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Honors Program

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Academic Affairs
  • Program Type: Other
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 12
  • This program is 8 terms (4 years) long.
The Honors Program offers UMM students an opportunity to pursue an intentional interdisciplinary and interdivisional curriculum and work toward graduation with honors. Honors courses, limited to a class size of 15, are interdisciplinary in nature and often team-taught by faculty from different UMM academic divisions, and concern subjects of special interest to the faculty members who design them. All UMM students are eligible to apply to the Honors Program. Admitted students usually take the required core course, IS 2001H-Traditions in Human Thought, in the fall of their second year. Honors students then complete at least 8 credits of interdisciplinary honors course electives and a 2-credit honors capstone project; the capstone is a substantial scholarly or creative interdisciplinary work designed by each student working cooperatively with an interdisciplinary panel of three faculty and includes a culminating project defense. Learning Outcomes 1. Connections among disciplines. Student demonstrate a understanding of interdisciplinary inquiry and a recognition of its centrality in the liberal arts setting in general and the Honors Program in particular. 2. Engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring. Students are active members of intellectual communities within and beyond Honors classes. 3. Sustainable learning. Students develop across disciplines and academic divisions a strong foundation of lifelong learning. Further information about the Honors Program may be obtained from the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) office at www.morris.umn.edu/ACE.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Students normally apply to the program in the spring semester of their freshman year and begin coursework sophomore year. While everyone may apply, the following may be used to limit the number of students accepted, focusing on those with the proven motivation and ability to likely succeed in the program: academic success in the fall semester, faculty recommendations, and a short essay. Applications are available at the Academic Center for Enrichment, 5 Student Center.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students are required to complete general University and college requirements. For more information, see the general education requirements.
Program Requirements
Honors capstone project: It is the responsibility of the student to secure a project advisor for the honors capstone project, identify two other faculty for the panel in consultation with the project advisor, and register for at least 2 credits of IS 4994H - Honors Capstone Project. Students should submit the completed project to the Honors Program director and panel members by April 1, and arrange for the defense. To qualify for a degree with honors, a student must have completed 60 or more semester credits at the University. A minimum GPA of 3.50 in all University of Minnesota, Morris courses is required. Grades of "F" are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.
Required Courses
IS 2001H is usually completed in fall of the sophomore year.
IS 2001H - Honors: Traditions in Human Thought [HUM] (2.0 cr)
IS 4994H - Honors Capstone Project (2.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Any fully-approved IS 3xxxH course may be used to fulfill the 8 credit elective requirement. Two of the eight elective credits may also be completed by writing an interdisciplinary paper related to co-curricular engagement, such as an internship or study abroad experience. Students complete an Honors Co-Curricular Independent Study form and register for IS 3991H. These projects are subject to assessment by a committee of faculty members.
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· IS 3111H - Honors: The End of the World as We've Known It: The Apocalypse Then and Now [SS] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3203H - Honors: A Cross-Section of the Enlightenment [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3204H - Honors: Ecological Health and the Sustainability of Common-Property Resources [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3206H - Honors: Introduction to Game Theory [M/SR] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3209H - Honors: Apocalypse Now? The Science and Policy of Preparing for a Catastrophe [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3211H - Honors: Republic or Empire? The American 1890s [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3212H - Honors: Global Encounters and the Making of the Contemporary World, 1450 to the Present [HDIV] (2.0-4.0 cr)
· IS 3214H - Honors: Evolution and Culture of Human Aggression [HUM] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3215H - Honors: Sagas before the Fall: Culture, Climate, and Collapse in Medieval Iceland [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3216H - Honors: Perspectives on Disability in Contemporary American Life [HDIV] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3217H - Honors: The Trial of Galileo [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3234H - Honors: Intersections of Art and Science [FA] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3235H - Honors: Politics and Film [HUM] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3236H - Honors: Representations of Writers and Artists [HUM] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3237H - Honors: The Power of Place: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Where We Live [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3238H - Honors: In Search of Nietzsche [IP] (4.0 cr)
· IS 3239H - Honors: The Anatomy of Development and the "Common Good": Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gurjurat, India [SS] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3240H - Honors: Proud Decade or Dark Age? The American 1950s [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3241H - Honors: Worldviews [SCI] (4.0 cr)
· IS 3242H - Honors: Two Cosmological Poets: Dante and Lucretius [IP] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3244H - Honors: Fascism, the Resistance, and Their Legacy in Contemporary Italy [IP] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3245H - Honors: Archaeology Mythbusting [SS] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3247H - Honors: Heroes of Ancient Greece and Rome [HUM] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3248H - Honors: Art and History of the Crusades [FA] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3991H - Honors Co-Curricular Independent Study (1.0-2.0 cr)
· IS 3249H - Honors: Literature Through Opera [FA] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3250H - Honors: Moral Sentimentalism [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· IS 3251H - Honors: Chariots and Gladiators: Ancient Greek and Roman Athletics [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3252H - Honors: Archaeoastronomy [SCI] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3253H - Honors: Honoring Native Treaties: Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities [E/CR] (2.0 cr)
 
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IS 2001H - Honors: Traditions in Human Thought (HUM)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
A study of a selection of significant works from history, literature, philosophy, science, and religion across continents from the earliest writings to the present day. Critical reading, writing, and discussion in an interdisciplinary context are emphasized. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 4994H - Honors Capstone Project
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A substantial scholarly or creative interdisciplinary work designed by the student working cooperatively with a project adviser. Upon completion, the project is defended before a panel of faculty from different disciplines. Successful completion of the honors capstone project is one of the requirements for graduating from UMM "with honors."
