Find Courses and Seminars


If you are an honors freshman or sophomore, you are expected to enroll in at least one stand-alone course each semester. If you are an honors junior or senior, we encourage you to enroll in stand-alone courses. You must complete one honors seminar outside your major to satisfy the requirements for Upper Division Honors or Full University Honors.

Unless noted in the schedule book, no permit number is needed to enroll in an Honors course. Before registering for courses, you are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with an honors adviser

General Education

100-200 level, limited to 20-25 students per class, that can satisfy general education (PLUS course) requirements.

Mini Sections

A select number of seats for University Honors Program students within a larger regular section of a course. University Honors Program students enrolled in a mini section will be asked to complete course requirements that are qualitatively different than what is required of students who are regularly enrolled.

Spring 2019 Honors Seminars

300-400 level, limited to 15-20 students per class, satisfies upper division requirements, no prerequisites needed.

Enroll in an Honors Seminar for fall 2018! Registration is available in MyNIU.

Is American culture a disaster? What does it mean to "know how to live?" Do Americans live authentic lives, or do they live through images that they accept as authentic experiences?

Anthropological concepts and theories will guide our exploration of American beliefs and behaviors; of what equality means when American talk about and express ethnicity, class, gender and race; and the tension between individual and community needs and desires. Healthcare, ideologies and the economy will be explored within the context of civic engagement and other core American values and expectations.

Taught by: Kristen Borre
Days and Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Location: Stevens Building 173

This course explores the emerging field of mindfulness in education. Using texts, practices and evidence of its effectiveness, this course will examine contemporary contemplative practice applications in K-12 and university studies.

Taught by: Leslie Sassone
Days and Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Location: Graham Hall 435

The French Revolution was a foundational event of the modern period. This course explores the Revolution’s richly dramatic history, from its 1789 beginnings through the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s. We will consider social and cultural change, the dynamics of the Reign of Terror and other episodes of political violence, warfare, religion, women’s roles and revolutionary ideas about freedom, equality and justice. The course approaches the Revolution and rise of Napoleon as global events, not just French ones. We will pay particular attention to their impact on France’s Caribbean colonies, including Haiti.

Taught by: Emma Kuby
Days and Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2 to 3:15 p.m.
Location: DuSable Hall 424

Sport is many things to many people: it can be an outlet for frustration, a way to stay in shape, a socializing opportunity with friends, a chance to prove worth to others, etc. Additionally, cultural institutions influence the relevance and impact of sport in modern society. This course will provide insight into the social issues of sporting experiences (e.g., money, race, gender, higher education, media, religion, etc.). Through laboratory experiences and personal investigations, students will learn how sport can be used as a medium to teach positive values about oneself, competition and larger society.

Taught by: Todd Gilson
Days and Times: Mondays, 5 to 7:40 p.m.
Location: Campus Life Building 110

Sport builds character! This is a bold statement -- do you agree? Many organizations, including UNICEF, UNESCO, YMCA, Active Schools USA, and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation seem to.

In this course, you will explore the issue of sport building character in detail. You will examine the potential of sport to support positive, healthy development and teach transferable life skills to children and adolescents. You will look at success stories as well as the challenges facing this field of study. Through readings, guest lectures and discussions, as well as reviews of this topic in film and the popular media, you will gain an in-depth understanding.

This course will be taught by Dr. Paul Wright, a Fulbright Scholar and Presidential Engagement Professor at NIU.

Taught by: Paul Wright
Days and Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 3:15 p.m.
Location: Anderson Hall 248

What does that sky color tell us? What might tides be like with that giant ringed planet hovering nearby? Is that water in those lakes – or is it something else? We will explore these questions and many more as we try to answer the biggest question of all: Could there be life on these moons?

This introductory astrobiology course will scientifically explore the age-old question, "Are we alone?" We will examine life on Earth both past and present, along with its origins. We will explore geolophysical conditions that foster life and climate stability here and compare these conditions to those on other worlds. Could life be present elsewhere in our solar system? How about in the other planetary systems now being discovered in our Milky Way galaxy? Could there be another Earth out there with intelligent inhabitants peering back at us and pondering the same questions? These, and many more, are the questions that we will contemplate and explore.

Note that Introductory Astronomy (PHYS 162H) and/or Introductory Biology are recommended but not required.

Taught by: James Welsh
Days and Times: Tuesdays, 6 to 8:40 p.m.
Location: Faraday 237

This course offers a comparative analysis of revolts, revolutions and genocide examining such questions as the failure and success of revolts and revolutions in bringing about democracy; the role modern communications play in revolts and revolutions; the links between revolts, revolutions and genocide; and the role of the international community in preventing and redressing incidents of genocide.

Taught by: Kheang Un
Days and Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2 to 3:15 p.m.
Location: Campus Life Building 110

Thinking about how you can improve health outcomes or patient experiences? The World Health Organization recommends interprofessional education. Learn about, from and with each other through readings, discussion and group projects to learn about different professionals and develop your skills with collaboration. In this class, you will participate in interactive learning with other disciplines to prepare you for "deliberatively working together" to improve community and population health care systems.

This seminar will complement coursework across a wide range of majors. Seminar is fully online.

Taught by: Beverly Henry
Online orientation meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 5-6 p.m.
Online team meetings: TBA

In-course Contract

An in-course contract is an individualized project undertaken in a particular class to allow the class to fulfill honors requirements. To begin the process of completing an in-course contract, you will need to either make an appointment with an adviser or attend an in-course contract workshop. This requirement is designed to prepare you for the expectations of an in-course contract experience as a student in the University Honors Program by providing examples and a rubric used for evaluation, as well as give you the opportunity to ask questions. At any time, you can learn more about the process by reviewing the overview and synopsis form (to be submitted with a completed application page). Go to go.niu.edu/honorsicc to complete and submit your in-course contract proposal. Completed in-course contract proposals must be submitted no later than the Sunday after week #2 of the academic semester in which the class is being undertaken. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

Capstone

An in-course contract is an individualized project undertaken in a particular class to allow the class to fulfill honors requirements. To begin the process of completing an in-course contract, you will need to either make an appointment with an adviser or attend a capstone workshop. This requirement is designed to prepare you for the expectations of a capstone experience as a student in the University Honors Program, as well as give you the opportunity to ask questions. Completed capstone proposals are due to the University Honors Program no later than the second Friday of the academic semester in which the capstone is being undertaken.