Honors Curriculum

With Honors seminars, you’ll get the chance to push yourself beyond textbooks and lectures. You’ll engage in conversations led by specially selected professors. And you’ll be challenged to think differently, to not take anything at face value and to gain all-new perspectives that will help you succeed now and into the future.

When you join the Honors College, you can choose between two Honors degrees: the Honors Diploma or the Honors Focus. See below to learn which seminars are required to complete each set of curriculum.

Why Honors Seminars?

Murray State’s Honors seminars feature:

  • Smaller class sizes: Most seminars are limited to 15-18 students, so you’ll receive more individualized attention and more opportunities to succeed.
  • More engagement: Instead of lectures, you’ll become engrossed in thought-provoking discussions and challenging project activities.
  • Honors faculty: We believe Honors students should be taught by Honors professors. That’s why we choose faculty who have a special knack for teaching in the seminar environment.
  • Honors students only: While you’ll take classes with everyone else in your major, Honors seminars are designed exclusively for Honors students to facilitate a high level of intellectual discourse and critical thinking. 

 

Murray State campus
Lauren Allard
class of 2010, economics major

 

Degree Option 1: Honors Diploma

If you decide to pursue the Honors Diploma, you’re choosing the most prestigious undergraduate degree at Murray State. To earn this degree, you’ll complete the Honors Sequence of seminars and requirements instead of the standard general education requirement. The Honors Sequence is made up of:

  • 8-9 Honors seminars
  • Courses in math, science and a foreign language
  • Education Abroad
  • Honors Thesis

The Honors Sequence has two tracks: one for B.A. students and one for B.S. students. The tracks are slightly different, depending on what your major requires. Honors B.A. students take more foreign language courses, while B.S. students take more math and science courses. Honors Diploma recipients also receive the Honors medallion and are recognized at graduation.

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Honors Diploma B.A. Sequence Requirements

Honors Diploma B.A. Sequence

B.A., B.A.B., B.F.A. or B.M. degrees, 50-51 credit hours

 

HON 100T Freshman Orientation for Honors Students (1 Hour) — only for undeclared incoming Honors students.

ENG 150 Honors Composition and Research (4 Hours) 

HON 251 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy I (3 Hours)

 

Two of the following fine arts/communication electives:*

 

HON 109 Interdisciplinary Humanities and Fine Arts (3 Hours)

HON 161 Honors Seminar in Visual Arts (3 Hours)

HON 162 Honors Seminar in Music (3 Hours)

HON 163 Honors Seminar in Theatre (3 Hours)

HON 164 Honors Seminar in Fine Arts and Culture Abroad (3 Hours)

HON 165 Honors Seminar in Communication (3 Hours)*

                     

*HON 165 is required for all business, nursing, and education majors

 

One of the following:

 

HON 201 Honors Seminar in World History I (3 Hours)

HON 202 Honors Seminar in World History II (3 Hours)

 

One of the following electives:

 

HON 261 Honors Seminar in Science (3 Hours)

Prerequisites: Four hours of lab sciences from the University Studies electives.

HON 262 Honors Seminar in Mathematics (3 Hours)

Prerequisites: One mathematics course from the University Studies electives.

 

Three of the following electives*:

 

HON 133 Honors Seminar in Sociology (3 Hours)

HON 140 Honors Seminar in American National Government (3 Hours)

HON 150 Honors Seminar in Archaeology (3 Hours)

HON 180 Honors Seminar in Psychology (3 Hours)

HON 201 or HON 202 (whichever was not taken above) (3 Hours)

HON 203 Honors Seminar in American History (3 Hours)

HON 212 Honors Seminar in Ethics (3 Hours)

HON 232 Honors Seminar in Economics (3 Hours)

HON 252 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy II (3 Hours)

HON 270 Honors Seminar in International Relations (3 Hours)

HON 272 Honors Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 Hours)

HON 290 Honors Seminar in Service and the Nonprofit Sector (3 Hours)

 

*Students cannot take both 270 and 272 or both 212 and 252.

