Most Honors classes are Honors sections of regular University courses. They meet the same general education, departmental, and University requirements that their specific non-Honors counterparts do. They occur in two forms:
Courses unique to the Honors Program include the following:
These three-credit writing-intensive interdisciplinary first-year seminars are broadly conceived, generally going beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries and focusing on topics of enduring significance. Colloquia are intellectually rigorous without requiring more than a high-school background in a field. They are elementary not in the sense of preparing students for further study in a discipline, but rather in the sense of preparing them for further skilled reflection on issues and ideas of interest to all educated people.
Intensive reading, thoughtful analysis, and good writing are expected of colloquia participants. Informed discussions, rather than lectures, and attention to primary sources typify Honors colloquia. All first-year Honors students, regardless of their intended college or major, are required to take one Honors colloquium to be eligible for a General Honors Award. Approximately ten colloquia are offered each semester; these courses satisfy college general education requirements.
Special one-credit courses are offered each semester for the Distinguished Scholars. These courses feature cultural activities both on and off campus and proactive readings and discussions.
Patterned after the method of instruction in the British university system, tutorials consist of no more than five to six students and a faculty member who meet to discuss "Great Books" -- those lasting works that are part of the common cultural heritage of educated people. An Honors tutorial meets the Arts and Science Group A and Second Writing requirements. It also satisfies the senior capstone course requirement for the Honors Degree and the Honors Degree with Distinction if taken in one of the final two semesters of a student's undergraduate degree. Tutorials are open to any qualified junior or senior in the Honors Program, but priority is given to senior Honors Degree candidates.
These advanced interdisciplinary courses, open to qualified Honors juniors and seniors, address topics of common interest to students from different majors. An Honors Degree seminar satisfies the senior capstone course requirement for the Honors Degree and the Honors Degree with Distinction if taken in one of the final two semesters of a student's undergraduate career. Not all "seminar" courses count for this purpose -- only those marked as such in the "Honors Degree Seminar" section of the Honors course book each term will be accepted for the Honors Degree or Honors Degree with Distinction.
A student or small group of students enrolled in a non-Honors section of an appropriate course can apply to receive Honors credit for the course. Students must review the guidelines for an Individual Honors Contract and complete an application (see below). The application must include the instructor’s description of the enrichment features that will distinguish the requirements for Honors credit from those of the non-Honors section. The instructor must also explain how the Honors work will be incorporated into the final grade. Please note that the application requires the signature of the student, the instructor, and the director of the Honors Program. Applications are due to the director by 5:00 p.m. one week from the first day of classes. For more information, call 831-1195.
With the consent of a faculty sponsor and the Honors Program, a student may enroll for Honors credit in an independent study course. An online application must be submitted to the Honors Program director by 5:00 p.m. one week from the first day of classes.
A requirement for the Honors Degree with Distinction and the Degree with Distinction, the senior thesis is the culmination of a yearlong major independent research or creative project. It addresses important unanswered questions and makes an original and valuable contribution to the scholarly, scientific, or artistic community. Its format and length depend on the discipline involved.
Students should explore topics of interest as early as the sophomore year so they can select courses for the junior and senior years that are related to their research needs. An appointment with an advisor in the Undergraduate Research Office (not the Honors Program) is required early in the junior year to discuss program requirements and receive application materials. During the junior year the student will find a faculty member to direct the thesis and develop a topic.
In the second semester of the junior year, the student will find a second faculty reader and write a preliminary proposal, due May 15 of that year. In the senior year the student will take six (6) credits of UNIV 401 and 402, the Senior Thesis course, in successive semesters. A special feature of the thesis program at UD, this course reserves a weekly time slot for a series of required meetings that are designed to assist senior thesis candidates by enabling them to share research work in-progress with their peers. The course concludes with the Undergraduate Research Symposium, an important part of Honors Weekend in early May. At this half-day conference, many senior thesis candidates present their research to an audience of peers, faculty, and family members. Each thesis candidate also prepares an individual thesis defense for his or her committee in May.
Qualified students may be able to receive Honors credit for courses offered abroad in some of the programs sponsored by the University. Brochures and applications for study-abroad programs can be obtained from UD's Institute for Global Studies Office. The Honors Program recommends inquiring about Honors Credit before registering for a particular course and program.
At the end of their course of study, UD students integrate their previous work in a culminating experience such as a senior seminar, group project, or similar activity. Please consult the Capstone course list for courses that have been approved for the Honors Degree and Honors Degree with Distinction.