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Honors Program

Program requirements

McKenzie Davis, Class of 2016

 

The professors expect every student to work hard, but the reward is an amazing understanding of the subject. The other students help to change my point of view through their thoughtful contributions to discussion. The Harrison Honors Program fosters an atmosphere of excellence and cooperation.
--McKenzie Davis, Class of 2016

Requirements of the program are five HON seminars and one independent project. The five seminars are designed to meet one of the requirements in the Explorations general education program as well as to meet the outcomes of the program, which are that a Harrison Scholar can

  • identify and pursue on her or his own initiative interdisciplinary connections/implications within areas of study,
  • engage in an extended scholarly investigation of an interdisciplinary topic of personal interest outside of the major, and
  • reframe the results of that independent study for a general audience and present it in an engaged manner.

Independent study

All of these outcomes are demonstrated in the sixth unit required to complete the program, the independent study. This project is framed by you in collaboration with the program director and a faculty sponsor. It must be interdisciplinary and outside your major—but it will also be something you want to do, something you are passionate about. And they need not be traditional papers; they can be as varied as TV scripts, photo essays, short videos, and works of studio art. They must, however, be well-researched and documented, carefully critiqued, and presented publicly.

Some examples: An English major studied what happens to high fashion in bull and bear markets. A biology major studied the different cultural attitudes toward cows in India and the United States. A psychology major produced a journalistic “coffee-table book” about unusual 5K and 10K runs around the nation—and she ran them all herself. To see more examples of student projects through the years, click here.

Typically, the independent project is completed in two half-units. Most students take the first, which guides you through the proposal and approval process, in the spring of junior year. The second half-unit is generally taken in the fall of a Harrison Scholar’s senior year. During this term you would complete your project and make plans for public presentation.