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The French philosopher Pascal once said that most of the ills of the world could be traced to people being unable to sit in a room and think. The Honors Program at Loyola University Maryland attempts to teach students how to think. Because it is committed to liberal arts learning in the Jesuit tradition, the program places special emphasis on ideas and their expression. Students in Honors engage in a dialogue with great thinkers, writers, and artists—ancient and modern—in order to understand how ideas have shaped and continue to shape the world in which we live.
Honors brings together students and faculty who seek not only academic achievement but also intellectual challenge and growth.
The program focuses always upon the whole student, attempting to help refine and deepen the ability to think critically, to discern the true and the good, to respond to the beautiful, and to explore the intersection of faith and reason.
It offers students who are serious about their intellectual growth a series of classes and activities designed to lay the groundwork for responsible and informed choice in later life.
Students in the Honors Program come from all divisions and departments of the University, and the Honors Program is as well suited to students majoring in the sciences, business, or the social sciences as it is to humanities majors. Honors students are distinguished by their superior academic records and by their desire to participate in the program’s distinctive curriculum and activities. The Honors Program curriculum offers students a fully integrated program of study that is both multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary. It accomplishes the goals of the regular University core curriculum, but through an alternate path, and is designed to be flexible to accommodate the requirements of all majors across the University.
Though Honors courses are rigorous and challenging, professors endeavor to foster an atmosphere of mutual support and collegiality, rather than of rivalry or competition. Honors students speak often of the real sense of community that develops among them, and many lasting friendships have grown out of the program. At the same time, Honors students are by no means isolated from the larger University community. Because they often are among the most talented and engaged students on campus, Honors students tend to excel both in the program and in a whole range of campus activities.
The Honors faculty includes many of the University’s finest professors—teachers and scholars who are selected for their love of learning and their ability to communicate that love to students. They take a deep personal interest in their students and are readily available outside of the classroom for individual consultation and guidance.
Honors classes are small, and combine lectures with discussion and student presentations. Courses in all disciplines emphasize effective speaking and writing. Students generally find their work in Honors classes especially interesting and stimulating. The format and size of seminars allow for greater student participation, individual attention, flexibility, and independence than is possible in more traditional lecture courses.
The Honors core curriculum consists of a minimum of 15 courses. At the heart of the program is a four-course sequence known as the Human Drama which takes students from the ancient to the modern world in the freshman and sophomore years. These courses, taught by faculty from across the University, are inter-disciplinary and involve faculty collaboration so that students are exposed to a wide range of disciplines and approaches to the course material.
- HN 201 The Human Drama: The Ancient World
Taken first semester of first year.
- HN 202 The Human Drama: Medieval to Renaissance
Taken the second semester of first year.
- HN 203 The Human Drama: Renaissance to Modern
Taken the first semester of sophomore year.
- HN 204 The Human Drama: The Modern World
Taken the second semester of sophomore year.
- HN 210 Eloquentia Perfecta
This course in analytical thinking, writing, and speaking is the introductory writing course for Honors students. Taken the first semester of first year, it fulfills the composition requirement in the core curriculum.
- HN 215 Engaging Nature
Engaging Nature is an introductory science course which emphasizes close observation of the natural world, problem solving, and hypothesis development. It is designed to introduce students to science as a “way of knowing” and to the nature of scientific research and debate.
- MA 251 or ST 210 or ST 265
Honors students satisfy their Math requirement through one of the following courses: MA 251: Calculus I or ST 210: Introduction to Statistics or ST 265: Biostatistics.
- Foreign Language requirement
Honors students fulfill the University’s regular core requirement in foreign languages plus one additional course. For the additional course, students may either continue study of the same language or begin a new language.
- Honors Seminars
Honors students take 5 seminars spread across a range of disciplinary areas: Humanities, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The distribution of the seminars varies according to a student’s major, and seminars are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
- HN 500 The Examined Life (Honors Capstone Seminar)
This is the Honors capstone course, and it is taken in the senior year. It satisfies the Honors core requirement in ethics, while also allowing students to revisit particular texts and issues with which they have wrestled during their first three years at Loyola.
Honors also enriches its students’ extracurricular experience through an extensive program of cultural events, discussions, social occasions, and excursions both within and beyond the Baltimore-Washington area.
Students in Honors elect representatives to a Student Council, which sponsors a variety of events and acts as the students’ liaison with the Honors director and the administration of the University. Among other responsibilities, the Council oversees use of the Honors student lounge, sends delegates to the national honors conference, and helps to organize field trips, class projects, and symposia.
Learn more about the honors application process.
Honors Program Director
Angela Russell Christman, Ph.D.
Director, Honors Program
Professor, Department of Theology
4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
Loyola University Maryland, Undergraduate Admission Office
4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210-2699