This list is not official and is subject to change. Classes may be canceled or added prior to the beginning of the semester. Check MyMadison for the most accurate information.

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

Tips for searching for Honors GenEd classes on MyMadison: 

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Honors General Education

Cluster 1: Skills for the 21st Century

Finish by end of freshman year.

Critical Thinking (C1CT)

HIST 150H – Critical Issues in Recent Global History (3 credits)

Class #: 14652  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: John Butt  |  MoWeFr 11:15-12:05   |   Jackson 0105
Class #: 14653  |  Section: 0002  |  Instructor: John Butt  |  MoWeFr 1:25-2:15  |  Jackson 0104

TOPIC: An examination of Brexit (UK withdrawal from the EU) from an analysis of various British newspapers from January 2013 to the present day. 

Class #: 14654  |  Section: 0003  |  Instructor: Steven Reich  |  TuTh 9:30-10:45  |  Jackson 0105
Class #: 14655  |  Section: 0004  |  Instructor: Steven Reich  |  TuTh 12:30-1:45  |  Jackson 0105

TOPIC: How Democracy Dies. 

Cluster 2: Arts & Humanities

Human Questions and Contexts (C2HQC)

PHIL 101H – Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Class #: 14521  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Mark Piper  |  TuTh 11:00-12:15  |  Miller G027
Class #: 15930  |  Section: 0002  |  Instructor: Andrea Veltman  |  MoWeFr 11:15-12:05  |  Moody 0107

An introduction to the basic problems and concepts of philosophy – the nature of man and the self, ethics, theories of knowledge, philosophy of religion, etc., as revealed in the writings of the major philosophers.

REL 101H – Religions of the World (3 credits)

Class #: 15972  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Emily Gravett  |  MoWeFr 11:15-12:05  |  Maury 0101

An investigation of the world’s major religions which will give attention to their origin, history, mythology and doctrines.

Visual and Performing Arts (C2VPA)

ARTH 206H – Survey of World Art II: Renaissance to Modern Art (3 credits)

Class #: 16692  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Jennifer Ramirez  |  MoWe 1:25-2:40  |  Duke 2040

Introduction to art and architecture of the world from the Renaissance through Modern ages. Includes European Renaissance, Baroque, Enlightenment, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Asian and African arts.

MUS 200H – Music in General Culture (3 credits)

Class #: 16529  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Pedro Aponte  |  TuTh 3:30-4:45 PM  |  Music Building 0318

Designed to increase the student’s perceptual ability in listening to music and to encourage an interest in both familiar and unfamiliar music. Primary study will be on music from the classic, Western heritage. Folk, jazz, popular and non-Western music may also be considered.

THEA 210H – Introduction to Theatre (3 credits)

Class #: 14870  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Jessica Del Vecchio  |  MoWeFr 10:10-11:00  |  Forbes Estes 2240

Study of the theatre as an art form. Emphasis on introducing students to a broad spectrum of theatrical activity and opinion. Consideration of the components that comprise a theatre event including acting, directing, design, costuming, lighting and playwriting. May not be used for major credit.

Literature (C2L)

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

Class #: 14770  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Allison Fagan  |  MoWe 2:30-3:45  |   Keezell G009

TOPIC: In Search of Asylum: Stories of Latina/o Refugees

Class #: 17441  |  Section: 0002  |  Instructor: David Babcock  |  TuTh 11:00-12:15   |   Keezell G003

TOPIC: Law and Vengeance

Cluster 3: The Natural World

Quantitative Reasoning (C3T1G1)

MATH 220H – Elementary Statistics (3 credits)

Class #: 16506  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Ling Xu  |  TuTh 9:30-10:45  |  Burruss 0355

Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, sampling, estimation and testing of hypotheses, regression, correlation and an introduction to statistical analysis using computers. Prerequisite: MATH 105 with a grade of “C-” or better or sufficient score on the Mathematics Placement Exam.

Honors Seminars

Working on an Area of Emphasis? Look for classes with an area of emphasis "flag."

Unless otherwise indicated, Honors seminars with an area of emphasis flag are open to ALL Honors students. 

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

Class #: 16725  |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Carson Lonett (Dux Center) & Michael McCleve (Dux Center)  |  MoWe 2:30-3:35  |  SSC 4047

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.

