Honors Program Courses

To help you plan your Honors courses, download here an overview of a Honors course offerings for each semester.

Fall 2019 Courses

Courses the fill the Communications General Education Requirement

Professor Alicia Tomasian - In this course, we will examine several core challenges of our metropolitan area, Chicagoland.  What are the answers to gun violence and gang warfare in the city?  What can be done to improve Chicago schools? How much do racial division and segregation of the neighborhoods impact these problems? How important is Chicago’s food culture, religious life, or architecture?  Readings may address our specific city or problems it faces and may include excerpts from Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cornel West, Eric Schlosser, Lauren Sandler, Levitt and Dubner, and Michelle Alexander, among others.                        

MW 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Professor Magdalen McKinley  -In this course, we will read, analyze, research, and write about a selection of 20th and 21st century American fiction, covering authors ranging from Sylvia Plath to James Baldwin to Philip K. Dick to Junot Diaz, among others. In addition to addressing their diverse literary styles and thematic concerns, we’ll also explore the ways our understanding of this literature can be enhanced by interdisciplinary study, the ways literature reflects and shapes our cultural values, and the ways it resonates with current events that define our contemporary moment.

MW 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm      

Professor TBD, will allow students to discover the power of effective communication.  A 2015 Pew Research study found that communication, critical thinking and teamwork are among the top 5 skills those that do the hiring for companies are looking for.  Emphasis will be placed on delivery, organization, research, audience analysis, and argumentation.  However, honors students will also work in teams to plan, rehearse and revise their presentations. Working in small groups enables students to not only gain knowledge and experience in public speaking, but also leadership, conflict management, interpersonal communication and teamwork.  Honors Speech focuses on overall communication and not just presentational skills.

T 6pm – 8:40 pm

 Courses that Count toward the Humanities Gen.-Ed. Requirement

Professor TBD. This is the Honors Colloquium class.  This course is required for all Honors students who wish to acquire Honors Program Graduation status.  Students will survey primary sources from various academic disciplines.  Core readings may include selections from Plato, the Buddha, Bacon, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, Rousseau, Machiavelli, Swift, Voltaire (Candide), Marx, Douglass, and de Beauvoir; these may be supplemented with selections from authors such as Lao Tzu, Confucius, St. Augustine, the Prophet Mohammed, Bede the Venerable, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre.  Students will select and lead classroom sessions on the readings; students will also have the opportunity to discuss these “great ideas” with Harper professors from across the campus and from many academic disciplines.  (Note: half of the seats in this course are in the HST 105 “half” and half are in the HUM 105 half.  You sign up for one or the other, not both.  They count the same.)  

MW 9:30 am – 10:45 am      

Professor TBD. This is the Honors Colloquium class.  This course is required for all Honors students who wish to acquire Honors Program Graduation status.  Students will survey primary sources from various academic disciplines.  Core readings may include selections from Plato, the Buddha, Bacon, Darwin, Freud, Nietzsche, Rousseau, Machiavelli, Swift, Voltaire (Candide), Marx, Douglass, and de Beauvoir; these may be supplemented with selections from authors such as Lao Tzu, Confucius, St. Augustine, the Prophet Mohammed, Bede the Venerable, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre.  Students will select and lead classroom sessions on the readings; students will also have the opportunity to discuss these “great ideas” with Harper professors from across the campus and from many academic disciplines.  (Note: half of the seats in this course are in the HST 105 “half” and half are in the HUM 105 half.  You sign up for one or the other, not both.  They count the same.)  

R  6:30 – 9:10 pm  

Professor Rebecca Scott. This introductory philosophy course presents students with a rare opportunity to engage directly with philosophers who are working and writing today. In the class, we will explore how the major branches of philosophy--metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy--all address contemporary issues of social justice. Guiding our philosophical exploration will be recent works by contemporary philosophers, each of whom has agreed to video conference with the class, giving students the chance to discuss the works with the authors themselves. The texts we will read are as follows: What Love Is: And What it Could Be by Carrie Jenkins, How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley, The Epistemology of Resistance by José Medina, and Addressing Ableism by Jennifer Scuro.

MW 2:00pm 3:15pm

Professor Kurt Hemmer and Leslye Smith. This is a Learning Communities section. Honors students enrolled in this remarkable class will receive three Humanities gen.-ed credits for LIT 112, and three more Social & Behavioral Sciences gen.-ed credits for HST 112: six Honors credits altogether!

