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Current Honors Courses
Fall 2016

This schedule does not reflect whether a class is open or closed for enrollment. Check MyMadison for the most accurate enrollment information.

Previous course offerings

Honors Courses

The offerings and requirements of the JMU Honors Program bear a close relationship to those of the University. Most Honors courses are limited to 20 students. There are several types of Honors classes:

Honors sections of regular university courses

These courses appear in the Schedule of Classes with a normal departmental designator and number followed by an H (e.g., POSC 225H). These courses may count toward General Education requirements, major requirements, or elective credits. They cover the essential content of the regular non-Honors courses (as described in the university catalog), but also include a breadth of experience appropriate to Honors study (e.g., greater use of primary sources, more fully developed theoretical background, some integration of interdisciplinary perspectives and more creative learning methodologies including added emphasis on discussion, writing, research and active learning experiences away from the classroom). These courses encourage creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and deeper intellectual inquiry.

Honors seminars

Unique, interdisciplinary courses designed specifically for the Honors Program. These courses explore a range of complex topics that deal with contemporary issues in society, multicultural and comparative studies, and advanced applications in business and the natural and social sciences. Seminars are designed to be flexible small classes that may reflect unique, sometimes experimental, styles of teaching. The seminars carry an HON prefix (e.g., HON 300). They are offered at the 200 and 300 levels.

Areas of Emphasis

Special Honors seminars organized around a theme. Students gain theoretical background and practical experience in one of the following areas: creativity; global studies; leadership; research; service. Consists of two 3-credit hour seminars and a 1-3 hour practicum. Open to sophomores only. Learn more.

Honors Seminars Abroad

Special Honors seminars offered as 6-credit hour study abroad programs. Learn more.

Senior Honors Project

Students receive course credit for the Senior Honors Project by registering for three consecutive 499 courses beginning in the third year. These courses are offered through the student's major. Learn more.

Honors options

Allow students to earn Honors credit for a non-Honors upper level (200 or above) JMU course not regularly offered as an Honors course. See next tab above for more information.

Honors option form


  • Get to know your professors better
  • Design a portion of your Honors curriculum
  • Count courses in your major towards Honors
  • Go deeper into course material


Honors Options

The Honors option allows students to earn Honors credit for a non-Honors course. It consists of an agreement between an Honors student and a professor that the student will complete an additional or enhanced assignment that will make the course eligible for Honors credit. It provides students the freedom to design a portion of their curriculum and is a great way for students to get to know their professors. Honors options count toward Honors elective requirements; they cannot be used to satisfy Honors General Education requirements. There is no limit to the number of Honors options that a student may attempt, but no more than two Honors options should be attempted in any given semester. 

  • Must be a 200-level course or above
  • Cannot be a course that is currently being offered as an Honors course
  1. Student and faculty member meet within the first two weeks of class and agree on a set of requirements that would qualify the course for Honors credit.
  2. Student completes the Honors option form with signatures from both student and faculty member and submit to the Honors Program Office for approval. (Due to the volume of Honors options submitted each semester, students are only notified if it is NOT approved.)
  3. At the end of the semester, the faculty member reports to the Honors Office the successful completion of the Honors option and the Office of the Registrar is directed to award the student Honors credit for the course.

Recommendation:  Apply the Honors option to 3 credit hour courses, rather than 1 or 2 credit hour courses, in order to satisfy the Honors elective requirement more quickly.

Some ideas for Honors options include, but are not limited to:
  • Lead class discussion on a topic of particular interest
  • Complete an extra or extended paper or project
  • Complete readings for tutorial sessions
  • Complete a literature review or annotated bibliography
  • Keep an academic journal
  • Interview appropriate professionals
  • Do a challenging lab experiment or observation
  • Create a computer program related to course content
  • Apply the principles of the course through volunteer service
  • Compare and contrast two perspectives or events
  • Create visual representations (graphic organizers, 3D models, photographs, etc.) of concepts or processes
Examples of Honors option projects organized by college.