HON 300 – Gender Issues in Science (3 credits)

Class #: 17179  |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Louise Temple-Rosebrook (Biotechnology)  |  TuTh 3:30-4:45  |  EnGeo 1207

Ever wonder WHAT we might know about the natural world if women or other under-represented groups were the scientists asking the questions? Or WHY Eastern and Western approaches to medicine are so different? Using readings, discussions, films, panels, and laboratory experiments, this course will explore intriguing questions like these, relevant to culture and gender, in the Women's Studies and ISAT course, Gender Issues in Science. This course is taught by Dr. Louise Temple (ISAT) and Dr. Alysia Davis (Sociologist) with guest lecturers Drs. David Pruitt (Emeritus and Math), Alison Sandman (History), Case Watkins (Geographic Sciences), and Rhonda Zingraff (Sociologist).

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Research. 

HON 300 – American Women at War (3 credits)

Class #: 17211 |  Section: 0002 |  Instructor: Amelia Underwood  |  We 4:40-7:10  |  Room: Roop Hall 0129

American Women at War examines the experiences and contributions of women in the U.S. during times of war to include the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War(s). Also included in the scope of this course is an examination of how women in military service, both past and present, are an instrument for societal change in America, specifically in promoting the cause of women's rights. This is a very relevant topic as our society is currently grappling with how to integrate women into combat roles in our military. Students will lead the discussions, present profiles of military women, and analyze media and movies on a variety of topics pertaining to the role of American women in the military. During the second half of the semester, we take a field trip to the Army Women's Museum in Fort Lee, Virginia. Student teams examine the archival documents of a particular woman who served in World War I or II and create a research finding aide and an exhibit to be used by the museum. Students are actually discovering "new" history about these women's experiences in war and are making an impact in the historical interpretation of women's roles in the American military.

*Area of emphasis flag(s): Leadership; Service and Civic Engagement.

HON 300 – Leadership II: Inclusive and Mindful Leadership for Sustainable Peace (3 credits)

Class #: 17214  |  Section: 0003 |  Instructor: Edward Brantmeier (Education)  |  We  4:00-7:00 PM  |  Roop G026

While examining global sustainable development initiatives and non­-mainstream leaders in this course, students will be invited to explore their own leadership through a critical peace education for sustainability approach. Students are invited on a contemplative journey of self-­inquiry that leads to connectedness, to a sense of interdependence, and to leadership action plans focused on alleviating violence and moving toward economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Self-inquiry and community exploration will frame engaged learning in this course.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Leadership.

HON 300 – Creativity II: Innovating the Archives (3 credits)

Class #: 17216 |  Section: 0004 |  Instructor: David Hardy  |  Mo 5:00-8:00pm  |  Room: Lakeview Hall 1104

Students will be tasked with a semester-long project for a real world client, The Furious Flower Poetry Center. Creativity as a concept will be explored through the use of self-directed research, approaches to project management, collaborative decision making, and execution of the negotiated collective creative vision. Emphasis will be placed on digital and emerging technologies in examining and implementing the creative endeavor.

By instructor permission only! Apply here:

*Area of emphasis flag(s): Creativity and Innovation.

HON 300 – Creativity II: Creativity in Time and Space (3 credits)

Class #: 17217 |  Section: 0005 |  Instructor: Wren Stevens (Madison Art Collection)  |  MoWeFr 9:05-9:55  |  Room: TBA

An interdisciplinary, global exploration of the history of how the new and valuable are formed, this seminar class will encourage students to become active participants in understanding the impact of creativity in their respective disciplines and personal development. The structure of this course includes reading preparation for class lecture and discussion as well as activities meant to foster individual creativity. Students will develop a creative project or idea throughout the semester, concluding with a poster presentation at the end of the semester.

*Area of emphasis flag(s): Creativity and Innovation.

