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Honors General Education

Cluster 1: Skills for the 21st Century

Finish by end of freshman year.

Human Communication (C1HC)

SCOM 123H - Fundamental Human Communication: Group Presentations (3 credits)

Class #: 72835  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Lori Britt  |  WeFr 9:45-11:00  |  SSC 4044
Class #: 73428  |  Section: 0002  |  Instructor: Michael Broderick  |  TuTh 9:30-10:45  |  Harrison 2101
Class #: 73551  |  Section: 0003  |  Instructor: Michael Broderick  |  TuTh 11:00-12:15  |  Harrison 2101
Class #: 73552  |  Section: 0004  |  Instructor: Sarah Taylor  |  MoWeFr 9:05-9:55  |  Harrison 1246
Class #: 73553  |  Section: 0005  |  Instructor: Sarah Taylor  |  MoWeFr 10:10-11:15  |  Harrison 1246
Class #: 73554  |  Section: 0006  |  Instructor: Sarah Taylor  |  MoWeFr 11:15-12:05  |  Harrison 1246
Class #: 73555  |  Section: 0007  |  Instructor: Sarah Taylor  |  MoWeFr 1:25-2:15  |  Harrison 1246
Class #: 73562  |  Section: 0008  |  Instructor: Tim Ball  |  MoWe 9:45-11:00  |  SSC 4045

Study of human communication as a process. Overview of the principles and practices of communication in small group and public communication contexts. Emphasis on examining the role of self-concept, perception, culture, verbal and nonverbal dimensions in the communication process, using power and managing conflict, applying critical listening, practicing audience analysis, and constructing informative and persuasive presentations. Public speaking required.

Cluster 2: Arts & Humanities

Literature (C2L)

ENG 221H - Literature/Culture/Ideas (3 credits)

Class #: 74472  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Danielle Price  |  MoWeFr 12:20-1:10  |  Keezell G009

TOPIC: Islands and the Literary Imagination

ISLANDS. Magical, enchanted, treasure-filled. The ideal bounded space, perfect for literary fantasies of colonization and self-development . . . or cannibalism and scientific laboratories. This course considers the role of the island in the western imagination over the last four hundred years, from Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611) to Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens (2011). Students will hone their skills of literary analysis through close readings of the course texts, and will be asked to think critically and creatively about the course subject matter and the forms that it takes, including drama, the adventure novel, picture books, TV shows, and movies.

ENG 236H – Survey of English Literature: 18thCentury to Modern (3 credits)

Class #: 75422  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Danielle Price  |  MoWeFr 1:25-2:15  |  Keezell G009

This course introduces you to major authors and literary movements from the late eighteenth century on. Works will include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Keats’ odes, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We will examine the historical contexts of such movements as romanticism and modernism, and move from broad discussions (of aesthetics, history, philosophy, etc.) to close readings of individual texts. Throughout the course we will work on developing and applying the terminology of literary studies. 

In our class discussions we will consider how literary works both shape and reflect changing ideas of childhood, gender, and empire. Of particular interest will be the character of the doppelganger or double, which appears repeatedly on the syllabus. Why do so many characters have eerie doubles? What do those doubles tell us about the hopes and fears of the times in which they appear?

Cluster 3: The Natural World

Quantitative Reasoning (C3T1G1)

MATH 220H - Elementary Statistics (3 credits)

Class #: 71326  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Prabhashi Withana Gamage  |  MoWeFr 2:30-3:20  |  Roop G010 (MoWe), Roop 0127 (Fri)

Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, sampling, estimation and testing of hypotheses, regression, correlation and an introduction to statistical analysis using computers.

Natural Systems (C3T1G3)

BIO 140H – Foundations of Biology I (4 Credits)

Class #: 73639  |  Section: 0001-LEC  |  Instructor: Terrie Rife  |  MoWeFr 9:05-9:55  |  Bioscience 1007
Class #: 73640  |  Section: 1001-Lab  |  Instructor: Staff  |  Tu 12:40-3:30  |  Bioscience 1025

*Must enroll in both lecture and lab
The foundations of the cellular molecules, structures, and processes that sustain life in the contexts of evolution will be explored. Topics will include structure and function; information flow, storage and exchange; pathways and transformations of energy and matter; and systems biology. The lab experience will allow students to participate in science as it is practiced and will prepare students to be scientifically and quantitatively literate.