 

One of the following:

 

HON 437 Senior Honors Thesis (3 Hours)

HON 440 Honors Professional Engagement Project (3 Hours)

HON 444 Honors Internship Research and Analysis (3 Hours)

 

Additional Requirements

 

Competency in Mathematics: You must complete three hours of mathematics chosen from the University Studies mathematics category (not including HON 262) at STA 135 or MAT 140 or higher. This course can serve as the prerequisite for HON 262.

Competency in Science: The student must complete one lab science chosen from the University Studies science category. This course can serve as the prerequisite for HON 261.

Competency in Foreign Language: 12-hour sequence (excluding 105) in a foreign language culminating in at least a 202 level course.

Example: SPA 101, SPA 102, SPA 201, SPA 202. International students who are non-native English speakers may substitute 12 hours of English literature, linguistics, or writing classes (excluding ENG 105/150) for the foreign language requirement by permission of the Honors Director.

Education Abroad: As an Honors student, you must participate in a year, semester or summer Education Abroad program (nine-day minimum). Courses taken abroad may be used toward the Honors Sequence, foreign language competency, major or minor. International Students may substitute a Study USA experience of at least nine days with permission from the Honors Director.

 

Download Honors Diploma B.A. Sequence requirements

Honors Diploma B.S. Sequence Requirements

Honors Diploma B.S. Sequence

B.S., B.S.A., B.S.B., B.S.N., B.I.S. or B.S.W. degrees, 50-51 credit hours

 

HON 100T Freshman Orientation for Honors Students (1 Hour) — only for undeclared incoming honors students.

ENG 150 Honors Composition and Research (4 Hours) 

HON 251 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy I (3 Hours)

 

Two of the following fine arts/communication electives:

 

HON 109 Interdisciplinary Humanities and Fine Arts (3 Hours)

HON 161 Honors Seminar in Visual Arts (3 Hours)

HON 162 Honors Seminar in Music (3 Hours)

HON 163 Honors Seminar in Theatre (3 Hours)

HON 164 Honors Seminar in Fine Arts and Culture Abroad (3 Hours)

HON 165 Honors Seminar in Communication (3 Hours)*

 

*HON 165 is required for all business, nursing, and education majors

 

One of the following:

 

HON 201 Honors Seminar in World History I (3 Hours)

HON 202 Honors Seminar in World History II (3 Hours)

 

One of the following:

 

HON 252 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy II (3 Hours)

HON 212 Honors Seminar in Ethics (3 Hours)

 

Two of the following electives:

 

HON 133 Honors Seminar in Sociology (3 Hours)

HON 140 Honors Seminar in American National Government (3 Hours)

HON 150 Honors Seminar in Archaeology (3 Hours)

HON 180 Honors Seminar in Psychology (3 Hours)

HON 201 or HON 202 (whichever was not taken above) (3 Hours)

HON 203 Honors Seminar in American History (3 Hours)

HON 232 Honors Seminar in Economics (3 Hours)

HON 270 Honors Seminar in International Relations (3 Hours)*

HON 272 Honors Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 Hours)*

HON 290 Honors Seminar in Service and the Nonprofit Sector (3 Hours)

 

*Students cannot take both 270 and 272.

 

One of the following:

 

HON 437 Senior Honors Thesis (3 Hours)

HON 440 Honors Professional Engagement Project (3 Hours)

HON 444 Honors Internship Research and Analysis (3 Hours) 

Additional Requirements 

Competency in Mathematics: You must complete three hours of mathematics chosen from the University Studies mathematics category (not including HON 262) at STA 135 or MAT 140 or higher.

Competency in Science: You must complete one lab science chosen from the University Studies science category. 

Competency in Foreign Language: 6-hour sequence (excluding 105) in a foreign language culminating in at least a 102 level course

Example: SPA 101, SPA 102. International students who are non-native English speakers may substitute 6 hours of English literature, linguistics or writing classes (excluding ENG 105/150) for the foreign language requirement with permission from the Honors Director.

University Studies Science, Math or Language: Nine additional hours must be taken in addition to the competency courses mentioned above. Consult your major advisor in deciding which courses to take, as specific courses are often needed to fulfill general education stipulated requirements for specific majors. Either HON 261 or HON 262 may be taken for three of these hours.

