Your Four-Year Honors Experience
Your four years in the St. Edward’s Honors program will be an adventure. As an Honors student, your first few years will include small seminar discussions and team-taught courses with faculty from different disciplines. In these courses, you'll consider challenging and engaging topics from varied perspectives. Examples of courses include The Graphic Novel; Prophets, Saints & Heroes; and Art/Artist/Society.
Students also work closely with supportive mentors — St. Edward’s University's highly accomplished professors — and dialogue and share interests with fellow Honors students. What you explore inside and outside the classroom gives you a valuable skill set, introduces you to new ideas, and influences your future personal and professional paths.
During your final year in the program, you engage in independent and original research through your Honors senior thesis. Past projects include creative work such as graphic novels, plays, and fashion designs, as well as varied academic research on Gothic architecture and gentrification and art in Harlem and East Austin. Your final project is intended to reflect intensive learning over the previous four years; it will rely on your individual passions and all of your studies. For some students, the formal research and preparation process can begin during the third year of study.
St. Edward’s University requires honors students to fulfill 24 credit hours of coursework through the Honors Program. Over the course of four years, we provide students with opportunities to study with talented faculty in intimate seminar settings, engage in creative and dynamic interdisciplinary experiences, and undertake rigorous research with the support of faculty mentors within their major.
The First-Year Experience
The first year in the Honors Program is characterized by a supportive and engaging learning community. Students are enrolled in two community-based seminars, one in the fall and one in the spring, that provide opportunities to work closely with talented faculty and learn in intimate environments where dynamic conversations flourish. All first-year Honors students reside in a Living-Learning Community, which extends the classroom conversation into the residence hall, while establishing lifelong friendships. Students also explore the meaning and significance of a community and liberal arts education in the fall of their first year though a one-hour seminar (7 credit hours).
The four community-based seminars for the upcoming academic year include:
- Health and Disease in the Community
- Strategic Community
- Religion, Diversity & Civic Life
- Writing the American Dream
(Students will select two of the four.)
All of these courses fulfill a university General Education requirement. Please see Current Students for equivalencies.
The one-hour Honors seminar will be:
- Introduction to the Liberal Arts (Fall)
The Second- and Third-Year Experience
The second and third years are designed to foster intellectual independence and curiosity. Three courses and two seminars are split between four semesters. They include two team-taught, interdisciplinary courses that provide innovative learning opportunities to think across disciplines; two one-hour Curiosity Seminars, where students think carefully about a focused and perhaps unexpected topic selected by the professor; and a Contracted Course in the Major, where students develop a mentoring relationship with faculty in their majors as well as develop the skills required for independent research (11 credit hours).
The team-taught courses for the next academic year include:
- The Graphic Novel: The Interplay of Image and Text
- Prophets, Saints and Heroes
Slow(ness), or the Paradox of Time
(Students will select two.)
All of these courses fulfill a university General Education requirement. Please see Current Students page for equivalencies.
One-hour Honors curiosity seminars include:
- Just a Game?
- The Science of Sci-Fi Movies
- Queer Art & Activism
- Austin as Text
Course in the discipline includes:
- Contracted Course in the Major
The Fourth-Year Experience
The fourth year focuses on independent research and an Honors senior thesis. Students prepare for their senior thesis in the fall with a semester-long research preparation course or independent research supervised by a research mentor within their major. Students spend the spring completing their project, submitting their work to the University community at the Honors Symposium and to the faculty mentor as their senior thesis.
Students may also consider beginning their year-long research project in the spring of their junior year. This allows students to work on their project during the summer before the fourth year and apply for financial support for their research through the Office of Fellowships. These students present their research at the Honors Symposium in the fall.
- Honors Thesis Preparation (HONS 4370)
- Honors Senior Thesis (HONS 4399)