While examining the films Schindler’s List, Defiance, and Inglorious Basterds (and the books they were based on), students will focus on what Americans knew—and know—about the Holocaust, and how that knowledge has come to us through historical documents, literature, and film. We will explore how the Holocaust entered our national consciousness and how our perception of it has been shaped by books and movies. Questions we will consider: Do Americans need to put happy faces and happy endings on all of our stories—even Holocaust stories? If so, do we differ from Germans, Russians, Poles, the French, and others? What do our Holocaust novels, movies, newspaper articles, and histories reveal about us? About our culture? About our needs and desires? Students will make their own short films! In the process, they will wrestle first-hand with the challenges that filmmakers face in balancing historical accuracy, dramatic interest, and ethical treatment of the subject matter.

MW: 11am-1:45pm

 

Courses that Count toward the Social and Behavioral Sciences Gen.-Ed. Requirement

Professor Kirsten Matthews, “Can you rewire your brain to be happier? Would you obey orders to harm others? Can Psychology combat climate change? Explore these questions and many more by integrating theories, scientific research, and real-world applications.”     

TR 12:30 – 1:45 pm

Professor Getachew Begashaw. Honors Microeconomics enables the student to understand the basic ideas of tradeoffs, opportunity cost, and the benefits of trade — and how the market forces of supply and demand (the invisible hand) cause prices to be what they should be. We examine the sense in which market economies are efficient, and the way governments can make our economy less or more efficient. After finding the mystery behind the demand curve, we will delve behind the supply curve to see how firms choose their production levels to maximize profits in all forms of market structures, mainly perfect competition and imperfect competition. Time permitting, we will look at market failures of imperfect competition (monopoly and oligopoly) and externalities.

 T 2:00pm 3:15pm

 

Courses that Count toward the Physical Sciences Gen.-Ed. Requirement

Professor Andy Kidwell, will offer an innovative, hands-on approach to chemistry instruction by having students apply principles of general chemistry to such contemporary issues as global warming. Note: this class fulfills the lab requirement for science. (5 credit hours)

TR 9:30 – 10:45 (lecture) +
M, 9:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. (9:30 – 10:20, discussion and 10:30 – 1:15, lab)         

Professor Andy Kidwell, will offer an innovative, hands-on approach to chemistry instruction by having students apply principles of general chemistry to such contemporary issues as global warming. Note: this class fulfills the lab requirement for science. (5 credit hours)

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (lecture) +
Wednesdays 2:00 pm – 4:45 p.m. (lab) & Mondays 2:00 – 2:50 (discussion) 

Professor Bhasker Moorthy will guide you through an exploration of the universe and our place in it.  You will refine your ability to think like a scientist and apply your thinking tools to understand the fundamental properties of planets, moons, stars, and galaxies.  You will grapple with the mysteries of black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and the Big Bang.  As you learn about the gradual changes and nearly improbable events that led to the origin of the Earth, life, and humans, and how humans are now transforming the Earth, you just might begin to grasp how extraordinary it is to live in this place and time.

M 3:00pm 4:50pm

TR 3:30pm 4:45pm

 

Classes that Count Toward the Math Gen. Ed. Requirement

Professor Kyle Knee. Calculus is a subject rich with beautiful applications in many areas of science, technology and engineering.  In our honors section of Calculus I, we will be introduced to and investigate the three ideas that constitute the basis for our single variable real analysis – the limit, the derivative, and the integral.  Although the applications are vast, we will develop the concepts with enough mathematical rigor to emphasize the logical framework, to then apply that framework to an ample number of applications to fully appreciate the richness of Calculus’ utility. (5 credit hours)

M-F 8 am – 8:50 am

Professor Kimberly Polly. If you are not likely to be pursuing majors that require Calculus, you might be more interested in Statistics as an important Math course.  You can place into this course after Math 080 or 082, or with a Math ACT of 22 or Match ACT of 530.  The course focuses on mathematical reasoning and the solving of real-life problems in statistics, rather than on routine skills. Computer labs using statistical software packages are incorporated throughout course.    This course will use a “flipped” classroom model, in which in-class work will focus on discussions after students do work at home to prepare for them, to introduce students to descriptive and inferential statistics through real-world examples. (4 credit hours)        
(note – this is a blended course, so additional work is done online)

MW 9 – 9:50 am