gender, and ethnicity inform the contemporary and post experiences of individuals and groups in society. Considers social justice and (in)equality by studying themes such as racism; classism; migration; globalization and labor rights; human trafficking; Islamophobia; and environmental justice.

Attributes: Core Human Heritage (CHH), Honors Program (HONR)  
MATH 232H Honors: Introduction to Statistics3 cr

Examines descriptive statistics, probability, sampling theory and inferential statistics. Mathematics majors cannot use this course for credit towards their major.

Attributes: Quantitative Reasoning (CMA), Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 110H Honors: World Religions3 cr

Examines basic texts, concepts, presuppositions and ways of life of several major religious traditions. Drawing on both sacred texts and scholarly analyses, as well as fictional and journalistic accounts, the course aims to understand and assess the meaning of religion in human life.

Attributes: Core Human Heritage (CHH), Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 120H Honors: Art and Philosophy3 cr

Adopts a philosophical approach to the experience, understanding and critical assessment of the products and processes of the creative arts. Our inquiries will center on two traditional questions of aesthetic theory. What is art? What is art's special value? This course will be more theoretical than hands-on, though direct, continued experience in the various creative arts will be encouraged and figure prominently in most discussions and assignments.

Attributes: Core Creative Arts (CCA), Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 200H Honors: Logic and Critical Reasoning3 cr

Examines and applies principles of cogent, sound or critical reasoning and writing, leading to a deeper understanding of language and of the use of logical argumentation. Considers, in the context of real-life arguments and claims (in the rhetoric of philosophy, history, and other disciplines) formal and informal principles of clear and systematic thinking and writing.

Attributes: Core Human Heritage (CHH), Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 375H Honors: Ethics and Animals3 cr

Explores the potentially morally significant relationships between humans and various kinds of non-human animals. Explores moral propositions that we, as a society, subscribe to, to see whether they have unacknowledged implications for non-humans.

Prerequisite: Junior/senior status  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 410H Honors: Constructing Reality3 cr

Focusing on the increasingly popular notion that human beings, individually or corporately, actively construct, in part or in whole, the world. This notion transcends disciplinary boundaries, finding expression in such diverse fields as biology, philosophy, psychology, physics, anthropology, sociology, mathematics, theology, literary theory, cybernetics and linguistics.

Prerequisite: A 100 or 200 level philosophy course or department approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
PHIL 500 Directed Independent Study1-3 cr

Open to juniors and seniors who wish to read in a given area or to study a topic in depth. Written reports and frequent conferences with the advisor are required.

Prerequisite: A 100-level and a 200-level philosophy course, junior/senior status, department approval  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
Repeatable: Maximum of 12 credits  
PSYC 208H Honors: Applied Developmental Psychology3 cr

Examines developmental theory and research from an applied perspective. Physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development from early childhood through adolescence will be covered with an emphasis on application.

Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or any Self and Society course,  
Attributes: Honors Program (HONR)  
SOCI 201H Honors: Social Problems3 cr

Studies problems and disorganization in modern industrial society such as: poverty, racism, sexism, environmental pollution, militarism, and family issues.

Attributes: Core Self & Society (CSS), Honors Program (HONR)