About the Program

The Honors Program is an intensive four-year program in the university's core curriculum for students selected on the basis of their academic performance. It does not supplant the academic major, but seeks to stimulate students to develop their capacities as intellectually rigorous and independent persons embodying the best of liberal education.

The curriculum of the program has been designed to realize the principal objectives of the university's academic program. The student learning outcomes we hope to achieve are (1) breadth as well as depth in learning, and (2) the refinement of writing and intellectual skills. The foundation of the Honors curriculum is the three-year sequence for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors that aims to familiarize students with major written works and original thinkers of the Western intellectual tradition, from Greco-Roman classics to modern scientific revolutions, and culminating in a comparative study of classic texts from Near Eastern, South Asian, and East Asian civilizations. These courses serve as preparation for the research and writing of a thesis in the senior year, one of the principal outcomes for gauging the student's success in achieving the learning goals of the Honors Program. After successfully completing the prescribed coursework and writing an approved senior thesis, Honors graduates are designated Coolidge Otis Chapman Honors Scholars upon graduation.