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Honors students have the option of linking their Honors seminars together in three-semester area of emphasis sequence. This provides you with a concentration in an interdisciplinary field of study that integrates traditional academic study and experiential, real-world learning.

An area of emphasis provides you with a wonderful opportunity to:

  • Develop advanced knowledge and skills in leadership, research, creativity, global studies, or service that advance long-term personal goals and interests
  • Distinguish yourself from others when you enter the job market, apply to graduate school, or explore other post-graduate opportunities
  • Incubate ideas and forge faculty connections for the Honors capstone project
  • Realize the benefits of experiential learning coupled with classroom learning

For students in pre-professional programs, the areas of emphasis also provide fantastic opportunities to amplify distinctive skills.

Completion of the area of emphasis will appear as a special designation on your transcript when you complete the three course sequence in a given area.

How does it work?

Take two honors seminars that include the area of emphasis flag for your chosen area. These seminars can be taken at any time, but we recommend linking them together in back to back semesters if possible. 

After completion of the seminars in your area, you will pursue a practicum in your chosen area. This final component of the area of emphasis is a self-designed, experiential learning project that enables students to further develop skills in the selected area. These experiences are student driven and are often, though not necessarily, extensions of the second seminar experience. A faculty member will mentor your practicum experience.

Learn more about the practicum.

The Honors College offers five areas of emphasis:

The creativity area of emphasis sequence explores basic concepts of creativity across the disciplines and presents opportunities to engage in meaningful creative endeavors. In this area, you may explore the place and meaning of “discovery” in the human experience; appreciate the role of creativity in addressing social problems; engage in interdisciplinary and divergent modes of creative inquiry; and master skills and tools for creative and innovative thinking.

The global studies area of emphasis sequence prepares students to engage, work, and live in a diverse, globalized world. In this area, you may develop a better understanding of world political, economic, social, and cultural relationships; explore global challenges and critical world problems and become an agent for positive change; acquire credentials for post-graduate training in fields as diverse as international development, politics and government, anthropology, health and food security, and education; and pick up skills valuable to those seeking careers in international service agencies, global non-profits, and non-governmental organizations.

The Honors College partners with the Center for Global Engagement to offer several opportunities to fulfill the global studies practicum requirement. More information.

The leadership area of emphasis sequence provides students with the theory and practical skills to develop into effective leaders. In this area, you may develop a set of authentic leadership skills and tools through practice; learn how ethics, morals, and values relate to cross-boundary leadership challenges; practice public speaking and networking; find your leadership purpose, lead effectively, and take a turn towards a more meaningful life; and learn how to inspire and empower others to become thinkers and doers.

All human knowledge is the result of people wanting their questions answered. The research area of emphasis sequence prepares students to undertake advanced research or inquiry-based learning in their respective fields. In this area, you may learn the purposes, uses, and tools and techniques of contemporary research; master current technologies for accessing, synthesizing, and integrating information; identify and assess targeted areas for investigation within the context of broader human problems; and make recommendations that are useful in other disciplines not your own.

The service area of emphasis sequence prepares students to become engaged citizens in both local and global contexts. In this area, you will develop a greater awareness of the social issues, people, culture, as well as political and social structures for a community in which they reside or visit; use the reflective process to identify multiple perspectives, identify meaning and to develop future actions from service and community experiences; identify root causes and possible solutions for a social issue; demonstrate a commitment to be an engaged citizen; pursue opportunities for community-based, participatory research by acquiring skills and knowledge of real-life situations; and answer needs that emerge from authentic conversation with community partners.

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