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.


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 Social and 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.

Social Sciences covers topics from Economics, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism, Business, and Education.

Sciences integrates the disciplines of Chemistry, Physics, Math, Biology, Geology, Engineering, Astronomy, Environment, and Agriculture.

Kinder Constitutional Democracy examines the issues through Political Science, Public Affairs, History, and Law.

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.

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.

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 (Honors) and Preceptorships: Students who have off-campus experiential and practical placements and who are seeking Honors credit may enroll for up to six hours.

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

Study Abroad Courses and Programs: 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 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.

Writing Intensive Honors Courses: 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 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 coursework credit. 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.