“Liberal Arts may ultimately prove to be the most relevant learning model. People trained in the Liberal Arts learn to tolerate ambiguity and to bring order out of apparent confusion. They have the kind of sideways thinking and cross-classifying habit of mind that comes from learning, among other things, the many different ways of looking at literary works, social systems, chemical processes, or languages.” – Roger Smith, former CEO of General Motors

Liberal Arts & Science Education

Intellectual Traditions (IT) courses are primary classes within Honors and a key component to a Liberal Arts and Science Education. IT courses investigate important, fundamental questions about the human experience through readings and discussions of primary texts. Through an interrogation of history, texts and ideas, Intellectual Traditions courses provide a broad foundation for study in a variety of disciplines and help students understand and analyze where concepts and values originate.

Honors College Praxis Labs draw students from all disciplines to collaborate on innovative project-based solutions to pressing societal challenges. Under the guidance of distinguished faculty and community leaders, students analyze a specific topic through in-depth classroom and field research such as lectures, panels, one-on-one interviews, readings and off-campus trips. After problems have been identified and solutions developed, students work together to put their ideas into action throughout the community. Topics vary each year, but fall under our three focus areas of Health & Society, Energy & Environment and Policy & Social Justice.

Learning Communities bring students together for courses that challenge their assumptions and expand their horizons. Focused around broad categories such as leadership, education, or science and art, learning communities exemplify the interdisciplinary nature of the Liberal Arts and Science education at Honors. The diverse students who engage in these programs create relationships and form communities that extend past the classroom and the university.

All of this is guided by Honors Faculty who see “liberal education as a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of value, ethics, and civic engagement. Characterized by challenging encounters with important issues, and more a way of studying than a specific course or field of study, a liberal education can be achieved at all types of colleges and universities.” –Association of American Colleges and Universities