Cluster 4: Social and Cultural Processes

The American Experience (C4AE)

POSC 225H - U.S. Government (4 credits)

Class #: 72492  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Andreas Broscheid  |  MoWe 2:30-3:45, 4:00-5:15  |  Miller 2110

4:00-5:15 PM meets periodically. An examination of institutions, processes and intellectual concepts which structure American political activity. The interaction of the political system with the changing American society and America's changing role in world affairs are also treated. The course provides an introduction to quantitative methodology.

Honors Seminars

Unless otherwise specified, all Honors seminars--including area of emphasis seminars--are open to all Honors students. Enrollment in a numbered area of emphasis seminar (HON 321, 331, etc.) does require completion of the full area of emphasis sequence.


HON 200 - Biology in the Movies (3 credits)

Class #: 73372 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Christopher Rose (Biology)  |  Tu 9:30-11:30, Th 9:30-10:45  |  Engineering/Geosciences 1204

Advances in genetics and development biology allow scientists to manipulate genes, cells, and embryos in ways that increasingly challenge traditional concepts of human identity and could permanently alter the structure of human society. At the same time, media bombard the public with science-based entertainment that is timely, engaging, and at some level credible to an increasingly savvy and demanding audience. This course explores the intersection of these trends by addressing how popular culture presents science in movies and the potential costs of its misrepresentation. Topics include human cloning, genetic engineering, origin and evolution of humans, and artificial and extraterrestrial intelligence.

Area of emphasis flag: none

HON 200 – Building a Unified Inclusive Leadership Directive (2 credits)

Class #: 74737 |  Section: 0002 |  Instructor: Carson Lonett & Michael McCleve  |  We 2:30-5:00  |  Miller 2191

The purpose of this course is to enhance communication skills through an understanding of their own DISC Personality Profile assessment; learn key leadership concepts; engage in building a unified and inclusive leadership directive through exposure to and participation in inclusive spaces, and develop leadership strategies.

Area of emphasis flag: none

HON 300 – Intergroup Relations and Intergroup Dialogue: Gender as Social Identity (3 credits)

Class #: 73750 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Art Dean (Access and Inclusion)  |  Th 2:00-4:30  |  Room: TBD

This course explores gender as a social identity and its relevance to and impact upon individuals and groups. Social identities refer to salient sociological constructs such as gender. Race/ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, national or regional orientation, or spirituality/religious beliefs. The model of the Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan will be used as the basic structure of the course. This evidence-based program for promoting authentic conversations and increasing understanding of social identities on college campuses has been recognized by President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, the U.S. Department of Education’s Gender Equity Panel, the American Association of Higher Education, and the American College Personnel Association. Both course instructors have completed training in this method and have previously led IGD groups on race/ethnicity and gender.

Area of emphasis flag(s): none

HON 300 - Teaching Honors for TAs (3 credits)

Class #:  72896 |  Section: 0002 |  Instructor: Jared Diener (Honors College)  |  Fr 10:10AM -11:25AM  |  Duke 2039

Enrollment restricted to teaching assistants in HON 100. Teaching assistants are selected by application in the spring semester.

Area of emphasis practicum: counts for all areas

HON 300 – Re-imagining Dumbledore’s Army: Engagement, Fan-Activism, and the Legacy of Harry Potter (3 credits)

Class #:  74299 |  Section: 0003 |  Instructor: Elisabeth Gumnior (WRTC)  |  MoWe 4:00-5:15 |  Harrison 2104

Ever since the first Harry Potter book was published in 1997 some have seen only escapist fantasy in this now iconic series of books, while others have discovered instructive lessons in it for dealing with the constant fight between forces of good and evil in both fiction and reality. In this course we will examine how, why, and in what specific ways the Harry Potter series has become an invitation and inspiration for the millennial and post-millennial generations to reimagine and transform our world for the better. We will re-read significant parts of the books, examine the “quirky quest for social justice” of the Harry Potter Alliance, and assess the impact the Harry Potter series has had on social movement organizations (SMOs) such as the DREAMers, Black Lives Matter, and RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network).

Area of emphasis flag: none

HON 300 – Political and Social Impacts of Weapons of Mass Destruction (3 credits)

Class #: 74300 |  Section: 0004 |  Instructor: Ronald Raab (ISAT, Intelligence Analysis)  |  MoWe 8:40-9:55  |  EnGeo 2202

Chemical, Ordinance, Biological and Radiological Agents (COBRA) are imminent threats to the world, especially the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the United States. In the recent past, chemical agents were used in Syria, Yemen, and by Saddam Hussein’s military to decimate Iranian and Iraqi Kurdish populations. Over 5,000 people were exposed to sarin, a nerve agent were released by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in the Tokyo subway system. In 2001, anthrax spores were used to attack politically well-known individuals by means of the U.S. mail system. The current war in Syria and its store of “weapons of mass destruction,” illustrates the concern about this type of warfare and terrorism. We will focus on the political, economic, and social impacts WMDs have had impacted world politics in the past and how they will influence the future.

