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What is the Honors Program?

Honors Program faculty
The Honors Program faculty is chosen on the basis of their firm commitment to teaching and research, their genuine interest in student concerns, and their outstanding scholarship. Many of them have made notable contributions to their fields of research. Several are recipients of the coveted Regents Award for Teaching Excellence; the highest honor that is bestowed upon one professor in each college annually.

 

 

Honors Program students
Intelligent. Inquisitive. Well-rounded. A desire to achieve. Such characteristics describe an Honors Program student. Honors students distinguish themselves and the program as campus leaders. They are regularly recognized by academic departments and colleges for their intellectual achievements. If you wish to be known by the company you keep, know that your enrollment in the MSU Honors Program assures you of being in good company.

 

 

Honors Sequence

The Honors Sequence is a curriculum that includes dedicated Honors seminars, competency courses (language, math, and science), study abroad, and the Honors thesis.  The Honors Sequence replaces the gen ed curriculum (University Studies) for all Honors students.  The sequence is divided into BA and BS sequences; students take one or the other depending upon their major courses of study.  Detailed outline of the sequence can be found here.

 

 

Dedicated Honors Seminars

Unlike many contemporary honors programs and colleges, which designate a large variety of standard courses as “honors” simply by adding an extra essay or project requirement to the syllabus, the Murray State Honors Program schedules dedicated Honors seminars as the core of our Honors Sequence.  These courses are specifically designed for the needs and abilities of high-achieving students.  The faculty members who teach them are specifically selected for these courses, and the curriculum is based on principles of active learning.  To enable active learning, the number of enrolled students in each class is restricted to 15-20 students per class.  

 

 

Active Learning

An active educational model is the defining characteristic of all honors seminars.  This means that the classroom time and course assignments are geared toward involving students in the learning process and course instruction relies more upon questions, discussion, and interactive work than upon passive approaches like lecture.  For this reason, honors seminars are smaller than equivalent non-honors courses.  Such a model is more challenging for students, since they need to be prepared for active discussion before they come to class, but most high-achieving students also find the work to be far more stimulating and rewarding. 

 

Close student/faculty relations
One of the hallmarks of the Honors Program is its small class size and the resulting individual attention available to its students. Seminar faculty and guest lecturers are readily available to answer questions and to assist students in developing a full understanding of the course material. Members of the Honors Program faculty are selected partly on the basis of their commitment to fostering productive, intellectually challenging contact with students.

 

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