IS 3111H - Honors: The End of the World as We've Known It: The Apocalypse Then and Now (SS)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Exploration of the occasions and representations of apocalyptic views, focusing on the historical, political, and psychological implications. Antecedents and effects of end-of-the-world prophecies are explored through the use of popular culture (e.g. music, science fiction, other media), writings from across cultural and religious frames of reference, and various historical, political, and psychological resources. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3203H - Honors: A Cross-Section of the Enlightenment (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
A cross-section of the cultural and intellectual history of the 18th century. Figures to be studied may include Descartes, Newton, Locke, Hume, Hobbes, Rousseau, Voltaire, Lavoisier, d'Holbach, and Blake. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3204H - Honors: Ecological Health and the Sustainability of Common-Property Resources (ENVT)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Exploration of "sustainability" from the perspective of economics and ecology. Examples might include ocean fisheries, the rain forest, the introduction of alien species, and the global climate. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3206H - Honors: Introduction to Game Theory (M/SR)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program, high school higher algebra or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to the formal theory of strategic interaction and to the intuitions behind the theory. Applications to a selection of problems in the natural and social sciences, such as biological evolution, tacit collusion in pricing, strategic behavior in international relations, and strategy in legislative voting. [Note: credit will not be granted if credit has been received for Econ 3014] prereq: participation in the Honors Program, high school higher algebra or instr consent
IS 3209H - Honors: Apocalypse Now? The Science and Policy of Preparing for a Catastrophe (ENVT)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Popular visions, policy response, and scientific underpinnings of potentially catastrophic societal problems past and present. Do we worry about the right things? How do scientists, politicians, and purveyors of popular culture assess which threats warrant attention? (two 50-min lect/disc plus multiple evening film screenings) prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3211H - Honors: Republic or Empire? The American 1890s (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
The 1890s are often seen as a cultural watershed for the United States. Depression, political movements, and a "splendid little war" against Spain and the Philippines represent only the surface of a decade which altered aspects of race, class, gender, and literary sensibility. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3212H - Honors: Global Encounters and the Making of the Contemporary World, 1450 to the Present (HDIV)
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: high school higher algebra, participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
An exploration of the initial interaction among the indigenous people of Africa and the Americas with the people of Europe. Parallel immediate and long-term effects of these initial encounters are identified and discussed. prereq: high school higher algebra, participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3214H - Honors: Evolution and Culture of Human Aggression (HUM)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Exploration of aggression in medieval literature and culture and theorization about the adaptiveness of aggression. Group and individual aggression expressed by humans living under current conditions is explored from a cultural and evolutionary perspective. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3215H - Honors: Sagas before the Fall: Culture, Climate, and Collapse in Medieval Iceland (ENVT)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Exploration of the literary and physical record of society in Viking-age Iceland from its settlement during the Medieval Warm Period, through centuries of environmental degradation and changing religion, to the onset of the Little Ice Age and the end of the Icelandic free state. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3216H - Honors: Perspectives on Disability in Contemporary American Life (HDIV)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of disability studies, which favors a social rather than medical approach to understanding difference. History and struggle for civil rights, identity issues, contemporary controversies, and exploring the frontiers of one's own interest in disability by means of a service learning project. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3217H - Honors: The Trial of Galileo (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
The dispute between Galileo and the Inquisition produced one of history's most notorious trials, an enduring symbol of the struggle between science and religion. Study of the complicated history behind the myth by re-enacting the trial and learning about the theology, science, and cultural politics of this tumultuous period. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3234H - Honors: Intersections of Art and Science (FA)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explores the intersection of scientific discovery and aesthetic innovation, especially the ways in which scientists and artists have influenced one another's work. Examines the ways in which these different pursuits value notions of creativity. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3235H - Honors: Politics and Film (HUM)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explores age-old questions of political science and philosophy--what is justice, what does citizenship mean, what is power, how do we relate to the "other"--through the lens of film. Examines American and foreign films and a variety of filmmakers to analyze effects of different cinematic and narrative techniques on our interpretations. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3236H - Honors: Representations of Writers and Artists (HUM)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
An interdisciplinary approach is used in exploring the varied ways writers and artists are represented in books, television, film, and other media, comparing these representations with the lives and experiences of contemporary working writers and artists. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3237H - Honors: The Power of Place: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Where We Live (ENVT)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Goes beyond the image and myth of Lake Wobegon in examining the past and present of West Central Minnesota. An intensely interdisciplinary focus on environmental, social, political, and economic change and how modern global forces play out in this specific setting. Community leaders and experts play an active role in lecture and discussion. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3238H - Honors: In Search of Nietzsche (IP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
