Honors Curriculum & Course Descriptions

The Batten Honors College prepares academically advanced and socially engaged students to lead society’s professions and institutions with innovative approaches and ethical values that steward an environment threatened by global degradation and climate change.

Grounded in the three pillars of Environmental Stewardship, Global Citizenship, and Leadership, the Batten Honors College curriculum builds skills in critical thinking, research, collaboration, and communication. Successful students demonstrate independent thinking, social responsibility, and self-discovery while challenging students to view the world from a variety of perspectives grounded in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Student experiences in the Honors curriculum will include seminar-style courses, faculty mentored research, and a global residency experience. Regardless of  a student’s major, they will gain a broader perspective on the connection between themselves, their academic discipline, the environment, and the world.

Each year, students from the HON 480: Senior Seminar course present their research and compete for The Louis and Prudence Ryan Prize for Excellence in Research. Graduates from the Batten Honors College receive a diploma from the Batten Honors College in recognition of their achievement.

The program is built as a four-year living and learning community. Students are encouraged to fully embrace the advantages and opportunities of the program.

Course Number and Title

Semester Hours

HON 110: Contemporary Environmental Issues
An interdisciplinary course that explores scientific, ethical, economic, societal, and political aspects of contemporary issues with global environmental impact. Prerequisite: Batten Honors College. Offered each fall. Fulfills WES 100 General Education Requirement.


HON 210: Seminar in Global Citizenship
Students explore how individual values shape approaches to living and leading in a global society. Students will examine leaders and values in context to issues of environmental stewardship, social justice, inclusivity, and leadership. Offered each Spring.


HON 310: Seminar in Leadership
Students explore values in leadership through literature, discussion, case studies, guest speakers, and personal exploration. Offered every semester.


HON 480: Senior Seminar
An integrative course in which students reflect upon their whole college experience; examine the nature, importance, and influence of their liberal arts education; and refine their liberal arts skills as they design, execute and present a capstone project. Prerequisite: Batten Honors College, senior status. Offered every semester.


Two Honors Electives at 300/400 Level
Honors students will take two elective courses from any non-honors course for honors credit. Special attention is paid to creating deliberate connections between the course content and the mission of the Batten Honors College to equip the student with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an ethical, thoughtful, and influential global citizen who understands the interdependence of society, culture, and the environment. Honors courses allow the student an opportunity to study content in more depth by utilizing a higher level of research and critical thinking skills. Students work with faculty to create proposal projects which will allow them to receive honors credit for the course. Typically, honors work involves independent scholarly research or creative activity that aligns with the mission of the honors college while addressing the content of the traditional course. Students can find honors courses in WebAdvisor.


Global Residency Requirement
In order to better understand the interconnected nature of human existence and its impact on the globe, all honors students are required to complete a global residency requirement. In consultation with the Dean of the Batten Honors College, Director of Global Engagement, and major advisor, students develop a plan that aligns with their academic, professional, and personal goals. Students will create their plans during the HON 210 course.
Check out some recent student experiences!


Immersive Educational Experience Requirement
One extended, immersive educational experience (internship, study abroad, undergraduate research and/or extended service learning) is required. These can be completed during the summer or a semester, but must be at least four weeks long if full-time or twelve weeks if part-time. To receive credit toward the BHC graduation requirement, each experience must be documented with an entry in the student’s electronic portfolio and submission of a form.


Total Credit Hours