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Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Each semester a new set of courses is offered providing students with multiple chances to choose courses of specific interest in different disciplines over a four-year period. All Honors College core courses satisfy the general education requirements of Oakland University, and some core courses may also satisfy the ethnic diversity and Writing in the Gen Ed (WIGE)requirement.

Students in The Honors College work toward completing the requirements in conjunction with a departmental major from the College of Arts and Sciences or from one of the five professional schools (Business Administration, Education and Human Services,  Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences or Nursing).

Honors College students majoring in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from the College of Arts and Science's distribution requirements. (See undergraduate catalog under College of Arts and Sciences.)

The following courses make up The Honors College core curriculum:
  • HC 100 - First Year Colloquium: Making Discoveries (required)
  • HC 201 - Arts
  • HC 202 - Literature
  • HC 204 - Western Civilization
  • HC 205 - Global Perspective
  • HC 206 - Social Sciences
  • HC 207 - Mathematics, Logic and Computer Science
  • HC 208 - Natural Sciences and Technology
  • HC 390 - Introduction to the Thesis
  • HC 490 - Independent Study (optional)

Course Requirements

In addition to achieving a minimum GPA of 3.50 to graduate from The Honors College, students must take at least three Honors College core courses in three different general education field categories (HC 201, 202, 204-208). Beginning in Fall 2008 all incoming freshmen will be required to take HC 100. This First Year Experience course is designed to build community and to provide an education in areas fundamental to the making of a bright, curious, engaged student, ready to undertake the challenges and responsibilities of an academically prepared Honors College student.

Students may take more than three core courses, in which case the additional courses will count toward satisfying the overall university general education requirements. Students should take at least one core course during their freshman year. It is expected that course requirements will be met by the end of their junior (third) year. 

Suggested First Semester Classes
  • HC 100 Freshman Colloquium (required)
  • Rhetoric 150 or Rhetoric 160 (depending on placement)
  • A foreign language (level of the course will depend on results of placement exam)
    These three classes constitute full time enrollment, however, a course of your choosing, perhaps an introductory course in your departmental major may be added. For example, if a Biology major, we recommend an introductory course in Biology or Chemistry.

    Note: It is very important that you take the foreign-language placement exam before attending orientation (unless you will begin a new language). The Honors College requires that you complete the second-year (215) level or demonstrate second-year language proficiency. 

    Foreign Language Requirement

    Honors College students must complete a foreign language requirement. This is done by choosing one of the four Honors College language track options (see HC Foreign Language Requirement)

    Students choosing track 1, 2 or 3 are encouraged to take the online foreign language placement test to determine where to begin. It is possible to meet some of the requirements by demonstrating proficiency on the placement exam. Foreign language courses are offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and are not restricted to Honors College students. (see Department of Modern Languages and Literatures for specific languages offered) 

    Community Service

    Honors College students must complete a community service requirement. Students graduating from The Honors College are required to fulfill a minimum 10  hour project during one semester or a six-week period in the summer. Upon completion of the service project, students must fill out a Community Service Form.  The form must be signed by the student, the service supervisor and The Honors College dean. 

    Good Standing

    Students must maintain good standing in The Honors College at all times and update their online Good Standing Report annually. For details see the Good Standing Guidelines.

    Honors Thesis

    Honors College students must produce an Honors Thesis (independent project). Every student must undertake a work of substantial scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering. The student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project, submits it to The Honors College Council for approval, and carries out the work.

    There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – however, it could include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The proposal must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

    Students should begin thinking about the thesis during their freshman and sophomore years, complete the Thesis Preparation (HC390) course the year before graduation and submit their research proposal at the end of the course. Thesis deadlines are outlined in the thesis package and below. Hard copies will be available in the Honors College office.

    The proposal has a title and a narrative describing the nature and scope of the project, along with the rationale, methodology and goals. The Honors College Council must review and approve the proposal.

    The thesis should be at least 20 pages (double-spaced, typewritten) and should contain a bibliographic style appropriate to the discipline in which the study is conducted. There should be clear evidence that the paper far exceeds a simple report, and is more than the result of a classroom assignment. It must exhibit originality, critical analysis and creative thinking.
    The Thesis Forms  (procedures, proposal, model cover page, team work page, etc.), Mentor Procedures page, Mentor Approval Form and the License to Publish on the HC website form are available online and in The Honors College Office. For additional questions regarding HC 390 (The Thesis Prep Course) and writing the thesis, check the Thesis FAQ's document.

    Thesis Deadlines

    For Students Graduating in May:

      • February 1st- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
      • March 1st - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College
    For Students Graduating in December:
      • September 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
      • October 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College

    Thesis Research Grant

    The Honors College Research and Travel Grant is available to students seeking financial support to complete the research portion of their thesis. The application must be submitted with the thesis proposal. Applicants may request up to $1,500 toward research expenses including travel, *equipment, supplies, printing, etc. The Thesis Grant Application is available online or in The Honors College Office.
    *(All equipment purchased with Oakland University funds remains the property of the university).