HON 300 – Global Citizenship in a Service Learning Context (3 credits)

Class #: 17218 |  Section: 0006 |  Instructor: Felix Wang (Center for Global Engagement)  |  Tu 3:30-5:30 PM  |  Madison Hall 2001

This course focuses on the concept of “global citizenship” in the context of an international service-learning trip. Students will travel to the Dominican Republic and engage in an intensive service-learning project with an education focus over spring break. The course seeks to address definitions and issues of global citizenship, development and service, using the service-learning experience as an aid to learning within the course. Students will also experience/learn about contemporary social, political, cultural and economic conditions within the DR through service-learning, structured outings, cultural events, guest speakers, coursework and course readings and assignments. Ongoing structured reflection will provide a way for all participants to discover, articulate, integrate and act on what they learn from their experiences.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Global Studies; Service and Civic Engagement. 

HON 300 – The Normalization of Deviance (3 credits)

Class #: 17219 |  Section: 0007 |  Instructor: Lee Ward (ISAT)  |  TuTh 3:30-4:45  |  Miller G031

We live in a world in which many complex technologies, machines and organizations seem incomprehensible and uncontrollable. Notable catastrophes – Space Shuttle Challenger, BP Deepwater Horizon, Three Mile Island, Hurricane Katrina, 2008 financial crash, and the devastating wildfire at Yarnell Hill Wildfire – were not only technological failures, but human and organization failures as well. The “normalization of deviance”, first described by sociologist Diane Vaughan, illustrates the tragic process of ignoring data that inform us about risk and system collapse. This non-technicalcourse will explore the causes and costs of complex system failure. Using lenses from social sciences, psychology, engineering, and organizational behavior, we will explore how rational people become blinded to the presence of danger, the probability of catastrophe, and the consequences of their actions. Through lectures, case studies and multiple media platforms we will examine how organizations fail to recognize when their own culture prevents good decision making and how our inclination to look for singular technological explanations for complex failures continues to put us and our communities at risk.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Creativity and Innovation; Leadership.

HON 300 – Narrative and Medicine: Body Talk (3 credits)

Class #: 17220 |  Section: 0008 |  Instructor: Michael Klein (WRTC)  |  TuTh 2:00-3:15  |  Harrison 2245

How do culture and language affect how we conceptualize and understand what a “normal” body looks like? In this seminar, we will examine the ways in which bodies are conceived, examined and understood through the lens of medical and health humanities. We will examine course topics—including gender, sexuality, race, ableism and ageism, among others—through readings drawn from health and illness narratives in the form of essays, stories and graphic novels. Assignments will include the composition of analytical texts, and the creation of textual and graphic medical narratives, with students free to frame their final project from a disciplinary perspective of their choosing.

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

Class #: 17221 |  Section: 0009 |  Instructor: Mark Hawthorne (WRTC)  |  MoWeFr 12:20-1:10  |  Harrison 2246

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 – Disability and the Human Experience: "Enabling" the Humanities (3 credits)

Class #: 17222 |  Section: 0010 |  Instructor: Danielle Price (English)  |  TuTh 12:30-1:45  |  Duke 2039

How do we think about disability from the perspective of the humanities? How has our culture represented disabled people? How have disabled people represented themselves? This course examines disability and its connection to the human experience; in particular, the representation of disabled people in books, art, and movies. The course will provide an overview of the field and language of Disability Studies.

HON 300 – Drawing Down the Moon: Realizing the Divine Through Art and Architecture from Lascaux to Michelangelo (3 credits)

Class #: 17223 |  Section: 0011 |  Instructor: Kathryn Stevens (Madison Art Collection)  |  MoWeFr 10:10-11:00  |  Jackson 104

This course will explore how human societies have created spaces and objects that were understood to connect their world to that of the ancestors and the gods.  Through the exploration of 20 global sites and cultures, students will better understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience in terms of its most fundamental question, “why.”

