Jesup Scott Honors College

Course Offerings

Honors core classes provide our high-ability students a common liberal arts experience, bringing together a multitude of majors and perspectives to share meaningful ideas in small classes. Taught by dedicated Honors faculty, our "HON" classes emphasize discussion and collaboration to analyze and solve real-life problems. These courses are also designed to satisfy core requirements and move students closer to graduation while polishing professional skills.

These courses interface seamlessly with an enhanced major experience, connecting students with faculty mentors as well as research opportunities and internships in their field.  A list of Honors sections from across all university departments for Fall 2019 can be found here.


Honors Course Descriptions

Read below descriptions of each of our core courses and click here for a list of Spring 2020 HON 4960 seminars.

Honors 1010HON 1010: Ideas & Society

Core Humanities
Through a process of critical examination, analytical thought, and intellectual exchange, students engage in study of ideas in society during different time periods and across different cultural contexts as well as intellectual disciplines. Drawing upon primary and secondary sources using multiple humanities discourses, students analyze and evaluate and respond to diverse populations and perspectives. From this synthesis, students gain ability to apply understanding of ideas in contemporary society as well as ideas in their fields of study.

Read here how our instructors make the sections of HON 1010 they teach unique.

Honors 1020HON 1020: Innovation & Society

Core Humanities
In this interdisciplinary course, students will analyze and critique various processes of innovation in society with an emphasis on its impact on human society. Students will gain the ability to evaluate course concepts against competing approaches and solutions in society, as well as in their own fields of study.

HON 1010 is not a pre-requisite for HON 1020.

Honors 2010HON 2010: Multicultural Toledo

Core Social Science & Multicultural U.S. Diversity

Multicultural Toledo is an interdisciplinary investigation into the multicultural, historical, and socio-economic development of the greater Toledo area and the ways that different community groups respond to, and shape, this transformation. Topics may include: ethnicity, race, gender, gender orientation, socioeconomic class, religion, national origin, dis/ability, and age within the Toledo community. The course features multiple site visits to community organizations.


HON 2020: Multicultural Literatures: North American Experience

Core Multicultural U.S. Diversity & humanities

This reading, writing, and discussion course examines selected literatures of the North American experience: for example, texts by African American, Arab American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Native American authors. Through fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry from multiple American cultures, students will gain a greater awareness of the diverse cultural practices, beliefs, and societal contributions of North Americans. Topics may include race, ethnicity, identity, gender, and class.


HON 2030: Multicultural Literatures: Non- European World

Core Multicultural Non-Western Diversity & humanities

This reading, writing, and discussion course examines selected non-European literatures. Through fiction, history, current commentaries, and other documents created by the people living in the locales examined, students will gain an awareness of diverse world cultures, their histories, current situations, practices, beliefs, and global significance in the world.  The course may contain segments on selections from China and Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, South America, and/or Polynesia.


HON 3010HON 3010: Community Engagement

This research intensive, interdisciplinary course is designed to provide students with experience in effective community engagement through work on a local issue or problem in a mentored, multidisciplinary team. Class will focus on developing practical skills, identifying best practices, and exploring potential solutions for complex problems. The course culminates in a grant proposal that can be adopted or adapted by our community partners. Class time consists of short instructional presentations, group work, and class discussions.

Students must take an HON multicultural course (i.e., HON 2010, HON 2020, or HON 2030) as a pre-requisite before being able to register for HON 3010.


HON 4960HON 4950/4960: Honors Seminars

These interdisciplinary seminars are organized around a variety of subjects and intellectual concerns.

A unique slate of Honors seminars is offered each Fall and Spring, with occasional offerings during intersession terms. The content of these courses is quite often interdisciplinary and is shaped by the research interests of the JSHC faculty as well as specialists from fields across campus.

See below for a list of the Spring 2020 Honors seminars:

HON 4960-001
| Lifehacking the Literature: The Modern Scholar in the Information Age
Wade Lee & Thomas Atwood
CRN 20039 | MW  12:55 pm - 2:15 pm | 3 credit hours | Carlson Library 1025

Information access, or lack thereof, deeply affects our personal lives and our society. During the Spring HON seminar, “Lifehacking the Literature: The Modern Scholar in the Information Age,” taught by co-facilitators Prof. Wade Lee and Prof. Thomas Atwood, students will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in multidisciplinary fashion while learning how to best understand and complete scholarly projects.

Class content will include reading and discussion of current literatures and popular press as well as working on the skills needed to efficiently identify and obtain relevant, accurate, and scholarly published research. By paying personal attention to the literature research process, students will have constructed an extensive annotated bibliography by the end of the course that could be utilized in many other areas – including their Honors thesis/capstone project.


HON 4960-002 | Biodesign Challenge
Eric Zeigler & Brian Carpenter
CRN 24798 | MW  6:00 pm - 8:40 pm | 3 credit hours | Center for Visual Arts 0090

Students enrolled in "Biodesign Challenge" will work in interdisciplinary teams to propose solutions to real and pressing biological issues. Over the course of the semester, student teams will research, iterate, prototype, and defend solutions to these issues. At the end of the semester, students will present their proposals in a juried competition, resulting in a traveling team. The winning team will join their instructors for a trip to New York City for an international competition. Students will present their proposals alongside dozens of other schools for prizes offered by the Biodesign Challenge organization. The panel of judges includes leading experts in the fields of science, design, art, medicine, and the humanities. This course will be an excellent resume builder, as students will be able to work across disciplines and present real work to real professionals, inside of prestigious institutions, with the possibility of turning solutions into businesses.


HON 4960-006
| Dimensions of Sustainability

David Krantz
CRN 20019 | TR  9:35 am - 10:55 am | 3 credit hours | Memorial Field House 1900

The two related issues of global climate change and sustainability are probably the most critical challenges facing the world today. During the Spring HON seminar, “Dimensions of Sustainability,” taught by Dr. David Krantz, we will investigate the physical and ecological changes impacting global systems as affected by human activities, population growth, and resource utilization.

Through an interdisciplinary lens, the course will study sustainability with perspectives from economics, policy, behavioral psychology, communications, as well as the sciences. Students will be introduced to topics by expert guest speakers and will work in small groups to research and present topics ranging from biodiversity to economic models for a carbon tax. By the end of the semester, students will have the opportunity to bring their work full circle and propose sustainable actions at UToledo.


HON 4960-007
| Food and Eating

Glenn Sheldon
CRN 22396 | MW  2:30 pm - 3:50 pm | 3 credit hours | Memorial Field House 2820

Representation of food and eating shapes our lives and showcases so much of our ethnic and regional roots. The Spring HON seminar, “Food and Eating,” taught by Dr. Glenn Sheldon, will explore the symbolic power of food to reflect cultural or social affinities – across class, race, and gender – in moments of change or transformation.

Students will address and explore how we obtain, share, select, prepare, and eat our food as well as how we allocate meaning to these aspects. Class content will draw from a variety of diverse disciplines as the act of eating intersects physiological, psychological, ecological, economic, political, social, and cultural processes. Students will be able to investigate eating and cooking as vehicles for constructing, defending, and transgressing social and cultural borders as well as focus on themes that emerge from these investigations.

Last Updated: 11/1/19