Earning Honors Credit

Participating in the academic life of the Honors College requires you to take a variety of honors courses, both interdisciplinary (GN_HON courses) and in specific disciplines (H courses). Additionally, some departments on campus offer their own honors programs, but students will still need to take H courses.

Honors courses often include more extensive reading lists that use original sources rather than a textbook’s summary of ideas, or more ambitious laboratory work than non-honors classes. They may cover more intellectual territory, involve more in-depth conversation, and require more original written work. With a greater selection of small classes, you’ll have ample opportunities to express yourself and interact closely with professors and classmates. For more information about what an honors course involves, please see Honors Course Goals.

Types of Honors Courses

Honors classes are conducted in two broad areas — honors sections of regularly offered courses and specifically-designed honors classes — and through several unique formats:

  • Series Courses: Honors courses include the four-semester Humanities Series, the Behavioral Science Series, the Science Series for non-science majors, and the Kinder Institute Series on Constitutional Democracy.
    • Humanities explores Art, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Music, Literature, Classics, and Theater.
    • Sciences integrates the disciplines of Chemistry, Physics, Math, Biology, Geology, Engineering, Astronomy, Environment, and Agriculture.
    • Behavioral Sciences covers topics from Economics, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism, Business, and Education.
    • Kinder Constitutional Democracy examines the issues through Political Science, Public Affairs, History, and Law.
  • Learning-by-Contract and Independent Study: Students who don’t find a particular course offered as Honors have the option of creating that course through either of these two approved options.
  • Graduate Courses: Honors partners with the Law School, Medical School, and Truman School of Public Affairs to offer you additional classes; likewise, a student may take almost any approved graduate class for H credit.
  • Internships, Independent Study, and Research: The Honors College offers students an opportunity to individualize their honors curriculum through a variety of options.
  • Study Abroad: See our Study Abroad page for most current programs and offerings; we allow H credit for up to six hours of any MU-faculty led program.
  • Tutorial Courses: These are 1 credit courses, with (usually) no more than five students and center on a specific topic or special event and require an application. Please read the descriptions in our Course Catalog before applying.
  • Departmental Honors Courses: These are field-specific courses with smaller enrollments, our best faculty, and specific approaches, methods, tasks, and assessments that meet the expectations for an Honors course.
  • Seminars Courses: A slate of both regularly-offered and topics courses, all of which are interdisciplinary and taught by Honors College faculty.
  • Writing Intensive Honors Courses: Writing Intensive (WI) is a university-wide requirement, but there are many courses that fulfill both WI and honors requirements.

Be sure to check out our semester-by-semester course offerings on our Honors Courses page.

Coursework for the Honors Certificate

Honors College students have several requirements for maintaining membership as outlined here. For information about coursework requirements and stipulations for graduating with an Honors Certificate, or participating in the Honors Convocation ceremony, please see our Graduating With Honors page.