In this interdisciplinary course, read some books by and novels about Nietzsche in order to discover who this remarkable man was. Authors to be discussed: Nietzsche, D.H. Lawrence, Richard Wright, Milan Kundera, Nicholas Mosley, and Irvin D. Yalom. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3239H - Honors: The Anatomy of Development and the "Common Good": Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gurjurat, India (SS)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
In the Global South, the unspoken basis of development projects is that they represent an attempt to serve the "common good." This assumption masks a torrent of disagreement and conflict about whose common good is served and how a particular project in question (e.g., dams, irrigation, introduction of new farming techniques) "develops" the nation. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3240H - Honors: Proud Decade or Dark Age? The American 1950s (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Many old enough to remember the American 1950s look back on them with nostalgia. Some do not. This seminar studies several aspects of the decade: the Cold War at home and abroad, American society, literature, and popular culture. Student presentations focus on biographical research. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3241H - Honors: Worldviews (SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
The Copernican Revolution, culminating in Newton's System of the World, and modern cosmology beginning with the work of Einstein, Hubble, Friedmann, Lemaitre, and Gamow, culminating in the contemporary theory of the universe's accelerated expansion. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3242H - Honors: Two Cosmological Poets: Dante and Lucretius (IP)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Explore, compare, and contrast the cosmological poems "On the Nature of Things" (De Rerum Natura, DRN) of Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 BCE) and "The Divine Comedy" (Commedia) of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321 CE). The two poets diverge on almost every aspect of cosmological outlook and notion of the moral life and right living. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3244H - Honors: Fascism, the Resistance, and Their Legacy in Contemporary Italy (IP)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Study of Italian Fascism and the Resistance and the continued significance these two phenomena have for contemporary Italian identity. Primary texts include historical documents together with works of literature and film. Students have the opportunity to research the topic of resistance to oppressive regimes in other national contexts. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3245H - Honors: Archaeology Mythbusting (SS)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This honors class explores the world of pseudoarchaeology and archaeological fraud, from Atlantis to aliens. Discuss why myths and pseudoscience are so prevalent in popular representations of the past, and whose interests are served by them. Students engage in scientific outreach through the media of their choice to spread the word about archaeological truth and fiction. prereq: participation in the Honors program or instr consent
IS 3247H - Honors: Heroes of Ancient Greece and Rome (HUM)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Explore several types of heroes found in ancient Greek and Roman mythology and literature. Discuss such questions as: What makes a character a hero? What kinds of real-world issues did literary heroes help Greeks and Romans think about? Were they meant to be emulated? How might they be relevant to the modern world? prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3248H - Honors: Art and History of the Crusades (FA)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
The Crusades mark a crucial turning point in the Christian West's interaction with the Holy Land that still has immense repercussions to this day. The focus of this co-taught honors course is the multi-layered intersections between the history of the Crusades and the "Western" kingdoms established in the eastern Mediterranean (c. 1099-1291 CE) and the art and architecture produced there. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3991H - Honors Co-Curricular Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Co-curricular honors credits may be earned by writing a paper that explores a co-curricular experience such as study abroad, off-campus internship, national student exchange, service-learning, or directed research. Students pursuing this option must seek pre-approval. Projects are directed and assessed by the Honors Director.
IS 3249H - Honors: Literature Through Opera (FA)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Opera is often a musical staging of a preexisting story from literature or theater. While it combines music, drama, and visuals like film, opera is fundamentally different in that the audience already knows the story on which the opera is based. What do composers and librettists hope to add to their audience's understanding of a work they already know by setting it to music? Explore this cultural question through close examination of works of literature and the operas on which they are based. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3250H - Honors: Moral Sentimentalism (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
An examination of the foundations of morality. Classical and contemporary readings are juxtaposed with emerging interdisciplinary research on topics such as empathy, altruism, game theory, psychopathy, and disgust. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3251H - Honors: Chariots and Gladiators: Ancient Greek and Roman Athletics (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Explore aspects of Greek and Roman sport by reading ancient accounts and modern scholarship. Discuss questions such as: how were athletic events linked to religion? What role did women have at these events? How were victors honored? What happened at a gladiator show? Who organized games? How do ancient competitions influence modern athletics? prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3252H - Honors: Archaeoastronomy (SCI)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Archaeoastronomy investigates the incorporation of solar, lunar, planetary,and stellar observations into various ancient cultures. European, North American, and Central American cultures are presented. Students have the opportunity to investigate the effects of astronomical phenomena on a particular culture or location of their choosing. Night viewing sessions are required. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3253H - Honors: Honoring Native Treaties: Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities (E/CR)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Examination of North American Indigenous treaties with Canada and the United States, the human rights concerns those treaties bring into focus, and the civic responsibilities the treaties entail. Includes both historical treaty issues, such as the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie and its implications for the ownership of the Black Hills, the 1851 Treaty of Traverse de Sioux and the Dakota War of 1862, and more current movements tied to treaty obligations. Survey of leaders and leadership styles in both historic treaty negotiations and contemporary indigenous rights movements. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent