First-year students take an intensive yearlong seminar that introduces them to the interdisciplinary study of literature and culture of the Americas, with an emphasis on developing writing, oral presentation, and research skills. The seminar is team-taught and provides a platform for discussion, exploration, and debate, while strengthening writing and speaking abilities. The year culminates in a 25- to 30-page research paper on a topic of the student’s own choosing.
Sophomores are introduced to the interdisciplinary study of science and philosophy with an objective of engaging in critical thinking and research. Different areas of inquiry are examined each year, such as evolutionary biology, environmental ethics, and epistemology and logic.
Juniors enroll in an interdisciplinary pre-thesis seminar where students select and begin to research their senior thesis topics. Juniors also choose an upper-level Interdisciplinary Seminar, selecting from a variety of topics such as Global Social Movements, Africana Thought and Practice, Biology and the Economics of Cooperation, Peace and Social Justice, and others.
Seniors complete a Senior Thesis, which represents the capstone of one’s work in the Honors Program and allows them to spend an extended period of time studying a topic important to them. As part of this process, they enroll in a small thesis-writing seminar, led by their thesis advisor, working alongside their peers to develop their ideas, deepen their analysis, and polish their writing.
RECENT HONORS THESES
- “Let’s Play God; You Go Next: Breaking the Boundaries of Queerness with Fantasy, Sex, and Pop Music” by a Performing Arts major
- “Hyper/In/Visibility: A Critical Inquiry into Arab Americans’ Quest for a MENA Census Category” by a Writing, Literature and Publishing major
- “Politics of (white) Discomfort: Freeway Revolt and Disruptive Performance” by a Performing Arts major
- “Coopting Compassion: The Impact of Consumer-Facing Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumers and Not-for-Profit Organizations” by a Marketing Communications major
- “Maintaining Cultural Hegemony Through the Advertising Spectacle in BP’s ‘beyondpetroleum’ Rebrand and Lessons for Resistance” by an IDIP major
- “’Though I may not hold the stylus myself:’ The Trans Memoir under Neoliberalism and Crafting Outlaw Genres” by a Writing, Literature and Publishing major
- “Likes and Likeability: Social Media as a Subversive Tool for the Construction and Perception of Women’s Political Authenticity” by a Political Communication major
- “Problematizing the Neutral Witness: A Call for a New Model of Journalistic Objectivity” by a Journalism major
- “On the Path to Oligarchy: Examining the Antecedents and Consequences of Citizens United vs. FEC” by a Visual and Media Arts major
General Correspondence and Application Materials
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