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Core Curriculum

Honors studies begin with a set of integrated and interdisciplinary Honors Seminars. In these small interactive seminars, Honors Scholars join a centuries-old conversation about how we make sense of our human condition and what ideas, principles and practices best equip us to live well. Honors Scholars analyze literary and artistic creations, mine historical accounts, weigh philosophical arguments and political debates and examine scientific discoveries and technological innovations — all with an eye toward deepening our understanding of our world and ourselves.

In short, the Honors seminars aspire to help scholars cultivate the habits of mind and attention that distinguish a well-rounded, well-educated human being. Because of this, each Honors Seminar counts toward “block course” requirements that all University of Tulsa students must fulfill.

The Honors Portfolio

The Honors Portfolio invites students to reflect upon how their studies influence their own development. At the end of each semester, Scholars reflect on their ideas, work and newly discovered questions. Scholars’ reflection advances in three parts:

  • With an annotated bibliography, Scholars index the ideas they have engaged over the semester
  • Then, Scholars select a writing sample or some other artifact that represents their most meaningful work of the semester
  • Finally, Scholars craft a succinct narrative where they distill the questions that have been animating their curiosity and articulate how they have been shaped by the semester’s studies

Honors professors read these portfolio entries so they may help Scholars identify potential research questions, burgeoning interests and emerging themes.

The Honors Plan

After completing the Honors Core Curriculum, Honors Scholars review their Honors Portfolio with two professors (one from the Scholar’s home major and one in a different discipline). Together, they design an Honors Plan — a course of action that will complement the Scholar’s developing area of expertise.

With the guidance of an Honors Mentor, Scholars pursue their Honors Plan and continue building their Honors Portfolio.

Honors Scholars who wish to enrich their studies as an upperclassman with independent work must file their Honors Plan with the Honors Program Office by Oct. 1 of their fifth semester at TU.

To remain eligible for the program and scholarship, students should be making good progress through the Honors curriculum. Specifically, Honors Scholars must:

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA in the first year, and a 3.25 cumulative GPA thereafter;
  • Be enrolled in an Honors seminar or have an approved Honors Plan on file with the Honors Program office; and
  • Post their threefold reflection to their Honors Portfolio each semester.