Area of emphasis flag(s): none

HON 300 - Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (3 credits)

Class #: 75650 |  Section: 0006 |  Instructor: Mark Hawthorne (WRTC)  |  MoWeFr 10:10-11  |  Harrison 2112

In the current news and on TV, we frequently hear the word “hero” applied to people who have performed unusual and/or selfless acts. In this course, we will explore some of the many ways that this word has designated certain actions and behaviors in different cultures and at different times in history. We will approach our exploration through many viewpoints--cultural, psychological, religiously, literary, etc. 

Area of emphasis flag(s): Research

HON 300 - Writing in the Health Sciences (3 credits)

Class #: 75989 |  Section: 0007 |  Instructor: Michael Klein (WRTC)  |  TuTh 9:30-10:45  |  Harrison 2239

This course offers you an introduction to the medical field through a community-based learning model. Emphasis is placed on communication within the medical field and the translation of medical language for lay audiences. Primary topics include the roles of the practitioner and audience in medical communication; power relationships among clinicians and patients; and the creation of medical documents, including reports, proposals and technical articles.

Area of emphasis flag(s): none

HON 300 – Honors Capstone Research and Writing Clinic (1 credit)

Class #: 75423 |  Section: 7101 |  Instructor: Philip Frana (Honors College)  |  Mo 3:35-5:35  |  Miller Hall G027

Excited or apprehensive about your Honors capstone project? Get off to a great start on your new or ongoing honors project next semester. This is a one-credit class involving informal, small group meetings for the first 8 weeks of the fall semester. Students who are at the proposal, research, or writing stages of their projects are encouraged to participate. Note: If you have an advisor, your enrollment in the course requires their approval. This clinic is not meant to replace or override the advice of your capstone committee members. It is not meant to replace regular meetings with your advisor. It exists to support, encourage, and smooth the way.

Area of emphasis flag(s): Research

HON 321 - LEADERSHIP I: Gender and Leadership (3 credits)

Class #: 72905 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Amelia Underwood (Military Science)  | We 4:40-7:10  |  Roop 0129

This course examines the unique challenges, constraints, and opportunities that face men and women today as they ascend to leadership positions in organizations. Topics include: theoretical perspectives on how the concepts of gender and leadership are constructed; gender and leadership in the workplace; the media, the political sphere and the global community; and strategies to facilitate equity. This course is experiential and will require students to reflect on past and present challenges, as well as future opportunities as they develop their own personal leadership style. 

Area of emphasis flag: Leadership

HON 321 - LEADERSHIP I: Exploring Leadership (3 credits)

Class #: 72906 |  Section: 0002 |  Instructors: Brian Charette (President's Office), Jonathan Alger (JMU President)  |  Tu 3:00-5:30  |  SSC 4046

This course provides basic concepts of leadership and the essential skills required to become an effective leader. The course includes the study of leadership as well as the application of leadership theories, concepts, and skills. The student will be provided the opportunity for personal development through exercises in communication and leadership effectiveness. Objectives of the course are to understand leadership, know your own style and have a plan for developing your leadership. This course will examine what we know about the leadership practices that lead to effective team and organizational performance. RESTRICTED TO SOPHOMORES. 

Area of emphasis flag: Leadership

HON 331 - GLOBAL STUDIES I: Introduction to Global Studies (3 credits)

Class #: 72904 |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Felix Wang (Center for Global Engagement)  |  Tu 4:00-6:30  |  Miller 1107

Through this course, students will examine how people study and have perceived similarities, differences, and interdependencies among human societies. The course is interdisciplinary and incorporates the arts, social sciences, humanities, health, education, environmental and developmental studies, and more, all within an integrative, global framework. Materials and guest speakers will encourage discussions, introduce and engage students in new concepts, and promote critical thinking through current issues and case studies related global studies in order to become better global citizens.

Area of emphasis flag: Global Studies

NOTE: HON 331 is a pre-cursor to the Spring 2020 seminar that involves a service-learning project in the Dominican Republic over spring break. The cost of this spring break trip will be heavily subsidized by the Honors College.