Proposed Sites:

  1. Paleolithic: Lascaux Cave, France
  2. Neolithic: Salisbury Plain Complex, Great Britain
  3. Near Eastern: City of Babylon, Iraq
  4. Egypt: Karnak/Luxor Temple Complex, Egypt
  5. Aegean: Palace Complex at Knossos, Crete
  6. Classical Greece: Parthenon in Athens, Greece
  7. Imperial Rome: Pantheon in Rome, Italy
  8. Celtic: Peat Bog Rituals, Great Britain & Germany
  9. Early Buddhism: Monastic Complex at Sanchi, India
  10. Hinduism: Cave Temple at Elephanta, India
  11. Chinese Zen Buddhism: Shaolin Temple Complex, China
  12. Shinto: Temple Complex at Ise, Japan
  13. Mayan: Complex at Palenque, Mexico
  14. South African: Mapungubwe Hill Complex in Limpopo, South Africa
  15. Byzantine: Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
  16. Islamic: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
  17. Tribal Europe: Osberg Ship Burial, Norway
  18. Romanesque Europe: Abbey Church in Conques, France
  19. Gothic: Salisbury Cathedral, Great Britain
  20. Renaissance: Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Creativity and Innovation; Global Studies.

HON 300 – Capstone Kickoff: Honors Project Planning Workshop  (3 credits)

Class #: 17224 |  Section: 0012 |  Instructor: Lucy Malenke (Writing Center)  |  MoWe 10:15-11:30  |  Duke 1041

Starting an honors project? This class is for you! Do you feel overwhelmed by the thought of getting started on your honors project? Are you unsure what to expect or where to begin? Do you wish you were a stronger writer or a more experienced researcher? Consider enrolling in HON 300 Capstone Kickoff: Honors Project Planning Workshop for Spring 2019. This 3-credit honors seminar is open to students majoring in behavioral, health, and social sciences. It will provide structure, guidance on writing and research, and a supportive community to students enrolled in semester A of their honors projects. An added benefit: it fulfills an honors interdisciplinary seminar requirement!

For more information, watch this 2-minute video or email the course instructor, Lucy Malenke.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Research.

HON 300 – Chesapeake Connections: The Global Impact of Chesapeake Bay Watershed Management (3 credits)

Class #: 17225 |  Section: 0013 |  Instructor: Eric Fitzgerald  |  Tu 5:00-8:00 PM  |  EnGeo 3003

Being the largest estuary in the United States with over 64,000 square miles of watershed, the Chesapeake Bay has received national and international attention for best management practice implementation. This class will investigate both urban and agriculture BMPS and the impacts they have on water quality. Using Chesapeake Bay preservation strategies as a model, global riverine and estuary environments will be studied through research to emphasize the need for sustainable programs to combat water quality issues around the world.

*Area of emphasis flag(s): Service and Civic Engagement; Global Studies.

HON 300 – Leadership in Times of Change (3 credits)

Class #: 17226 |  Section: 0014 |  Instructor: Bradley Newcomer (Honors, Physics)  |  TuTh 12:30-1:45  |  Miller 2180

This seminar will study leadership topics in the context of uncertain times and leading change efforts.  Significant use of readings, reflective writings and regular meetings will be used to help students develop their leadership skills and understanding more fully.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Leadership; Service and Civic Engagement.

HON 351 - Service I: #BeingtheChange in Civic Life (3 credits)

Class #: 16726 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Carah Whaley  |  TuTh 3:30-4:45  |  Burruss 32

This course analyzes and applies scholarship to understand the role and impact of the public (and/or publics) in civic life. Through academic study, dialogues with practitioners, case studies, site visits, and hands-on activities, students will develop a critical understanding of the underlying theories and key ideas central to political and civic engagement, including: democracy, citizenship, community, inclusion, dialogue and deliberation, compromise, mutual respect/civility, social capital, civic action and social movements, civic leadership, political knowledge, and efficacy. To promote critical thinking and creative approaches to addressing public issues, coursework includes: individual research in addition to assigned course readings; a civic engagement project to be carried out during the semester; engagement in experiential learning activities organized by the instructor; and working with others from a range of perspectives.

PREREQUISITE: SCOM 123H. First year students only.

* Area of emphasis flag(s): Service and Civic Engagement.

HON 352 - Service II: Service Learning, Leadership, and Civic Mindedness (3 credits)

Class #: 17231 |  Section: 0001 |  Instructor: Jamie Williams  |  Mo 1:25-3:55  |  Miller G004

This unique three-semester hour class is designed for students to intentionally and critically reflect on 25 hours (minimum) of community involvement experiences that have an identifiable and meaningful community benefit. Students will work individually and in small groups to better understand the local and global community through the experience of entering the community as a migrant and/or refugee. The goal will be to use our concrete experience to inform our understanding of social issues and seek out theories that will enhance our practice in the community. Reflective activities, readings, journaling and discussion will facilitate increased understanding of: (1) ethically entering a community; (2) being a member of community; (3) listening for priorities, assets, and needs; and (4) taking leadership for social change. 


