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Curious About Next Semester?

More Unexpected Connections than Ever

With registration for Winter 2022 right around the corner, you may be wondering what your next Honors course will be! Next semester, we are offering more Unexpected Connections courses than ever. We're bringing back some great classes, welcoming in new faculty with new topics, and bidding a heartfelt goodbye to a couple of fan favorites. Take a moment to read more about the incredible options coming your way, and don't forget to submit your cart! Remember, you need to be a committed Honors student to register for 200-level or higher Honors courses.

Let's start with the Unexpected Connections courses, the interdisciplinary core of the program. Honors students take three of these classes to help develop their skills of using diverse disciplines to solve complex problems. Students will be surprised to find that by delving into a variety of disciplines, their understanding of their own emphasis expands too.

Each HONRS 22x or 290R class is team-taught by two award-winning professors from diverse fields. It could be an English professor specializing in British Literature and a Computer Engineering faculty with an emphasis in Artificial Intelligence, or a biologist teaching with a musician. You never know!

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.”
  • “As we learn about how the two subjects are interwoven, I get to learn how to look at things differently that can be both interesting and challenging.”

Here’s a preview of the Winter 2022 classes. You can see expanded course descriptions under the “Courses” tile here.

HONRS 220 Biology-Letters
Section 001: "Literature and Health"
What if doctors and nurses were the ones who tell stories and poets and writers were the healers? Learn about the intersection of health and literature in this class through analyzing how medicine is portrayed in literature and how the arts influence health perspectives.

Section 002: “This is Your Brain on Lit: 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.

Section 003: “Pandemics, Plagues, and Contagion: Literary and Scientific Perspectives”
How has our response to the COVID-19 pandemic been modeled in the response to previous pandemics both in literature and social response? Take this class to understand how to find good information in the midst of false news as well as see how we can best interact with the healthcare field.

HONRS 221- Biology-Arts
Section 001: "Fantastic and Mythological Creatures in Life and Literature"
Could unicorns and dragons actually exist? Explore the biological basis of mythological creatures in literature including the feasibility of their existence. View Video Here!

HONRS 223 Physical Science-Letters      
Section 001: “Transcendent Skies: Literature and Astronomy”    
Why have generations of poets, scientists, and normal citizens looked to the sky for inspiration? Learn what we can see in the stars through an astronomy lens and also through the eyes of authors who have looked at the stars for centuries. View Video Here!

Section 002: “Finding Truth: Disagreement and Engagement in a Complex World”
How can we cope in the midst of doubts, uncertainties, and the complexities of the world? Develop your ability to coexist with uncertainty by understanding the benefit of questions and different perspectives.

HONRS 227 Social Science-Arts
Section 001: “The Comedy of Life: Exploring Social Structures through Humor.”
Can humor actually be more than just passive entertainment? Understand how humor unites societies through watching your favorite sitcoms, analyzing cultural trends, and holding your sides through every lecture.

Section 002: "Playing with Reality: Investigating Deception through Games, Film, and TV."
How can we avoid being deceived in a world so intertwined with deception and bent realities? Learn how in this course where the professors will expose how deception is present all around us and how we can tease out these falsehoods to remain rooted in truth.

HONRS 290R Special Topics
Section 001: “What are the Odds?: Probability in Math and the Humanities.” (Physical Science/Arts)
Can randomness coexist with order? This course will investigate how humans interact with seemingly random events through the arts as well as how statisticians try to understand random occurrences.

Aready completed your Unexpected Connections courses and ready to put your interdisciplinary skills to the test? Students who have completed at least two Unexpected Connections courses can register for the Great Questions Essay and explore a great question of their own!

HONRS 320: Great Questions Essay Tutorial
This capstone to the Honors Program coursework provides group and individual instruction in researching and writing the Great Question Essay (NOT the Honors Thesis). This essay is interdisciplinary in its approach to an approved “big or “great” question of your choice. Students enrolled in the course will spend most of their time researching and drafting the essay, and meet regularly with the instructor and peers for consultation, advisement and direction. Learn more here.

Ready to dive into your Leadership Development Experience next year? Take your first step in January!
HONRS 310: Foundations of Interdisciplinary Leadership
This course examines leadership from multiple perspectives. Build your very own very personal leadership understanding, capabilities, and skills in preparation for the Honors Leadership Practicum experience. Read more here.

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).