Honors courses: What’s the difference?

How do Honors courses differ from regular general education courses?


  • Courses emphasize discussion and active learning over lectures and information-delivery. They are run as seminars, when/where appropriate.
  • Courses are more intensive learning experiences and study subject matter in greater depth than a regular General Education section
  • Students assume leadership roles in the classroom.
  • Where appropriate, interdisciplinary connections are emphasized.

Course requirements

  • Textbooks are supplemented and/or replaced with other course materials, including primary sources and interpretive secondary sources.
  • Campus and community resources are utilized to broaden the classroom experience and bring in interdisciplinary perspectives.

Course materials

  • Assignments are rigorous and foster stronger critical reading and thinking skills,
  • Assignments require students to synthesize sources and ideas both in writing and in oral presentation.
  • Many Honors courses include a capstone-eligible research paper or project. These are student-conceived and require the integration of multiple sources and/or perspectives.


Student work is evaluated with higher standards of performance expectation and the weight of course assignments reflects rigorous

Honors course requirements

Assessment focuses on synthesis of ideas, critical thinking, and innovation over test-taking or mastery of facts.