HONORS CURRICULUM

Two students looking at a laptop

Villanova’s Honors Program offers students a distinct and intellectually rigorous academic experience, the hallmark of which is the seminar learning model. All Honors courses are taught as small seminars—normally limited to 16 students—that focus on student initiative in discussion, research and presentations. The program also provides a platform for outstanding faculty to bring forth innovative pedagogy and inquiry across disciplines and colleges. 

SEMINAR APPROACH

The seminar structure provides an ideal environment for the development of effective communication and critical thinking skills, fostering independent thinking, clarity, focus and sound critical judgment. 

  

INTERDISCIPLINARY

Students can tether their interests to Honors' interdisciplinary model and branch out into global concerns, applying the knowledge they have gained to propose and implement systems and solutions that make a difference locally, regionally and on the world stage. 

MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE

Grounded in honesty and mutual respect, intellectual dialogue occurs in classrooms, in residence halls and beyond, allowing students and instructors alike to explore the connections between the academic world and our contemporary experience.

  

GLOBAL

Honors students are encouraged to continue their Villanova education and expand their worldview through study abroad experiences. Up to six Honors credits may be taken through study abroad and scholarships are available.

  

THE HONORS EXPERIENCE BY COLLEGE

While Honors students share classes with like-minded students from across disciplines, they also take a distinct academic path through one of Villanova's four undergraduate colleges. Learn more about the college-specific Honors experience.

  

COURSES OFFERED

Honors programming includes cohort classes that offer an integrated sequence of themed courses, core- and upper-level seminars, independent research and a capstone senior experience. Full course offerings and descriptions can be found through the link below. 

Introductory Seminars

These courses fulfill specific Core requirements in the Humanities (History, English, Philosophy, Theology), Social Sciences (Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Geography), Mathematics, the Fine Arts, the Augustine and Culture Program (ACS), Ethics and Business. 

Upper-Division Electives

The program also offers a variety of upper-division electives, which may be used to fulfill free-elective requirements or elective requirements in some majors. In addition to these regularly scheduled seminars, students are encouraged to design more specialized independent study courses in which they can work individually with a faculty mentor.

 

NOTE: Please refer to MyNOVA listings for most accurate course information. Schedulr is not always an accurate source of information.

  

SENIOR THESIS

The Honors Senior Thesis represents the result of a substantial research project chosen by the student and is designed to provide a challenging, rewarding educational experience for the student. As a general rule, the thesis should be significantly more substantive than an in-course paper, but something less than a master's thesis. The Senior Thesis should be the result of an ongoing relationship between student, tutor and reader. The thesis project itself should entail a number of discrete tasks.

  • The Senior Thesis should be original in its conception and analysis. Originality, however, need not mean the discovery of new knowledge, but can be reflected in the questions posed, the synthesis formed, or the organization and presentation of data. 
  • Theses should be the result of serious research, original thinking, and a clear understanding of the issues surrounding a topic. Since in-depth, comprehensive studies are usually preferable to broad surveys, topics should be feasible in terms of the students’ competencies and the time available.
  • Students should possess some background knowledge and any essential methodological skills prior to embarking on the thesis. The final paper should place the specific topic in a broader scholarly context by exhibiting familiarity with other literature on the subject. 
  • Students involved in projects involving empirical research should develop a testable hypothesis, design and conduct a study to test it, and analyze the results in an appropriate manner.
  • Length should be determined by what is appropriate for the particular subject.