Education Abroad: As an Honors student, you must participate in a year, semester or summer Education Abroad program (nine-day minimum). Courses taken abroad may be used toward the Honors Sequence, foreign language competency, major or minor. With permission from the Honors Director, international students may take a Study USA experience of at least nine days in substitution of this requirement.

 

Download Honors Diploma B.S. Sequence requirements

Degree Option 2: Honors Focus

If you decide to go the Honors Focus route, you’ll need to complete about three-fourths of the Honors Sequence as part of the standard general education requirement. The Honors Focus is made up of:

  •  6 Honors seminars
  • Two of the following:
    • Education Abroad [link to Education Abroad]
    • Honors Thesis
    • Foreign language to the 202 level
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Honors Focus Requirements

Honors Focus

If you complete the following requirements but are unable to finish the Honors Sequence for the Honors Diploma, you can receive your bachelor’s degree with an Honors Focus. Keep in mind that, unlike Honors Diploma graduates, you must satisfy the appropriate University Studies curriculum for your major to receive credit for the Honors Focus. In addition, you must graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.

 

Take Six Of The Following Seminars

At least three of these seminars must be 200 level. Only one of these seminar credits can be a substitution from another institution. ENG 150 may be substituted for one of the Honors seminars with permission from the director.

 

HON 133 Honors Seminar in Sociology (3 Hours)

HON 140 Honors Seminar in American National Government (3 Hours)

HON 150 Honors Seminar in Archaeology (3 Hours)

HON 161 Honors Seminar in Visual Arts (3 Hours)

HON 162 Honors Seminar in Music (3 Hours)

HON 163 Honors Seminar in Theatre (3 Hours)

HON 164 Honors Seminar in Fine Arts and Culture Abroad (3 Hours)

HON 165 Honors Seminar in Communication (3 Hours)

HON 180 Honors Seminar in Psychology (3 Hours)

HON 201 Honors Seminar in World History I (3 Hours)

HON 202 Honors Seminar in World History II (3 Hours)

HON 203 Honors Seminar in American History (3 Hours)

HON 212 Honors Seminar in Ethics (3 Hours)

HON 232 Honors Seminar in Economics (3 Hours)

HON 251 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy I (3 Hours)

HON 252 Honors Seminar in Lit. and Philosophy II (3 Hours)

HON 261 Honors Seminar in Science (3 Hours)

HON 262 Honors Seminar in Mathematics (3 Hours)

HON 270 Honors Seminar in International Relations (3 Hours)

HON 272 Honors Seminar in Comparative Politics (3 Hours)

HON 290 Honors Seminar in Service and the Nonprofit Sector (3 Hours)

 

Complete One Of The Following Options

 

1. One of the 202, 301 or 302 foreign language classes

Note: 101, 102 and 201 courses in the same language are prerequisites for the 202 courses, but you may place out or test out of these prior credits with sufficient prior instruction. International students who are non-native English speakers may substitute 12 hours of English literature, linguistics or writing classes (excluding ENG 105/150) for the foreign language requirement with permission from the Honors Director.

 

2. One thesis course:

HON 437 Senior Honors Thesis (3 Hours)

HON 440 Honors Professional Engagement Project (3 Hours)

HON 444 Honors Internship Research and Analysis (3 Hours)

Education Abroad: As an Honors student, you must participate in a year, semester or summer Education Abroad program (nine-day minimum). Courses taken abroad may be used toward the Honors Sequence, foreign language competency, major or minor. With permission from the Honors Director, international students may take a Study USA experience of at least nine days in substitution of this requirement.

 

Download Honors Focus requirements

 

International Student Tracks

Students in Honors SeminarWe offer international student tracks for both the Honors Diploma and the Honors Focus. What exactly does that mean? If you’re an international student, you can substitute structured travel in the U.S for Education Abroad. If you’re a student from a non-English speaking country, you can take upper-level courses in English literature, linguistics or writing as substitutes for the foreign language requirement.