Honors College Course Offerings

Honors Courses

Honors College offers honors courses geared toward active student participation through collaboration, engagement, and discourse. This is achieved by offering courses with:

  • Small class sizes no larger than 20 students
  • Discussion-oriented leaning
  • Comfortable and encouraging atmosphere

Honors courses are designed to help students to develop their critical thinking skills by emphasizing interdisciplinary study, academic research, and scholarly writing. The goal is not to make honors classes "harder" but to create an environment that is most conducive for honors students to thrive in.

Course Offerings

The Honors College offers more than 40 regular honors courses in as many as 20 academic disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary special topics seminars for freshmen, juniors, and seniors. These classes provide honors students with opportunities to begin working closely with faculty members early in their academic careers.

General Education Honors Sections

The Honors College offers honors sections of classes needed to complete your general education requirements. While completing your honors requirements, you can also complete your general education requirements. Several of these courses also fit into College of Business admission requirements.

Honors College typically offers the following courses each semester:

Fall Spring
BIO 121 General Biology I-Honors ACC 206 Accounting Choices & Methods-Honors
BMS 110/111 Introduction to Biomedical Science & Lab-Honors ANT 100 World Cultures-Honors
CHM 160/161 General Chemistry I & Lab-Honors COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking-Honors
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking-Honors ECO 165 Principles of Microeconomics-Honors
ECO 101 Economics of Social Issues-Honors ENG 321 Writing II: Technical Writing-Honors
ECO 155 Principles of Macroeconomics-Honors PHI 105 Critical Thinking-Honors
ENG 110 Writing I-Honors PHI 115 Ethics & Contemporary Issues-Honors
ENG 215 Creative Writing: Short Story-Honors PLS 101 American Democracy & Citizenship-Honors
PHI 110 Introduction to Philosophy-Honors PSY 200 Psychological Statistical Methods-Honors
THE 101 Introduction to Theatre & Drama Honors REL 100 Introduction to Religion-Honors
  SOC 150 Introduction to Society-Honors
  THE 101 Introduction to Theatre & Drama-Honors

Current course offerings can be found on MyMissouriState -- Class Schedule Search. To find all honors course, search "honors" in the Attribute box.

Honors College Special Topics Courses

Special topics courses are part of the Honors College curriculum, and topics are subject to change. These courses are interdisciplinary and aim to develop soft skills that are worthwhile to any student regardless of their major focus. Honors special topics come in three types of classes:

UHC 110: Honors Freshman Seminar

UHC 397: Honors Colloqia

UHC 410: Senior Honors Seminar

UHC 110 Honors Freshman Seminar (Fall Only Course) 

This class acts as a substitute for GEP 101: First Year Foundations and must be taken by every general honors student. Current special topics include:

Globalization: The Two Cultures Debate

This class will include an investigation of the philosophical underpinnings of the Two Cultures debate (Humanities vs. Sciences) and its relationship to General Education and the academic divisions of the University, as well as an in-depth discussion of the current global economic picture and its impact on university graduates in the United States.

Science Literacy

Science has assumed an unprecedented importance in our increasingly technological society and many of our most important problems require scientific solutions.   However, we lag behind many other countries in science education and public interest in science suffers from a steadily declining number of science journalism outlets that are swamped by a barrage of media trivia.  As a result, a significant segment of mainstream America fails to recognize the importance of scientific knowledge or the reasoning process from which it is derived, and readily accepts pseudoscientific and anti-scientific ideas.  Science literacy is enormously beneficial to society by fostering critical thinking that strengthens democracy.  Educated citizens can adeptly recognize misinformation and demand appropriate scientific input in the creation of public policy.  How is real science distinguished from pseudoscience?  What is required to make a scientifically valid argument?  We will address these and other questions by examining scientific and pseudoscientific perspectives of various current socially-relevant issues.

Socio-Cultural Impact of Violence on the Mexican Border

This course will explore and analyze the impact and effects of violence in specific areas of Latin America such as the Mexican border.  This is an introductory discussion of the conflicts happening currently that have torn some of these communities apart. Students will be able to discuss the economic and sociopolitical processes that have contributed to the undoing of the society and resulted in narco-governments, massive waves of migration, femicides, and contemporary ways of slavery. Students will analyze, reflect and evaluate the role of cultural texts in this critical context in the society and its impact through the reading of literary texts, films and music.

Art as Revolution

Art as Revolution will explore the ways in which the arts have mirrored political and social changes in our history. We will examine many controversial works and their relationship to one another against a backdrop of the social and political events that inspire the life of their times. Our investigation into the rumblings of revolution will inspire theories and questions about art and revolution in the 21st century.

