The Catholic University of America

University Honors Program

Christopher Kaczor, Ph.D., Director

Faculty

Andrew Abela, Ph.D Economics; University of Virginia
Maria S. Aguirre, Ph.D Economics; University of Notre Dame
Lourdes Alvarez, Ph.D Spanish; Yale University
William Barbieri, Ph.D Religion; Yale University
Peter Casarella, Ph.D Theology; Yale University
Deborah Clawson, Ph.D Psychology; University of Colorado, Boulder
John J. Convey, Ph.D Education; Florida State University
Dennis Coyle, Ph.D Political Science; University of California, Berkeley
Jean DeGroot, Ph.D Philosophy; Harvard University
William Dinges, Ph.D Religion; University of Kansas
Gregory T. Doolan, Ph.D Philosophy; The Catholic University of America
Thérèse?Anne Druart, Ph.D Philosophy; Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
Sherif El-Helaly, Ph.D Mathematics; McMaster University, Canada
Kevin Forbes, Ph.D Economics; University of Maryland
Lisa Gitelman, Ph.D English; Columbia University
Michael Gorman, Ph.D Theology; Boston College Philosophy; State University of New York, Buffalo
Katherine L. Jansen, Ph.D History; Princeton University
Glen Johnson, Ph.D English; Indiana University
William Kelly, Ph.D Civil Engineering; University of Notre Dame
Michael C. Kimmage, Ph.D History; Harvard University
William Klingshirn, Ph.D Classics; Stanford University
V. Bradley Lewis, Ph.D Philosophy; University of Notre Dame
Maryann Cusimano Love, Ph.D Politics; Johns Hopkins University
Lisa Lynch, Ph.D English; Rutgers University
Michael Mack, Ph.D English; Columbia University
Rev. Frank J. Matera, Ph.D Biblical Studies, Union Theological Seminary
John McCarthy, Ph.D Philosophy; The Catholic University of America
William J. McCarthy, Ph.D Greek and Latin; The Catholic University of America
Ingrid Merkel, Ph.D German Literature and Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
Jerry Muller, Ph.D History; Columbia University
Timothy B. Noone, Ph.D Philosophy; University of Toronto
Rev. Kurt Pritzl, O.P., Ph.D Philosophy; University of Toronto
Philip H. Rousseau, Ph.D Study of Early Christianity; Oxford University
Alexander T. Russo, Ph.D Media Studies; Brown University
Stephen Schneck, Ph.D Political Science; University of Notre Dame
Marc Sebrechts, Ph.D Psychology; Yale University
Joseph Sendry, Ph.D English; Harvard University
Peter Shoemaker, Ph.D French; Princeton University
Leslie Tentler, Ph.D History; University of Michigan
Richard Velkley, Ph.D Philosophy; Pennsylvania State University
David J. Walsh, Ph.D Political Science; University of Virginia
Stephen K. Wright, Ph.D English, Comparative Literature; University of Indiana
Ernest M. Zampelli, Ph.D Economics; University of Maryland

Goals

The University Honors Program provides special intellectual challenges for undergraduates with motivation and outstanding academic promise. The program hones skills in critical thinking and supplies a solid foundation in the classical liberal arts. The core of the program is interdisciplinary. It provides an integrated world view based on the interrelation among the disciplines of knowledge. It also stresses the traditional values of our Christian heritage.

Undergraduates in the program have access to the university's best scholar-teachers and to small seminar-style classes that allow intensive exchange among teachers and students. Special attention is paid to the development of writing and communication skills. Students also have access to research projects and many enrichment programs outside the classroom.

The University Honors Program was developed with support from a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The core curriculum consists of six integrated sequences of four courses each in the classical liberal arts tradition. Two of the five sequences address contemporary issues of the environment and information technology. University Scholars complete three of the six sequences, and, in addition, present a senior honors research project in the Senior Honors Capstone Seminar.

The core sequences of the University Honors Program cross disciplines and form an integrated liberal arts curriculum. Interconnections with requirements in students' area of concentration are established on an individual basis.

Rules and Regulations

Admission to Program

Freshmen are selected for participation in the program after they have been accepted by the Office of Admissions. Selection is based on the results of the standardized college entrance examinations (SAT 1300+ (R+M), and upon secondary school achievement (GPA 3.5; top 10 percent of class). Priority is awarded to those students who have consistently performed on the honors level during their secondary school years.

Transfer students and advanced students may apply for admittance to the program after an initial interview. A minimum 3.5 GPA after the completion of one full semester load at CUA is required for admission.

Requirements

Departmental Requirements: Departments in the School of Arts and Sciences have established guidelines for acceptance of University Honors Program courses in fulfillment of distribution or departmental requirements. The program has a traditional liberal arts curriculum. Undergraduates in architecture, engineering, music, nursing, and philosophy fulfill the liberal arts component of their curricula through the University Honors Program. The program equally accommodates students in the natural sciences.

Program Requirements. University Honors Program students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5. Freshmen in the program must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.5 by the end of their freshman year. Other criteria for participation include a minimum honors course load of three courses per year for students in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Designations

Students who follow the University Honors Program curriculum receive recognition as such on their transcripts, designated as follows:

University Scholar. Successful participation in 12 courses in either The Christian Tradition; An Aristotelian Studium; Critical Exploration of Social Reality; The Environment, Energy and Policy; Media, Technology and Culture; Tradition and Renewal in Contemporary Catholicism, supplemented by a senior honors research project in the Senior Honors Capstone Seminar.

