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Honors Courses


Non-Honors students are invited to email for an override to register for an Honors course.

A student may repeat a course number for up to 6 credits if the course name, course syllabus, and faculty/instructor teaching the course is different.

+ Check out the course syllabus and posters by clicking on "course posters" and "course syllabus" hyperlink.
+ Email professors by clicking on their names.

If you have any questions or concerns about registration or the course, please contact Tia Nero at

Spring 2020

Research, Writing, and the Construction of Identity

HNRS ENGL 2010: Intermediate College Writing
LIBS 1704: Information Navigator (Online)
Who am I? Who do I wish to be? We will explore these questions and others, using the theme of identity construction to further develop research, writing, and argumentative skills. We will analyze the multiple aspects of our identities and the identities of others and compose a variety of written and digital texts on the construction of identity. 

11:30 - 12:20 PM MWF
Library (LI) 246
Jose Otero (English)
Miranda Kispert (Library Science)

HNRS + ENG + LIBS Credit

Omnivore's Dilemma

HNRS 1510: Perspectives in the Life Sciences
How do you decide what to eat? Why is the decision on what to eat so easy for some yet fraught with stress and guilt for others? In this course, we will use Michael Pollan’s best selling book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” as a jumping point for learning how the human diet has changed over time and its implications for our health as well as that of the environment. Through readings, discussions, projects, and eating we will explore ways to change the current food system one bite at a time.

11:30 - 12:20 PM MWF
Library (LI) 325
Michele Skopec (Zoology)

HNRS + LS + SUS Credit

Exploring Wicked Problems

HNRS 1520: Perspectives in the Social Sciences
Wicked problems are societal problems that are difficult, if not impossible to solve because the problem is interconnected with other problems and transdisciplinary in nature. In this course, we will examine sociocultural, economic, sustainability, and political frameworks of wicked problems and potential solutions. Choose your own wicked problem to explore!

1:30 - 2:45 PM TTH
Library (LI) 325
Azenett Garza (Psychology)
Barrett Bonella (Social Work)
Kathleen Cadman (Nursing)

HNRS + SS Credit

The Rich and The Rest of Us

HNRS 1520: Perspectives in the Social Sciences
The rise in income inequality and wealth inequality in the United States over the last three decades is a critically important phenomenon. It would be difficult to find a major newspaper that isn’t printing several stories about inequality every week. Many political candidates are speaking about the issue of economic inequality. Honors SS 1520, The Rich and the Rest of Us will explore the causes and the consequences of inequality and poverty.

5:30 - 8:10 PM T
Library (LI) 325
Mike Vaughan (Director of the Poverty and Ineqaulity Center)

HNRS + SS Credit

Make a Joyful Noise: American Folk Hymns and The Second Great Enlightenment

HNRS 2010: Exploring Key Concepts in the Disciplines - Humanities
How is sacred music impacted by historical, social, political and economic factors in addition to religious beliefs? Where do American folk hymns fit into this picture? Learn what a hymn is and the relationship between a hymn text and a hymn tune. Explore the origins of the American Folk Hymn in the context of the Second Great Enlightenment and the relationship of this genre to secular folk music in early America. Learn to sing the same way people learned to sing in late 18th and early 19th century America using music written in shape notes. Examine primary sources from this period including tune books and words-only hymn books. Explore the resurgence of the folk hymn in 20th and 21st-century Christian congregational singing in America and beyond.

12 - 1:15 PM TTH
Library (LI) 325
Wade Kotter (Library)

HNRS + HU Credit

Tempestuous Petticoats: The Role of Fashion in Fiction

HNRS 2020: Exploring Key Concepts in the Disciplines - Creative Arts
How is fashion a metaphor in fiction and poetry? How do filmmakers translate these metaphors? Read Pride and Prejudice and critique how the costumes are interpreted in film. Talk about how fiction writers use the shorthand of fashion defines characters. Think about how fashion denotes power, powerlessness, and vulnerability. 

11:30 - 12:20 PM MWF
Browning Center (BC) 317
Sally Shigley (English)
Catherine Zublin (Performing Arts)

 HNRS + CA Credit

Politics in Film

HNRS 2050: Exploring Key Concepts in the Disciplines - Social Sciences
This course seeks to make students sensitive to and articulate the ways in which politics and American values are portrayed in film and television. It is the contention of your professors that these depictions say something about what our real, and espoused, values are. Topics to be covered include the tensions between ethics and politics, the current debate in the academic community on social capital and what citizens owe to one another and the balancing of rights and how creative artists choose to narrate those tensions, an introduction to various moral theories that figure in contemporary policy debates depicted in film and TV and a consideration of the principal values that animate American politics including issues and dilemmas in professional agencies. This course is quite multidisciplinary in its approach and materials, emphasizes multiculturalism and devotes considerable attention to the comparative and normative aspects of American government and free speech. The central theme will be citizenship: that is, to prepare students for their roles in a pluralist democracy in an increasingly media narrated world.