Gender & Sexuality

We will explore the construction and maintenance of norms governing sex, gender, and sexuality, with an emphasis on how opportunity and inequality operate through categories of race and class. Comparative, historical perspectives on the male and female gender roles, socialization, reinforcement through social institutions, as well as relationship development of men with each other, women with each other, and those between men and women. Overview of the diverse ways that human beings think about, organize, and experience sexuality, sex and gender roles and identities, intimacy and love, and domestic and sexual labor.

Cultural Consciousness in Biomedical Research

This course is designed to familiarize students with biomedical research compliance and ethical standards within the field. In the course, we will cover terminology, resources, and major issues within healthcare and research fields. This shall be accomplished through analyzing real life applications of biomedical principles and through evaluation of historical evidences. Concepts covered will include the practice of informed consent, reproductive and genomic ethics, cultural distrust in scientists and health professionals, human enhancement, and other issues. In and outside of class, students will use discussion and analysis of case studies to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Contemporary Issues in Policing

This course is a critical examination of contemporary issues in policing and considers the role of police, theories related to policing, police operations and strategies, public views about police, and outcomes of policing in the U.S.

Ethics & Animal Welfare

Animal welfare, animal rights, and the ethics of using animals for food, fiber, research, and entertainment will be discussed. The question of sustainability as it pertains to meat animal production, water quality, energy used to produce different food stuffs, and how agriculture affects the environment will also be addressed.

Communication Ethics & Leadership

Fundamental to being an effective student and future leader is an understanding of human communication and the ethics of human communicating. This course covers the predominant theories in communication ethics and leadership. Students will study communication and leadership in their chosen fields of study, and then write a paper grounding organizational practice in ethical and responsible communication strategy and tactics to build and advance community.

Ancient World: From Dirt to Museum

In collaboration with the Springfield Art Museum students will curate a collection of ancient artifacts.

The Dramatic Impulse in the Middle Ages

This course will explore the nature, practice, and material creation of drama in the European Middle Ages (c. 600-1500 CE). What exactly was dramatic at any given point during this period of history and how was drama inscribed and/or encoded into the aesthetic, representational, and ritual phenomena of medieval people and communities? This course will dive into how drama was central to the creative efforts in art, literature, performance/theatre, religion, and politics. Students will receive training in historical and theoretical methods for unpacking and examining the dramatic impulse that rooted in many artifacts of the Middle Ages.

Navigating the Modern Information Landscape

The abundance of information available at our fingertips can be difficult to process and utilize effectively. Understanding how we think, knowing ourselves as learners, and how to frame higher levels of cognition applies to many aspects of our lives including how we take in and use information. Using concepts of metacognition, critical thinking, and information literacy, this course teaches students how to navigate, evaluate, and leverage the information landscape around them.

Communication Disorders in Society

We will be studying the profession of Communication Disorders. After completing the course you should have a good knowledge of the following: the profession of speech-language pathology, audiology, and education for the deaf and hard of hearing. We will discuss a variety of common communication disorders of speech, language, hearing, and auditory processing including how to assess and manage individuals with these disorders. You will also be introduced to the deaf culture. In addition, we will discuss issues related to communication in general.

The Scientific Pursuit of Knowledge: Progress, Problems, or Profit?

This section will examine some of the most recent, influential, and controversial scientific discoveries and discuss the importance of Cultural Competence and Ethical Leadership within the process of these discoveries. We will discuss topics such as cloning, genetic engineering, vaccination, and the Human Genome Project. We will look into the effects of science on the good of society. Additionally, we will examine the ideas of economic gain from science and its influence on ethical and moral judgment.

Life Stages in Literature

We will investigate a particular theme: Life Stages in Literature. The works we will read and discuss describe the various stages of life from birth to death. Under the broad categories of childhood, young adulthood, and later adulthood, we will look at themes such as coming of age, fitting in, family relationship, love , crisis, and death. By examining the life stages of both women and men (and, of course, boys and girls) whose experiences cross various historical eras, cultures, and socio-economic class, we can begin to distinguish commonalities without ignoring differences. In this way, those aspects of the stages which are socially constructed will begin to emerge.

UHC 397: Honors Colloqia

This course is designed as an upper-level colloquium focused on open discussion and oral presentation.Students select from a menu of 6-8 interdisciplinary courses offered each fall and spring.

Personalized Medicine

This course will take an in-depth look at Personalized Medicine in the U.S. Health Care System today from the pharmacologic and genetic perspectives. Emphasis is placed upon discussion and individual research projects through a problem or patient-based approach. Students will be required to analyze genomic 
information and contribute to intellectual exchange surrounding personalized health care provision. 