Students in the professional schools or majoring in the natural sciences may also be designated University Scholars if they complete two of the University Honors Program sequences and either four additional university honors courses approved by the University Honors Program or a senior honors research project in their profession reflecting a liberal arts perspective.

Grades of B and above are required for all honors courses.

Honors in the Humanities. Successful participation in all four semesters of The Christian Tradition. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

Honors in Classical Philosophy. Successful participation in all four courses of An Aistotelian Studium. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

Honors in Social Sciences. Successful participation in all four courses of Critical Approaches to Reality. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

Honors in Environmental Studies. Successful participation in all four courses of The Environment, Energy, and Policy. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

Honors in Media, Technology, and Culture. Successful participation in all four courses of Media, Technology, and Culture. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

Honors in Theology and Religious Studies. Successful participation in all four courses of Theology and Religious Studies. Grades of B and above are required for these courses. Designated on student's record.

To be eligible for the designations students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and grades of B and above in all honors courses.

COURSES OF INSTRUCTION

The Christian Tradition

Faculty members from Early Christian Studies, English, Greek, and Latin, history, modern languages, politics, and religion teach in this interdisciplinary four-semester sequence. The Christian Tradition courses fulfill requirements in the humanities or in the 20th and 21st centuries are part of humanities departments' curricula. The sequence presents major topics and themes in the history of Christian culture from its origins in late antiquity to its manifestations i

Core Courses

HSHU 101

Jesus to Muhammad: The Early Christians in the Mediterranean World

HSHU 102

Charlemagne to Chaucer: Christian Life in the Middle Ages

HSHU 203

The Age of Discovery

HSHU 204

Christian Culture/Secular Age

 

An Aristotelian Stadium

Faculty members in the School of Philosophy present this four-semester sequence in the philosophy of one of the great teachers of Western thought. Courses fulfill the philosophy core requirements. The Aristotelian Studium is based on the study of the original texts, which offer a coherent system of knowledge and provide tools for inquiry still useful in the present day. The readings in Aristotle are supplemented with texts by philosophers responding to his ?great questions? throughout the history of Western philosophy.

Core Courses

HSPH 101

The Desire to Know

HSPH 102

Human Action and Government

HSPH 203

Nature & Human Nature

HSPH 204

Ultimate Questions

 

Critical Exploration of Social Reality

Faculty members in economics, politics, psychology, sociology, and history present this cross-disciplinary sequence in the social sciences. Critical Exploration of Social Reality provides an introduction to critical reasoning through exploration of social sciences topics and through application of social science theories and methods. Courses in this sequence fulfill requirements in the social sciences and are part of social science departments' curricula.

Core Courses

HSSS 101

Introduction to Social Science

HSSS 102

Society and Human Visions of the Social Order

HSSS 203

Social Data Analysis

HSSS 204

Families, Markets, Cities: Social and Scientific Perspectives

The Environment, Energy, and Policy

This sequence of courses is taught by faculty members from engineering, economics, politics, and religion. It addresses some of the most troubling policy issues facing modern society, such as the sometimes conflicting demands for protecting the environment while supplying the energy needs of a high?technology?based economy. The many dimensions for a comprehensive consideration of this complex problem are presented. Included in these dimensions is the political reality, seen in the context of an environmental ethics based on Catholic traditions.

Core Courses

HSEV 101

Environmental Science and Engineering

HSEV 102

God Ethics and the Environment

HSEV 203

The Economics of Energy and the Environment

HSEV 204

Environmental Politics and Policy

 

Media, Technology, and Culture

Faculty members from classics, media studies, psychology, religion, and sociology teach in this four?semester sequence. It addresses major contemporary concerns arising from the spread of information technology.

Core Courses

HSCT 101

Text and Technology

HSCT 102

Progress and Literacy in the Ancient World

HSCT 203

Technology and Community

HSCT 204

Technology and Self

Tradition and Renewal in Contemporary Catholocism

Faculty members from The School of Theology and Religious Studies teach in this four?semester sequence. The unifying theme is the constitution of The Second Vatican Council.

Core Courses

HSTR 101

Scripture: God's Word in Human Words

HSTR 102

Liturgy and the Christian Life

HSTR 203

The Church: Community and Institution

HSTR 204

The Church in Dialogue with Contemporary Culture

 

Honors Senior Capstone Seminar

HSCP 490 From the vast ?quarry? of the Western Tradition this seminar excavates and examines fundamental concepts that have informed the lives of generations of peoples. The topics are multidisciplinary and allow students to integrate and connect the knowledge acquired in their various disciplines to the tradition of thought that characterizes Western history. The main task of the seminar is to provide students with an opportunity to prepare and present a research paper at the annual University Honors Convocation.

Series Courses

Many departments contribute special courses to the University Honors Program called University Honors Program series courses and marked UH. These courses are open to juniors and seniors and to all other students in the University Honors Program.

Sample Courses

(some offered on a regular basis)

ECON 103, 104

Principles of Economics I, II (UH)

MATH 230

The Mathematics of Politics (UH)

MATH 330

Topics in Math and Social Sciences (UH)

PHIL 211

The Classical Mind (UH)

PHIL 212

The Modern Mind (UH)

PHYS 197

Universe: The Last 15 Billion Years (UH)

These courses fulfill distribution and liberal arts requirements for students in the School of Arts and Sciences and in the professional schools.