While all new students at Catholic University take part in the First Year Experience, members of the University Honors Program are encouraged to participate by enrolling in one of our Honors Learning Communities. Even though there are numerous sections that you can choose from, the ultimate decision will depend on your major and your schedule.
Honors Learning Community Classes
HSPH 101 - The Desire to Know
This course uses the work of Aristotle to disclose the nature and function of logic in both philosophical and non-philosophical contexts. The course also provides training in the basic skills requisite for the appreciation of Aristotle's philosophy. Aristotle's logical works are considered in traditional order, from the study of terms and propositions to analysis of syllogistic and scientific reasoning, in order to clarify the relation between thought, language, knowledge and reality. The focus is deductive reasoning in syllogistic form; inductive and informal reasoning are considered as well. Exercises require the evaluation and application of course material in the contexts of philosophy, science, politics, and literature.
These sections will fulfill your PHIL 201 requirement, and are recommended for students in the School of Philosophy, School of Theology and Religious Studies and the School of Arts & Sciences.
PHIL 211 - The Classical Mind
This course consists chiefly of reading and discussing work of the classical Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. The selected texts, Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, focus on the questions of the best life for man: What is the end of human life? What is happiness? Is virtue worth pursuing? Who is the philosopher? How does the philosopher fit into the city? The same questions will be examined in Saint Augustine's Confessions.
These sections will fulfill your PHIL 201 requirement and can count toward the Philosophy (HSPH) track. They are recommended for members of professional schools.
HSTR 101 - God's Word in Human Words
An introductory course in theology that provides a glimpse into the science of the study of God through the exploration of the thought of selected theologians and scripture. Students will learn how to read and interpret various genres of theological texts from different historical eras, including the Old Testament, the New Testament, the early Church, the Middle Ages, the Reformation era, the period of the Second Vatican Council, and the present time. By engaging these texts through discussion, research, and writing, students will gain an introductory grasp of the academic discipline of theology.
This is the Honors section of the Theology Learning Community class, and is one of the four courses required for the HSTR track.
Other than your Learning Community, you can choose from a wide variety of Honors classes to fulfill your course requirements. Depending on your major, these classes may count as electives, but the final choice should be based on your interests, your schedule, and critical conversations with your advisor.
Here are some of the classes that you can choose from:
HSHU 101 - Jesus to Muhammad: The Early Christians in the Mediterranean World
This course investigates the first seven centuries of Christianity from the overlapping perspectives of history, art history, and archaeology. Major themes in this chronological and thematic overview include how Christians defined themselves as a community, and how these definitions were challenged and developed over time; how imperial, ecclesiastical, and divine power were codified and expressed; and how Christians lived and aspired to live according to the Bible, the example of holy men and women, and the models set forth by their leaders. The course will rely on the original artifacts from this period: literary, documentary, archaeological, artistic, and architectural.
This course fulfills a Humanities requirement.
HSSS 101 - Person and Community in the Social Sciences
This introductory course addresses the crisis of contemporary political morality ushered in by the social sciences as they developed during the 19th century from assumptions of rationalism and modern scientific naturalism. The course seeks to illuminate the crisis in three ways: it excavates the methodological and philosophical assumptions, contrasts modern rational naturalism with Aristotelian and theistic alternatives, and explores the ways in which an understanding of the nature of man shapes the theory and practice of the various social sciences.
This course fulfills a Social Science requirement.
HSEV 101 - Environmental Sciences and Engineering
This course covers the basic sciences of the environment, with a particular focus on the concept of sustainability. The course describes the structure and operation of natural systems and the implications of the study of such systems to sustainability in human societies. It analyzes ecosystem services, their critical role, the human impact, and the methodology of conservation, preservation, and restoration. It addresses the transition to renewable energy sources and issues of clean water availability and food production.
This course fulfills a Science requirement.
Individual Honors Classes (Not Part of Track)
CHEM 103 - General Chemistry I
The first half of a two-semester modern introductory chemistry course designed to fulfill the chemistry requirements for science students and to lay the foundation for further course work in chemistry. Topics include atomic theory, periodic properties, stoichiometry, nomenclature, bonding, physical properties of states of matter, solutions, kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base reactions, metathesis reactions, redox reactions, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and chemical properties of selected classes of compounds.
Corequisite: CHEM 113 (i.e. CHEM 103 and CHEM 113 must be taken concurrently).
ECON 103 - Principles of Economics I
An introduction to the study of open economy macroeconomic principles. It is concerned with the behavior of the economy as a whole. The course focuses on three major goals. First, to help students understand the nature of certain macroeconomic problems and institutions. Second, to help students master certain tools of macroeconomic analysis, and third, to help students develop an ability to apply these tools to the macroeconomic problems that our society confronts.
This course can be substituted for ECON 101, or counts as a Social Science requirement.
HSLS 201 - The Virtues
This is an examination of some of the more important virtues, and the place they hold in Christian and other traditions. It is not primarily a philosophical or theological treatment. Rather, we will look at depictions of the virtues themselves (and some corresponding vices) in literature, essays, political debates, popular writing, and visual media (film, television, painting).
Reserved for freshmen Honors Program students.
HSLS 351 - A History of London
This course charts the development of London from its establishment by the Romans on the banks of the river Thames in 50 A.D. to its emergence as a global city in the 21st century. We'll explore the city through primary sources, including archaeology, journalism, memoirs, fiction, legislation, and film, and through the work of social and cultural historians. Emphasis will be upon London since 1750, and topics covered include: the enormous growth of the city in the 1800s; the transformation of the Victorian city through gas, light, and water; the emergence of London as a playground for the rich and a home for the working poor; the city as battleground -- of total war between 1939 and 1945 -- and of governance in the 1970s; and the remaking of the city as a repository of wealth for global elites.
HSMS 230 - Mathematical Topics in the Social Sciences I
Designed for honors students that do not need calculus, this course, taught by Dr. Prasad Senesi, focuses on the mathematical underpinnings of real-world applications. Topics include collective choice, majority rule, yes-no voting, ways to measure political power, trade, and a study of election systems' vulnerability to vote manipulation.
The course is open both to incoming and current students and it fulfills a math requirement.