Honors Courses

Participating in the academic life of the Honors College requires you to take a variety 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.

Tutorials: These are 1 or 2 credit courses, with (usually) no more than five students and center on a specific topic or special event.We have set aside a number of these specifically for our first-year students and our various Scholars & Fellows. Please read the descriptions in our Course Catalog before applying. Some Scholars & Fellows are required to take a Tutorial in their first year at MU.

Fall 2018 tutorials are now closed. Incoming freshmen may apply during Summer Welcome by obtaining a paper application from the Honors College office (210 Lowry Hall)


Types of Honors Courses

Honors classes take two forms: honors sections of regularly offered courses and special honors classes.

Series Courses: Honors courses include the four-semester Humanities Series, the Social and Behavioral Science Series, the Science Series for non-science majors, and the Kinder Institute Series on Constitutionalism and Democracy.

Humanities Series covers Art, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Music, Literature, Classics, and Theater.

Social Science Series covers Economics, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism, Business, and Education.

Science Series covers Chemistry, Physics, Math, Biology, Geology, Engineering, Astronomy, Environment, and Agriculture.

Kinder Institute Series covers Political Science, Public Affairs, History, and Law.

Seminars and Colloquia: A slate of both regularly-offered and topics courses, all of which are interdisciplinary and taught by Honors College faculty.

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.

Tutorials: These are 1 or 2 credit courses, with (usually) no more than five students and center on a specific topic or special event. Recent (offered or soon-to-be-offered) tutorial courses include:

Photographic Representations of Race, Ethnicity, and Identity (Berkley Hudson, Journalism)

Arbitration: Consumers, Employees, and Corporations (Bob Bailey, Law)

GMOs: Biotech Bully or Savior? (Shari Fryermuth, CAFNR)

Death and Dying in the Civil War (Skye Montgomery, Kinder and Honors)

Modern History of Financial Crises (John Wright, Honors)

Running and Writing (Pat Okker, Arts & Science)

BBQ: From Culture to Consumption (Bryon Wiegand and Jim Spain, CAFNR, J.D. Bowers, Honors)

The Affordable Care Act (Thom Lambert, Law)

Unbound: Reading with a Purpose (Multiple Honors faculty)

Monarch Butterflies and Sustainability (Mark Kirk, CAFNR)

National Museum of African American History and Culture (Keona Ervin, Arts & Science, J.D. Bowers, Honors)

Study Abroad: See our Study Abroad page for most current programs and offerings; we allow H credit for any MU-faculty led program.

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.

Writing Intensive Honors Courses: WI is a university-wide requirement, but there are many courses that fulfill both WI and Honors requirements.

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.

Be sure to check out our semester-by-semester course offerings in the Course Catalog link.


Course Work for the Honors Certificate

Students are eligible to graduate with an Honors Certificate by completing 20 (24 beginning in Fall 2017) or more hours of Honors courses. The 20 or 24 hours may include any General Honors and Departmental Honors course credits, and up to 6 hours of honors transfer credit, 8 hours of Learning-by-Contract credit, and 8 hours of approved graduate credit (form required, PDF). Students must achieve a minimum letter grade for each course: a C or better for regular honors or graduate courses or a B or better for Learning-by-Contract courses.

For complete information about graduating with an Honors Certificate and participating in the Honors Convocation, go to: Graduating With Honors.

To get you started toward your 20 or 24 hour goal, you are required to take two honors courses per year for your first two years. These courses are offered as Gn_Hon classes in the Honors College itself and through additional courses in the curriculum of many departments across campus. With a greater selection of small classes, you’ll have ample opportunities to express yourself and interact closely with professors and classmates.

Honors courses often include more extensive reading lists or more ambitious laboratory work than non-honors classes. They rely on original sources rather than on a textbook’s summary of ideas. They may cover more intellectual territory, involve more in-depth conversation, and require more original written work. For more information about what an honors course involves, please see the Honors Course Goals.