In addition to meeting the university, school, and major requirements for graduation, Campuswide Honors students must also complete the following in order to graduate from the Honors Program:
- Achieve an overall grade point average of 3.2 or above;
- Enroll in at least 12 graded units each quarter;
- Complete, with a letter grade of C or better, each course in one of two honors core course tracks: Campuswide Honors Classic Track or Sustainable Societies.
BOTH TRACKS BEGIN WITH
Humanities Core (Humanities H1A-B-C)
Humanities Core must be taken First year
Honors students begin their course of study by taking honors sections of the popular Humanities Core Course. This course is team-taught by professors from various disciplines in the Humanities (i.e., English, Comparative Literature, Classics, and History), and is organized around major themes, which change every three years. The honors component for this core course resides in special honors discussion sections, led by outstanding faculty and instructors from various academic disciplines. This course satisfies part of General Education Category I (Lower Division Writing), all of Category IV (Arts & Humanities), Category VII (Multicultural Studies), and Category VIII (International/Global Issues).
Critical Issues in the Social Sciences (Social Sciences H1E, H1F, H1G)
Usually taken Second year
This sequence is often team-taught by professors from the Schools of Social Sciences and Social Ecology. The topics presented are studies from the perspectives of the various social sciences disciplines, namely: anthropology, cognitive sciences, economics, linguistics, political science, psychology, social ecology, and sociology. Sample topics have included human vision & perception; authority, (dis) obedience and human society; decisions and compromises and their rewards and penalties; human language and its disablement, and exotic societies (including our own). This course satisfies all of General Education Category III (Social and Behavioral Sciences).
The Idiom and Practice of Science (offered as Biology, Chemistry, Earth Systems Science, or Physics H90)
Usually taken Second or Third year
This sequence is an interdisciplinary science course that gives students an understanding of the role science plays in addressing socially significant problems. Students develop the ability to understand scientific models and to judge the content, merit, and limitations of many issues of science in the modern world. Emphasis is placed upon the development of analytical and writing skills. Topics have included earthquakes, chemistry in the environment, radiation/radioactivity, evolution/aging, the mathematics of power, biodiversity/conservation, genetic plant engineering, calculus, and the physics of music. This course satisfies all of General Education Category II (Science and Technology), up to two courses of General Education Category V (Quantitative, Symbolic, and Computational Reasoning) and is required for honors students who do not have majors in the biological or physical sciences, or engineering.
SUSTAINABLE SOCIETIES TRACK
Critical Analysis of Health Science Literature (Chemistry H30A)
Taken fall quarter of sophomore year
In this course, students will learn to critically evaluate a variety of types of scientific literature in the context of several public health concerns. The course will 1) introduce students to foundational aspects of scientific inquiry, including the scientific method, scientific research design, statistical analysis, and publication processes; 2) examine scientific inquiry as a process that cannot be separated from sociocultural influences and concerns; and 3) apply these understandings to the analysis of research on health-related case studies. 4 units each quarter.
Environmental Issues Facing Sustainable Societies (Earth System Science 30B-C)
Taken winter-spring quarters of sophomore year
Over two quarters, this course will explore 3‐4 environmental challenges facing the world: e.g. universal sustainable access to fresh water, universal sustainable food production, and becoming carbon neutral. The treatment of each topic will begin by laying out the science underlying the problem. The focus will then turn to solutions. After exploring the scientific and technical constraints on possible solutions, the course will delve into the social science issues that arise when communities must agree on and implement solutions. 4 units each quarter.
Social Science Perspectives on the Sustainability of Societies (Social Sciences 30D)
Taken fall quarter of junior year
This course will introduce the conceptual and methodological approaches of social science disciplines
(e.g., economics, political science, psychology, ethnic studies) and draw examples from different countries and states to: 1) explore the ways social issues are influenced by a society’s economic and political structures, and; 2) examine how economic, political, and other social choices can affect the sustainability of societies. Examples of issues that may be covered include: Overuse and depletion of resources; Social injustices including income and other forms of inequality, as well as corrupt government; The internet, social networks and the spread of sharply contrasting views and “false” news stories; Mass migration as both a result and cause of sustainability problems.
Cities: Focal Point for Sustainability Problems and Solutions (Urban Planning & Public Policy 30E-F)
Taken winter-spring quarters of junior year
Much as cities, and urbanization generally, can function as both a focal point for environmental, health, and social problems and as part of the solution to these problems, in this two‐quarter course, cities will provide a focus to explore how the issues raised in earlier quarters in this sequence can be understood in a local context. Using cities in Southern California as a text, the course will look at the various dimensions of urban design and how design choices contribute to the sustainability of cities and the quality of life of citizens. Specifically, the course will explore the role of urban economies, urban energy and transportation choices, and how urbanization can affect waste and pollution. A theme running through these discussions will be how choices of material – what we use to build buildings or pave roads, but also what we use to maintain the environment or power our devices – can impact health and sustainability. In the second quarter, students will work in small teams to explore a sustainability issue they have chosen and prepare a report that lays out the issue and the pros/cons of alternative ways to deal with it in an urban context.
Complete an Undergraduate Research Experience and an approved Honors Thesis
Usually completed Senior year
In addition to the honors core courses, Campuswide Honors students participate in a minimum of two quarters of research, and most honors students compile 3 or more. The research experience culminates in the production of an honors thesis, creative project, or publication-quality paper. Although students are encouraged to begin as early as possible, most conduct their research under the supervision of a faculty member during their senior year. The majority accomplish this through their participation in one of the upper-division, major-specific honors programs offered on campus. For descriptions of these upper-division Honors Programs, see the Campuswide Honors Opportunities Flyer. For more details on honors research requirements, see the Campuswide Honors Research/Thesis Handbook, which is available online. (Click here to go to that page).
Sequence of Courses
Honors students MUST enroll in the Humanities Core Course during their first year. If following the Campuswide Honors Classic Track, they usually take the Social Science Core in their second year and the Science Core their third year. However, after the Humanities Core course, there is some flexibility as to when students may complete the remaining cores. Social Science Core is open to both freshmen and sophomores, and a few students have completed all or part of this core during their first year, along with the Humanities Core. The Science Core is open to both sophomores and juniors. Students may switch the order in which they complete the Social Science and Science Cores, or take them simultaneously. Students who will not otherwise be taking any math or science courses as part of their curriculum in college may wish to take the Science Core during the sophomore year instead of the junior year, and postpone Social Science Core until junior year.
After Humanities Core, students on the Sustainable Societies track enroll in six sequential courses (one per quarter for two full years) sophomore and junior year. Freshman who complete Honors Humanities Core are eligible to begin the track in the fall of their sophomore year. Sophomores who are interested in completing the six-class sequence should contact the Honors office to discuss their options, as should students who are planning on studying abroad.
Any other alternative academic plan is considered an exception and changes MUST be approved in advance. Students must submit a petition to the Director of Campuswide Honors for that approval. Since students in Honors are required to plan their school and major requirements around a required honors core course each quarter, especially during their first 2-3 years, they receive priority enrollment during the initial enrollment process.