The Holocaust & Human Experience

At a symposium on “The Holocaust Century: Implications and Anxieties” in 1973, Elie Wiesel, Holocaust 
survivor and one of its most outspoken and influential Witnesses, observed that “As the central event of 
our lifetime . . . . [t]he implications of the Holocaust are endless, covering all areas of human endeavor. 
The Holocaust calls into question all that was obtained through knowledge for the last thirty centuries.” 
Join us as we consider these most enduring questions about human experience and nature: about our 
struggles with good and evil, about what the Holocaust means, and about what we can learn from it. 
Beyond these broader questions, we will also have the opportunity to consider your questions about this 
most terrible of human events. Throughout our studies, reflections, and conversations, we will also 
explore many of the wide range of human expressions about the Holocaust: memoirs, scholarly works, 
fictional works, poetry, theater, documentaries and movies, various art forms, music and song, 
architecture, and more as we seek to grasp our own insights and lessons from what Wiesel declared 
“there is no tragedy like it.”

 The U.S. during the Gilded Age & the Progressive Era

This course will deal with the course of rapid industrialization during the late 19th and very early 20th 
centuries. America was the #4 industrial nation in 1860. By 1900, our value of manufactured goods not 
only put us in 1st place, but also equaled that of the three nations (Britain, France, and Germany) that 
we passed during the late 19th century. America’s Captains of Industry, of course, took most of the 
credit. But rapid economic development also created victims, who were more likely to view America’s 
industrial elite as Robber Barons because of the unsavory tactics they used to get to the top. Students 
will read a biography of Andrew Carnegie (the most admirable of these industrialists) and a novel by 
Edward Bellamy that subtly criticizes the world that the Robber Barons created. The course will then deal with two reform movements that attempted to address the problems of late 19th century America, Populism and Progressivism. Populists called for some rather radical changes, including government banks and railroads. Progressives were more moderate in their demands. Students will be asked to ponder what exactly constitutes “Progress” –quantifiable material advance or the quality of life for those at the bottom of society. We will also debate such issues as the proper gap between rich and poor and the proper role of government – laissez-faire, regulation, or something else.

 Gothic Literature in Translation

This course is designed to provide an introduction to Spanish Gothic literature and its historical, social, 
and political implications from the 19th century to the present day. The main objectives for the semester 
are: 1. To learn about the characteristics of Gothic fiction and its relationship to culture, history, and 
politics 2. To learn about some of the most important writers of Gothic fiction in Spain and how their 
works compare to those of British and American Gothic authors 3. To gain general knowledge about the 
history and culture of Spain, and specific knowledge about the Civil War (1936-39), the resulting 
dictatorship of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), and the Transition era 4. To develop the ability to critically 
analyze the manner in which particular works of fiction correspond to the historical, social, and cultural 
environment in which they were written 5. To develop the student’s ability to write a formal essay using 
literary analysis skills.

UHC 410: Senior Honors Seminar

This course is designed as a seminar focused on research skills and written presentation.

Global Healthcare & Population Genetics

As part of this course, students will engage in research to explore the role of population genetics in the 
delivery of healthcare in America and beyond. Students will also engage in a hands-on research study to 
understand how knowledgeable MSU students in healthcare majors believe they are in the practice of 
culturally-competent medicine.

A Century of Artistic Crisis in Europe & Amreica

The art forms of music, literature, dance, photography, visual art and architecture are explored through 
the context and backdrop of political and social currents of the 20th century in both Europe and the United States. Students will investigate how different forms of art speak to one another and investigate how they form a “human” statement of the time in which it was created. Our modern “mirror” will be a continued comparison of past and future.

Barbie Feminism(s) & Dystopian Nightmares

From the Women’s March to the Eras tour, from Kamala Harris to Gerwig’s Barbie, from #metoo to Lean 
In, the last decade or so has been weird for women. How do literary and cultural texts by, about, and 
ostensibly for women reflect the socio-political tensions of the present moment and the feminism(s) of 
the future? How have gender studies theorists shaped current cultural attitudes, and how do they explain 
the current morphologies of gender as a culturally significant category? How do depictions of men, boys, 
and Ken dolls—in literary and cinematic texts, as well as in celebrity culture and music—celebrate, 
complicate, or challenge ideas of a more inclusive future, and/or what are some of the consequences of 
texts that threaten traditional masculinity? In this class we’ll journey from some of the classic dystopian 
novels like Brave New World to Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale and its literary descendants, attending 
along the way to the complicated feminism(s) of cultural figures like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, and 
Lena Dunham.

Religion & Social Justice

This course explores the relationship between religion and ethics and the relationship between religious 
teachings and social justice issues, such as poverty, (hunger and homelessness), misogyny, 
environmental ethics, violence (and war), gender, and racial discrimination. It also explores the 
intersection between theory and practice