HON 351 - SERVICE & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT I: Building Community in a Diverse World (3 credits)

Class #: 72907 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Jamie Williams (Community-Service Learning)  |  Mo 1:25-3:55  |  Miller G004

This course is intended to support students’ learning and development as local and global citizens with a focus on the interpersonal, intrapersonal, and group competencies necessary to practice relational leadership across cultures. This course has a community service learning requirement.

Area of emphasis flag: Service & Civic Engagement

HON 351 - SERVICE & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT I: From the Valley to the Bay (3 credits)

Class #: 75344 |  Section: 0002 |  Instructor: Eric Fitzgerald  |  Tu 5:00-7:30  |  EnGeo 3003

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed extends over six states and 64,000 square miles including forests, farms, industries, wildlife habitat, cities, suburbs, 17 million people and more than 50 major rivers and streams. The Chesapeake Bay itself is North America’s largest estuary. Through learning about environmental, geological, historical, social, political and economic issues related to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, students will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the interrelated issues that connect what we do here in the Shenandoah Valley to the environmental and economic health of the Bay.

This course combines original research, community service and civic engagement in the context of environmental and social aspects of life in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The class includes field experiences, research investigations, online discussions, book discussions and a final community action project. Dr. Cindy Klevickis will serve as class co-facilitator and collaborator.

Area of emphasis flag: Service & Civic Engagement

HON 351 - SERVICE & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT I: Stories That Heal (3 credits)

Class #: 75431 |  Section: 0003 |  Instructor: Lucy Malenke (Learning Centers)  |  MoWeFr 12:20-1:10  |  Miller 2140

Do you have a passion for helping people? Do you plan to enter a “helping profession,” such as nursing, social work, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, public health, medicine, counseling, coaching, or ministry? This service-learning course will help you develop narrative competence, which is the “ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others” (Dr. Rita Charon). In addition to completing 15 hours of community service, you will also explore (through reading, writing, and discussion) the ways that story-telling can promote healing and human connection. This is a MWF class, but it will not meet most Fridays of the semester in order to accommodate the service requirement.

Area of emphasis flag: Service & Civic Engagement; Creativity

HON 361 - CREATIVITY I: Creativity, Innovation, and Human Engagement (3 credits)

Class #:  74291 |  Section:  0001 |  Instructor: Wren Stevens (Art History, Madison Art Collection)  |  MoWeFr 10:10-11:00  |  SSC 4042

This course explores basic concepts of creativity across the disciplines and within various cultures. Course content can include the study and analysis of creative expression; the application of theories and conceptual frameworks to notions of fruitful serendipity, intellectual insight, and imagination; and the various modes of creative cognition in individuals, groups, and experimental “thinking” machines. Individual instructors may draw special attention to problems of creation in literary and artistic endeavors, the role of personality, creativity in scientific discovery, the physiology and neurology of creative ability, innovative teaching techniques, or the philosophy and psychology of creativity and human fulfillment.

Area of emphasis flag: Creativity

HON 361 - CREATIVITY I: The Great Divide: Highbrow, Lowbrow, and Nobrow Culture (3 credits)

Class #:  75456 |  Section:  0002 |  Instructor: Larry Burton (WRTC)  |  TuTh 11:00-12:15  |  Harrison 2103

Is has been said that high culture in America is in serious decline and that a plague of information deceives us into thinking that information and knowledge are one and the same. It has also been said that talent has become less important than “buzz” and personality. Does the ideal of highbrow culture exist today in America? Has it been replaced by patterns of consumption and marketing of these patterns? This course will consider these questions and their implications. Readings include Willa Cather’s Song of the Lark, Joseph Epstein’s The Ideal of Culture, and Jonathan Seabrook’s Nobrow Culture.

Area of emphasis flag: Creativity

HON 361 - CREATIVITY I: Creativity, Technology, and the Search for Self (3 credits)

Class #: 75457 |  Section: 0003 |  Instructor: Jared Featherstone (WRTC)  |  TuTh 9:30-10:45  |  SSC 4040

Students will engage with a variety of philosophical and scientific approaches to defining or complicating the notion of a self. Particular attention will be given to the role of technology in the construction or dismantling of self. Through reflective writing, experimentation, and research, each student will conduct an extensive self-inventory and analysis that provides the basis for a final, multimedia creative project.

