Honors Seminars

Campuswide Honors offers specially designed seminars on a variety of topics each quarter taught by top UCI faculty.  These courses are open to all rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and Honors to Honors transfer students in Campuswide Honors on a first come, first served basis. The seminars are worth 4 units each.  Campuswide Honors students may take as many of these seminars as they wish, and can even use one of them to substitute for one quarter of an honors core course as designated by Campuswide Honors.
Only one substitution total permitted per student.

More course information:

Fall 2020 Seminars

  • What is Space
    Instructor: Professor JB Manchak
    Enroll in: LPS H81
    Historical, philosophical, scientific exploration of the concept of “space.” Questions of interest include: What kind of a thing is space? How can we know what space is like? How is space different from time?
    Credit: GE Category II, may substitute for one quarter of Science Core
  • Race/Sport/Media
    Instructor: Professor Victoria Johnson
    Enroll in: Film & Media Studies H80
    Examines the intersection of race, sports, and media in everyday U.S. popular culture (film, TV, advertising, gaming, social media) and political culture. Materials fee.
    Credit: GE Category IV and VII, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core.
Victoria Johnson
  • The Properties of Property
    Instructor: Professor Lee Cabatingan
    Enroll in: Criminology, Law & Society H80
    Develops an understanding and critique of private property. Draws from interdisciplinary sources to explore the foundations of private property, the institutions that support it over time, and possible alternatives to it.
    Credit: GE Category III, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core.
Lee Cabatingan
  • Traveling East/West
    Instructor: Professor Hu Ying
    Enroll in: Humanities/East Asian Languages and Literature H84
    Traveling East/West presents a wide range of travel writings by Chinese, Indian, and Euro-American authors in which they contemplate the complexities of cross-cultural encounters and how knowledge about others and knowledge of ourselves are closely intertwined. It invites students to consider how travel literature affects and shapes its readers and their perception of the world.
    Credit: GE category IV credit, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core
  • CANCELLED: neuro-Divergent
    Instructor: Professor Robin Steinberg-Epstein
    Enroll in: University Studies H80
    This seminar examines the evolution of the diagnosis of autism through history. Deep inquiry of the neuroscience, etiology, and genetics of neurodivergent individuals as well as a review of the validity of the varied treatments will inform critical thinking. Students will learn how the understanding of neurodevelopment and can be applied to the fields of science, medicine, education, psychology, and sociology.
    Credit: GE Category III credit, may substitute for one quarter of Science Core or Social Science Core

Winter 2021 Seminars

  • Drugs and Society
    Instructor: Professor Sam Schriner
    Enroll in: Pharmaceutical Sciences H80
    Where drugs come from, how drugs work, how and why people abuse drugs, the costs of drug abuse on society, which drugs are commonly abused, and how drug abuse can be prevented and treated. Course intended for non-science majors.
    Prerequisite: Recommended: High school chemistry and biology.
    Credit: GE Category II, may substitute for one quarter of Science Core
Sam Schriner
  • The Philosophy and Biology of Sex
    Instructor: Professor Cailin O’Connor
    Enroll in: LPS H91
    Covers the origins of biological sex, dynamics of sexual selection, the evolution and cultural creation of sexual behavior in humans, and the construction of gender in human societies.
    Credit: GE Categories II or III, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core OR Science Core (not both).
Cailin O'Connor
  • What is Time?
    Instructor: Professor Jim Weatherall
    Enroll in: LPS H125
    This seminar will examine how scientists, philosophers, and artists have thought about and tried to represent time over the last ~2500 years, by studying historical and contemporary scholarly work, literature, film, and physical theories.
    Credit: GE Category III, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core.

Read more about this course

James Weatherall
  • Exploring Memory
    Instructor: Professor Sarah Farmer
    Enroll in: Humanities H80
    Questions about human memory are central to a wide range of disciplines. Students will explore how historians, sociologists, social psychologists, legal experts and neuroscientists understand human memory and apply their findings to understand and shape their own societies.
    Credit: GE Category IV, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core
Sarah Farmer
  • Sanctuary: Medieval and Beyond
    Instructor: Professor Elizabeth Allen
    Enroll in: Humanities H82 English H80
    Principles and significance of the practice of legal sanctuary in medieval English history, literature, and religion. Development of modern use of churches and other safe spaces in the American Civil Rights movement, immigrant sanctuary movements, and international asylum.
    Credit: GE Categories III or IV, may substitute for one quarter of Social Science Core.
Elizabeth Allen

TENTATIVE Spring 2021 Seminars

  • What is Disease
    Instructor: Professor Lauren Ross
    Enroll in: LPS H123
    This course introduces students to scientific “principles” underlying disease causation and explanation-viz. the criteria that scientific explanations are expected to meet and how researchers in biomedicine structure disease explanations to meet such criteria. This subject requires students to understand how scientists in this discipline “approach and solve problems” where these problems are associated with scientist’s goals of identifying what “causes” and “explains” various complicated disease traits.
Lauren Ross
  • Ethics, Technology and Design
    Instructor: Professor Katie Tekinbas
    Enroll in: Informatics H81
    Provides a critical framework for how and why biases of many kinds are built into everyday digital tools. Reflections on ethics, technology, and design through case studies drawn from machine learning, CS education, engineering, social media, and criminal justice.
Katie Tekinbas
  • Improvisation and Modes of Research and Creative Expression
    Instructor: Professor Alan Terricciano
    Enroll in: Arts H81
    The course frames improvisation as a complex of powerful, formal research tools applicable to many fields. It addresses improvisatory practices within the arts and extrapolates a set of tools embedded in artistic improvisation – temporal awareness and engagement in time; real-time design; pattern recognition and pattern repetition; and the ability to identify, illuminate and explore connections between disparate phenomena. Through readings, guest lectures by UCI faculty and visiting artists (when possible), in-class student-centered learning, and project design, this course sets out to demonstrate how these tools apply across the disciplines, from creative writing to the analysis of large-scale data sets to the application of the scientific method. This course is available to all disciplines with no prerequisites.
  • What is a Person
    Instructor: Professor Oren Izenberg
    Enroll in: English H81
    Contemporary debates about personhood in law, culture, and society. Beginning with the emergence of ideas of personhood in philosophy and theology, and culminating in the study of highly contested cases: slavery, abortion law, animal rights, corporate personhood, and artificial intelligence.
Oren Izenberg

2019-2020 Honors Seminar Archive
2018-2019 Honors Seminar Archive
2017-2018 Honors Seminar Archive
2016-2017 Honors Seminar Archive
2015-2016 Honors Seminar Archive