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Fall Course Preview

What Unexpected Connections Will You Make?

As registration for Fall 2022 approaches, you may be trying to decide which Honors class is your next best fit. The Unexpected Connections courses in the Fall include a combination of exciting new classes and repeat fan-favorites. These courses comprise the core of the interdisciplinary Honors curriculum aimed at helping students discover and find their own connections!

Each class is team-taught by top-notch professors from two diverse academic fields. This could be a chemist with an emphasis in alternative fuel sources teaching with a dragon enthusiast from the Comparative Literature department, or a connoisseur of Brazilian poetry working with a statistician. With faculty rotating in and out of these classes, there are wonderful surprises every year!

Students use their critical thinking skills to create connections between the fields around the central topic of the course which can range from birdsong to monsters to humor. Students may be surprised to discover that putting work into understanding other disciplines helps them form a more secure grasp in their own field of study too.

Curious about what to expect? Here is what other students have said about the Unexpected Connections courses:

  • “Upon enrolling and taking this class, I was given the opportunity to see the world through many different pairs of eyes. These “eyes” not only showed perspective, but also gave me the opportunity to understand more deeply.”
  • “One thing I loved...was the small class sizes. It gave me an opportunity to really get to know my professors and classmates on a more personal level. I also really liked that the things we learned are applicable to real life.”
  • “This class changed how I saw college classes and discussions, and created a foundation for a love of learning.”
  • One of my favorite parts of the Honors program are the Unexpected Connections coures which have not onlyk given me new perspectives about various disciplines, but have taught me how to be a critical thinker and embrace hard questions.”

Below is a list of the Honors Unexpected Connections offerings this Fall. Remember, you need to be a committed Honors student to register for 200-level classes. Don't forget to submit your cart! You can see expanded course descriptions here.

HONRS 220 Biology/Letters
Section 001: “Borges and the Brain: Neuroscience in Literature and Film”
What are the shocking truths about the brain and what long held beliefs are actually complete falsehoods? Learn about the least understood organ, the brain, and how literature and cinema have helped and hindered our understanding of it.

HONRS 221 Biology/Arts
Sections 1-3: “Discovering Yourself in Your Place”
Do you ever wonder where your place in the world is? Through the lens of humanities and biology, this class will walk you through how to develop a sense of place where you currently reside based on local flora and the depiction of nature in art.

Section 004: "The Music of Birds and Humans"
How does birdsong connect to the music of humans? Learn why birds and humans sing for survival, culture, and tradition as well as how bird populations are at risk of losing their song due to climate change and habitat loss.

HONRS 223 Physical Science/Letters
Section 003: Topic TBA 

HONRS 226 Social Science/Letters
Section 001: "The Art of Transformative Storytelling"
How do stories shape our realities? This class focuses on learning to craft transformative stories to better make sense of the world around us and understand how to best represent the extraordinary events that occur in our everyday lives.

Section 002: "Is Virtue the Same for Men and Women?"
Does virtue look different for men versus women? Learn more about the root of virtue as initially a manly trait and how it has shifted to be a quality associated with women in the public sphere.

HONRS 290R Various Topics
Section 001: “Algorithms and the Creativity of Constraints and Connections” (LL/Letters)
Were rules made to be broken? In this class, you will explore how creative works must toe to the line between freedom and constraint through the use of data analysis, probability, and looking at how the arts have used and ignored rules to find success.

Remember, you must complete the prerequisites and be a committed Honors student to enroll in these courses. If you have any questions about registration, prerequisites, or Honors requirements, email an Honors advisor, schedule an appointment here, or stop by the Honors Program office (102 MSRB).