Area of emphasis flag: Creativity

IND 200 – Interdisciplinary Scholarship: Introduction to the Independent Scholars Major (3 Credits)

Class #: 73680   |   Section: 0001   |   Instructor: Staff   |   TuTh 8:00-9:15   |   Hillcrest Conference Room

* Restricted to Independent Scholars majors.
IND 200 is designed to introduce students to the Independent Scholars major, and to the concepts of interdisciplinary study. Students will explore interdisciplinary research in a range of contemporary areas of study, including scientific, environmental, political, social, and cultural perspectives. Students will also gain familiarity with the possibilities for individualized study at JMU. Successful completion of the course will involve the development of proposals for individualized curricula.

IND 300 – Independent Scholars Workshop (1 Credit)

Class #: 74275   |   Section: 0001   |   Instructor: Staff   |   TBA   |   Hillcrest Conference Room

* Restricted to Independent Scholars majors.
IND 300 is a one-credit workshop course designed to provide students in the Independent Scholars major (ISM) with methodological competencies linked to major learning objectives across their curriculum, including independent research methods, preparing presentations, data visualization, research methods, working with teams, and enhancing intellectual creativity.

Other Courses

Unless otherwise stated, these courses count as Honors electives.


BIO 491H – Scientific Writing, Presentation, and Critical Thinking (2 credits)

Class #: 75958  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Christopher Rose  |  Mo 3:35-5:25 PM  |  EnGeo 2204

A discussion-based course for the development of the fundamental thinking, writing and presentation skills necessary to be a successful researcher. This course is required for all Biology Track I and II Honors students in their sophomore year, and is strongly recommended for all Biology majors who are intending to do research. Offered as credit/no credit only.

BIO 496H – Literature Research (1 credit)

Class #: 75050  |  Section: 0001-IND  |  Instructor: Staff  |  TBA  |  TBA

Students pursue literature research in a selected area of biology. Students must contact and make arrangements with a supervising instructor in the term prior to registration. May be repeated for a maximum of two credits when course content changes. Offered as credit/no credit only.

COB 300H – Integrative Business (1 credit)

Class #: 74558  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Eric Stark  |  Tu 5:00-6:00  |  Showker 0243

COB 300H is an optional honors component of COB 300. This course provides an in-depth study of theory and research on teams and team effectiveness, which is applied to the COB 300 experience. The course will enable students to better understand team dynamics and how to form and manage teams for superior results. It will also develop their understanding of how to conduct research and will provide a platform for more in-depth honors study within each student's chosen major. 

COREQUISITE: COB 300.

By virtue of completing this course, a student may count 9 credits from COB 300 towards Honors elective requirements.

Taking COB 300 in Antwerp? Contact the instructor to discuss taking COB 300H the semester after.

NSG 350H – Foundations of Nursing (2 credits)

Class #: 75008  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Catherine Brown, Lisa Carmines  |  Tu 2:00-4:00  |  TBA

This course provides an overview of foundational principles of professional nursing practice. Students will be introduced to the evolution of nursing, basic nursing theory and knowledge, and beginning concepts. This course promotes self-analysis and socialization into the role of the professional nurse.

NSG 354H – The Art and Science of Nursing (2 credits)

Class #: 74498  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Janice Gandy, Julianne Secrist  |  Tu 12:00-2:00  |  TBA

This course is designed to provide an overview of current issues relevant to the art and science of the practicing nurse. This course will provide the students with a concentrated focus on the role of the professional nurse and the nursing profession. The course explores nursing theory, health care models of practice, diversity issues, as well as legal and ethical realities within the healthcare delivery system.

NSG 450H – Nursing Inquiry and Research Methods (3 credits)

Class #: 74499  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Julie Strunk, Sandra Annan  |  Tu 2:00-5:00  |  TBA

This course explores the research process and utilization of research and theory in evidence based professional nursing practice. It also explores the dissemination and utilization of research in nursing practice. Students learn to critique healthcare literature in order to answer a research question that would impact nursing practice. Prerequisite: Formal acceptance into the Nursing Program.

UNST 250H - Alternative Break Leadership Training (1 credit)

Class #: 74881  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructors: Staff |  Mo 7:00-9:00 PM  |  TBA

A leadership training curriculum that covers a broad range of topics essential to leading an Alternative Break trip. This course incorporates service learning pedagogy. This will be accomplished through the use of affective and cognitive approaches. Personal growth as it relates to core concepts of leadership will be prominent. Emphasis is also placed on peer interaction, active participation, extensive reading, case work and a range of guest speakers. Attendance is required. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. 

This course is open to any Honors student serving as an Alternative Spring Break leader in Spring 2020. UNST 250H will be followed by UNST 251H the following semester.

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