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University Bulletin: Undergraduate Programs The George Washington University  



Executive Director M. Frawley

Assistant Professors W. Winstead, R. Shepherd, E. Aviv, B. Kung, M. Ralkwoski, T. Christov

University Honors Advisory Committee

R. Heller (Chair), H. Agnew, N. Blyden, L. Chang, C. Dowd, S. Levy, D. Malone-France, B. Narahari, T. Neilsen, W. Reich, K. Roddis, B. Westerman, T. Zawidzki

The University Honors Program offers exceptional entering students the opportunity to engage in a distinctive, participatory program of study designed to prepare them—whatever their gifts and interests might be—to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century. The program invites students to develop a humane perspective on the world. It sustains a community where students and faculty learn from each other, inspired by academic challenge, hard questions, and a desire to make a difference. The program serves approximately 500 selected students, or five percent of GW’s undergraduate student body. Incoming students may apply to the Honors Program at the time they apply to the University; a small group of rising sophomores may also apply.

The program is characterized by small, seminar-style classes with enrollments capped at 15-20 students; faculty who serve as mentors, models, and guides in the learning process; classroom approaches that call upon students to initiate inquiry, work collaboratively, and drive the exploration and learning process; interdisciplinary tools and modes of inquiry; and global or cross-cultural perspectives and course content.

In their first year, along with other courses, Honors Program students take Honr 1015, 1016, and 1033-34; in the second, third, and fourth years, they take Honr 2047-48 and 2053-54 and pursue course work in their majors, including special or departmental honors and/or independent or mentored research. All Honors students participate in the capstone course, Honr 4199, and complete a departmental or Honors senior thesis or project. The Honors proseminars meet certain general curriculum and elective requirements of the respective undergraduate schools. Honr 1015 is the required University Writing course for Honors students.

In order to remain in good standing, Honors Program students must enroll in at least 12 credit hours each semester and, except for the first year, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. First-year students must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Successful participation in the program is recognized and recorded on a student’s official transcript.

The green leaf indicates that the course addresses environmental, social or economic sustainability.
1015 Honors Proseminar: UW 1020: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought (4)
  Exploration of significant exemplars, milestones, and developments of human thought; foundational and representative thinkers and texts from Western and Eastern traditions provide an indication of the diversity and complexity of attempts to articulate responses to universal questions, problems, and aspirations.
1016 Honors Proseminar: Origins and Evolution of Modern Thought (4)
  Continuation of Honr 1015. Key developments and trajectories in human thought and inquiry into modern times.
1033-34 Honors Proseminar: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery (4-4)
Using an inquiry-based approach, students learn to identify hidden regularities and patterns in nature that may indicate fundamental unifying principles and laws. The scientific method; evaluation of scientific information; limitations of the scientific process; development of a scientific hypothesis. Tools and methodologies of geology, chemistry, physics, biology, anthropology, and other disciplines.
2016 Enlightenment East and West (3)
  This course replaces Honr 1016 for students who enter the Honors Program as sophomores.
2043 Honors Microeconomics (3)
  An introductory microeconomics course that considers both the philosophical basis of economics as well as its methods and applications.
2044 Honors Macroeconomics (3)
  An accelerated introductory macroeconomics course that includes the study of special topics.
2047-48 Honors Proseminar: Social and Behavioral Sciences (3-3)
  Using the tools and modes of inquiry of the social and behavioral sciences, students find ways to understand significant social and political phenomena. Relationships among individuals, collectivities, families, and communities; interactions of psychological, social, political, economic, and historical forces at work in a given culture.
2053-54 Honors Proseminar: Arts and Humanities (3-3)
  Using an array of artistic forms (poetry, prose literature, drama, film, painting, sculpture, architecture, dance, and music), students explore the ways cultures are defined and understood through artistic expression, and the ways in which particular cultures value and critique these forms of personal and social expression.
2175 Honors Special Topics (1 to 4)
2184 Honors Undergraduate Research (1 to 4)
  Independent or faculty-mentored research resulting in a significant written or other product. (Fall and spring)
2185 Honors Research Assistantship (1 to 4)
  Students provide substantive assistance to a faculty member engaged in scholarly or scientific research.
4198 Honors Senior Thesis (3 or 4)
  One- or two-semester thesis under faculty guidance. May be repeated for credit.
4199 Honors Capstone Experience (1 to 4)
  Students re-engage with core questions and issues related to the Honors Program curriculum, reflecting on their learning in relation to enduring questions and challenges of our world.

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© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.