* Area of emphasis flag(s): Service and Civic Engagement.

Other Courses

** These classes count as Honors electives.

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

Class #: 14804  |  Section: 0001-DIS  |  Instructor: Christopher Rose  |  Mo 3:35-5:25  |  Bioscience 2009

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 495H – Biotechniques (1 credit)

Class #: 15042  |  Section: 0001-LAB  |  Instructor: Samantha Prins  |  TBA  |  TBA

Students are trained in research theory and techniques. 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 a credit/no credit only.

BIO 496H – Literature Research (1 credit)

Class #: 15043  |  Section: 0001-IND  |  Instructor: Samantha Prins  |  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: Honors (1 credit)

Class #: 16043  |  Section: 0001-SEM  |  Instructor: Laura Leduc  |  Mo 9:05-9:55  |  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 300A, COB 300B, COB 300C and COB 300D.

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.

IPE 202H - Health Care Services in Diverse Communities (2 credits)

Class #: 15249  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructor: Sharon Babcock  |  Th 3:45-5:00  |  TBA

This is the second course in a two-course sequence for first year, pre-professional health students in the Huber Learning Community. Students examine interprofessional perspectives on complex global health issues and apply skills in professionalism, integration, collaboration, and reflection to community-based, experiential service learning.

PREREQUISITE: IPE 201H. Huber RLC members ONLY. Class will meet in Shenandoah Hall multipurpose room.

UNST 251H - Alternative Break Leadership Practicum: Honors (1 credit)

Class #: 16658  |  Section: 0001  |  Instructors: Joshua Shulruff and Misty Newman  |  Mo 7:00-9:00 PM  |  SSC 4044

Hands-on practicum of leadership strategies and techniques. Collaborative learning is enhanced when students apply what they learn in class by describing relevant lessons learned through experiences outside the classroom. The focus of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to lead in an observed setting and receive constant feedback and mentoring on their demonstrated leadership skills, critical reflection, inquiry, dialogue, and group interaction. Instructor permission required.

WRTC 328 - JMURJ Practicum (1-3 credits)

The James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to promoting, publishing, and sharing the text- and media-based research and scholarship created by undergraduate students in all JMU disciplines. JMURJ Editorial Board members collaborate within and across teams and coordinate the efforts of students, faculty, and administrators in a university-wide effort to advance JMU undergraduate scholarship, research, and intellectual work.

Students accepted into the JMURJ course serve on the JMURJ Editorial Board. We invite applications from students in all JMU fields who are ready to apply and develop their editing, design, and outreach/marketing skills:

  • Editing team editors comprehensively edit text- and media-based submissions from disciplines across the university, collaborate with undergraduate researchers and scholars, and coordinate the efforts of faculty reviewers. We value applicants with Learning Centers/Writing Center experience, copyediting experience, and/or familiarity with disciplinary styles and style manuals.

  • Design team editors create the professional layouts, graphic art, and website design necessary for an online, multi-disciplinary, multimedia academic journal. Applicants should be familiar with InDesign (we can supply/loan access to the Adobe Creative Cloud). Other skillsfrom Canva to Cascade, and everything in betweenare a plus. If you want to work closely on a creator-client basis, we need you.

  • Outreach/Marketing team editors promote and share the journal through social media, email, and other print and online outlets. They develop presentations; communicate with students, faculty, and administrators; and create funding opportunities. We need people with social media experience, design skills, and/or JMU contacts.

  • College and department liaisons—designed for students interested in a 1-credit practicum—assist in the efforts described above as they focus on networking/sharing JMURJ with students and faculty in their specific areas of expertise.

WRTC 328 JMURJ Practicum is a Designated Honors Option course. WRTC 328 JMURJ Practicum, available for 1-3 credits, can also fulfill the Honors practicum requirement for all Honors Areas of Emphasis (provided you have already satisfied your AoE Experiential Seminar requirement). You may repeat the course for credit.

Learn more:

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