The Honors Program core curriculum represents the College's vision of what a liberal arts education should be. Over the several semesters of their attendance at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Honors Program students will be invited to enroll in a series of Honors courses. These courses begin with special sections of freshman English and are followed by advanced courses on particular topics in a variety of disciplines. These courses are more rigorous versions of their corresponding core curriculum classes. These courses are typically interdisciplinary in nature and thus, are sometimes team taught by our faculty.
The Honors Program encompasses the four years of undergraduate study during which students are expected to complete a minimum of six Honors courses. While attending St. Thomas Aquinas College, students must earn an overall GPA of 3.2 to maintain Honors Program status. Students are strongly encouraged to perform research in their academic discipline and complete a thesis project at the conclusion of their academic careers.
Class Spotlight: BIO 102H: Nutritional Biology
Students enrolled in this course will be introduced to basic concepts in the field of Nutrition and Food Science. Students may find a course like Nutritional Biology helpful in understanding the dangers of obesity and malnourishment, as well as why each nutrient listed on a Nutrient Fact Label is important in human health. Topics that will be covered include the fundamentals of nutrition, disease prevention, macromolecules and digestion, how to cook, food science and more.
The following is a sample of Honors courses taught previously at St. Thomas Aquinas College:
ART 375H: Aesthetic Development Through Design
A course designed for honors students that explores the media, techniques and expressive potential of two dimensional design. Weekly projects demonstrate an understanding of these and a method of critical evaluation. More advanced projects – informed by a knowledge of chosen trends in modern or contemporary art - reflect personal aesthetic interests.
BUSA 376H/ECON 376H: Ethical Issues in the World Economy
Ethical implications of the global economy. The philosophical basis for contemporary ethical theories and the application of ethical theories to moral decisions made in world economics. Ethical analysis of specific practices and cases in international business and industry and related governmental policies.
CA 175H: Understanding Human Communication
This is a practical introduction to the structure and process of human communication. It is an exploration of the art of presentation, the skill of listening, the nature of language, the value of nonverbal communication, the impact of the communication on others in helping to shape who we are, the dynamics of group interaction, and the ways in which communication influences behavior in a diverse society.
CA 375H: Freud on Broadway
Students will examine the underlying themes and values, literary and psycho-social, in the dramatic discourse of five major American playwrights: Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Lillian Hellman and John Steinbeck. Consideration is given to the basic concepts of Freudian psychoanalytic theory as applied to significant characters in the selected play.
CA 376H International Communications
Students study the influence of Western Culture and technology on the welfare of developing nations. The course work includes an investigation into the clash of ideologies between East and West and an examination of issues determining the viability of a global theory of communications.
ECON 100H: The History of Globalization: An Economic Perspective
This course will examine the evolution of today’s global economy from the pre-industrial period to present. How did technology, people, goods and capital begin the flow across national borders? How does this affect national economic development? The focus of the course will be on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to understand how the integration of the world economy has evolved, and we will touch on the period ofdisintegration during the inter-war period of the First and Second World Wars.
ENG 375H: Themes in Western Culture
Through the close reading and written analysis of several works of European literature, the course will examine the central question of what it means to be human in Western culture and thought.
ENG 376H: Italian Literature in Translation
Seven hundred years ago, two guys living in Florence, Italy, wrote two of the most popular books of all time: Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy and Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron. These works have continued to influence us even today. This course is designed for those who would like to explore these two great works of Italian literature and of Western literature in general.
ENG 377H: America in Crisis-The Thirties
The course examines representative historical and literary works of and about the Great Depression years in America and the importance of the decade 1929-1939 in American History. Students will evaluate how the major literary works of this decade were a response to certain historical and political events.
HIST 315H: American Women's History
It is easy to fathom the “progress” of women throughout United States history, when women have made great strides in political freedom, career choices and sexual independence. Subsequently, American women have realized economic opportunities, obtained new political rights, and exercised greater control of their bodies. While this course will explore the means by which women’s rights and sphere of activity have been transformed since colonial times, we will also scrutinize widely-held presumptions of women’s progress. Indeed, with “progress” and the enlargement of women’s rights and independence also came conflict and controversy. The course will explore the conflicts imbedded in the suffrage and reform movements, friction between women of different classes and generations, and the difficulties that have accompanied women's attempts to balance work and home life.
RELS/PHIL 300H: Politics/Religion & Political Philosophy
"Separation of Church and State" is one of the sacred cows of liberal democracy; almost all liberal political philosophers from the Protestant Reformation to the present have argued that it is necessary to protect religion from the state-and vice versa. However, this rhetoric of "religion and politics" has come under fire in recent years, on the grounds that much of it looks more like propaganda than rigorous philosophy. In this course, we will look at the history of political philosophy and 1st amendment jurisprudence on this question-considering both merits and problems-and then will look at a contemporary theorist who suggests an alternate way of thinking about power in a liberal democracy.
SCI 376H: Science, Technology and Cultural Development
Great ideas from the beginning of science and invention to the cutting edge of contemporary theoretical thought in biology, chemistry and physics. Past and present scientific discoveries and the mutual interaction of scientific and cultural evolutions.
SOC 300H: Community & Identity
What is community and how do we define it? Do we describe our communities by saying what they are or what they are not? What kind of communities do we create and live in today and who we are within and outside of them? Do our identities shift as we move in and out of various communities in our everyday routines? What 'interaction membranes' define the actual and virtual boundaries of our communities? How are our identities formed by the communities in which we are reared? How do we match those identities to or separate them from the communities in which we live as adults? These are the organizing questions of this course. Overall, we will approach them from the sociological perspective that human character is formed by the social forces around us as much as if not more than by individuals in our lives.