10:30 - 11:20 AM MWF
Library (LI) 325
Gary Johnson (Political Science)
Scott Rogers (English)

 HNRS + SS Credit

The Islamic Renaissance

HNRS 2130 A: Intellectual Traditions - Great Ideas of the East
The evolution and practice of the Islamic sciences and arts, during the Islamic Renaissance or Islamic Golden Ages, from origins until the fall of the Islamic civilization. The goal of this course is to encourage the students to think about Islamic sciences and arts from a historical perspective, and to appreciate how Islamic sciences and arts can inform the study of history. The big question of the course is: How can we work together to counter Islamophobia, via understanding the real Islamic renaissance, and its role in European renaissance?

12:30 - 1:20 PM MWF
Library (LI) 325
Abdulnasser Kaadan (History)

HNRS + HU Credit

The Sixth Mass Extinction: Biodiversity & Conservation in a Changing World

HNRS 2920: Short Courses, Workshops, Institutes, and Special Programs - New York Times Course 
This workshop provides an opportunity for students to gather and discuss the news as covered in two different news sources: the New York Times, currently available to all members of the WSU community via a digital subscription (15 copies are delivered daily to the Honors Center during the week)

10:30 - 11:45 AM T
Elizabeth Hall (EH) 115
Andrea Easter-Pilcher (College of Science)

The Good Place: Moral Philosophy and Drama

HNRS 3900: Honors Colloquium
What does it mean to be a good person? A bad person? Are moral philosophers the worst? Are writers depicting moral philosophers the worst? This course uses the first season of the NBC show, The Good Place, to examine the intersection of philosophy and drama. How do creative writers illustrate moral and ethical dilemmas? How can we and should we respond imaginatively to the thorny questions of humanity? 

10:30 - 11:45 AM TTH
Library (LI) 325
Mary Beth Willard (Political Science)
Jennifer Kokai (Performing Arts)

The American Founding: Origins of the Republic

HNRS 4900: Honors Colloquium
Political questions abound in the United States and the methods with which we answer them have existed, almost intact, since 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed. Some questions have never been answered: to what extent do state legislatures have power vis a vis the national government? Other questions come and go in salience: to what extent is protectionist tariff policy good for the country? Other questions have become more interesting recently, but have roots in the original document: to what extent do gun rights trump community safety? This course will explore the role of the document at the center of it all.

12:30 - 2:45 PM W
Lindquist Hall (LH) 202
Leah Murray (Political Science)
Richard Price (Philosophy)

Ten Great Films

HNRS 4900: Honors Colloquium
Ten Great Films will explore the content and production history of several influential Hollywood and Foreign films, as well as the social context in which they were made. Each film will be introduced, viewed in its entirety and discussed.

5 - 7:45 PM MW
Kimball Arts (KA) 143
Paul Crow (Visual Arts)

Uppity Women: The Century Since Suffrage

HNRS 4900: Honors Colloquium
The year 2020 marks one hundred years of woman suffrage in the United States. This class is intended to involve students in the national and state-wide programs marking this event. It is also intended to help students become knowledgeable about the changes in the political, social, and cultural lives of women in America with particular attention paid to the second women's movement and the third and fourth waves of feminism.

1:30 - 2:45 PM TTH
Library (LI) 322
Kathryn MacKay (History)

Nuclear War

HNRS 4900: Honors Colloquium
Nuclear war has threatened humanity ever since the first atomic bombs in 1945. We will cover the technology of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, how nations prepared for nuclear war, and how this has been portrayed in movies, novels, and government studies.

12:00 - 1:15 PM TTH
Lindquist Hall (LH) 116
Eric Swedin (History)
Dave Ferro (Engineering Technology)

R.E.A.L Projects

HNRS 4920: Short Courses, Workshops, Institutes, and Special Programs
Real Experience Applied Learning Projects (R.E.A.L. Projects): Employers are looking more at experiential learning to determine the best candidates for today's jobs. "R.E.A.L. Projects" gives students real-world experience, working as part of an interdisciplinary team on a real project for an employer. The course will teach project management, communication, and leadership skills, helping to set you apart from other potential candidates in the job market.

9:00 - 10:15 AM TTH
Library (LI) 325
Robert Ameling (Career Services)

For examples:

Podcasting Production

HNRS 4920: Short Courses, Workshops, Institutes, and Special Program
Are you interested in podcasting? Do you want to produce a podcast? In this course you will explore the components of podcast production including: interviewing, story development, script writing, interview techniques, remote and digital audio recording, editing of sound, mixing and final production for streaming. Throughout the semester, students will produce a multiple episode 30-45 min podcast around the selected theme chosen for the semester.

10:00 - 11:15 AM TTH
Library (LI) 176
Andrea Baltazar (Communications)
Melina Alexander (Women & Gender Studies)


Past Semesters