Introductory and Special Topics

The University Honors Program offers Introductory courses and Special Topics courses which provide unique and challenging topics unlikely to be found elsewhere. Use them to meet requirements or as electives to satisfy your personal interests.

Who Should Take These

Introductory courses and Special Topics courses are optional and students do not need to complete them to satisfy the requirements of the Honors Program. These courses are considered to be more appropriate for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.



Enlightenment East and West

Professor Eyal Aviv
HONR 2016:10 - 4 Credits
CRN: 82950
Tuesday 3:30-6:00 PM

Fulfills: ESIA: Humanities; SEAS: Humanities

Course Description: **This course is limited to students joining the Honors Program as rising sophomores.** What does it mean to live well? How do we live an enlightened or awakened life? And what would be the purpose of such a life? Our seminar will examine a spectrum of responses from various cultural perspectives to these questions. A special attention will be given to ethical theories and practices. In order to stimulate our discussion, we will read the writings of some of the world’s brightest minds who challenged their societies and shaped our modern civilizations: Hellenistic thinkers, Daoists, and Buddhists among others. We will also read modern thinkers such as Nietzsche and the Dalai Lama. Throughout the semester, we will raise critical questions, discuss and debate them in class and develop the necessary skills needed for our academic toolkit.

Global Biodiversity

Professor Robert Pyron
HONR 2175:10 - 3 Credits
CRN: 87611
Tuesday 1:00-3:30 PM

Fulfills: Honors Self & Society or Honors Arts & Humanities Requirement

Course Description:This course offers an introduction to the basic processes of ecology and evolution that shape global biodiversity, by focusing on two of the most diverse groups of terrestrial vertebrates: reptiles and amphibians. From deserts to rainforests, we will cover the roots of rich ecosystems, and the threats that they face in a changing world. A biology course is a desirable pre-requisite, but not firmly required.