There are several types of Honors courses offered at MSU, including Honors sections of course courses, courses via contract, and courses unique to the Honors program. Each of these are explained below. Honors courses are capped at 20 students per section. Honors Program students are expected to complete at least one Honors course for each semester on scholarship in the program. Taking two or more Honors courses in one semester is common, and students who do so may be exempt from taking Honors courses in later semesters. All Honors courses count toward a student’s degree plan except for MWSU 4433. In certain instances this course may be counted toward a student’s field of study depending on the degree plan.

MWSU 2003. Creating Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Thinking: This course is an introduction to the epistemological and methodological approaches used in the accumulation of knowledge. It is an interdisciplinary study of research methods, knowledge, and the search for truth in our world. We will examine the generation of knowledge in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities as well as how it is expressed in the visual and performing arts and applied in the business and education professions. The format for the course will include lectures, discussions, and active exercises and requires student participation. Throughout the course you will complete various research exercises as you explore interdisciplinary research. Your final product will be the creation of an electronic learning portfolio that documents the knowledge gained during this semester’s journey into research.

Core Curriculum Courses: Honors sections of core curriculum courses have been the mainstay of the MSU Honors Program since it began in 1964. They are also common in honors programs around the country. Here is a description of this type of course from the National Collegiate Honors Council.

This option is especially popular in institutions with fairly prescribed general education curricula, and hence several multi-sectioned courses (e.g., first year writing courses, introductory biology sections, beginning calculus). For obvious reasons, this is a more common option at larger schools than at small colleges. Honors sections usually cover most of the same material as the courses for which they substitute, but they may involve different and/or extra reading or writing assignments, more difficult material, higher or different expectations (e.g., lively class discussions led by students) smaller sections, etc.

With careful scheduling, Redwine students can include four of these core courses as part of the eight required.

Contract Honors courses (Upper Division): To supplement honors education at MSU we also utilize contract courses in a student’s major, which enable a regular upper division courses to be transformed into an Honors courses. The student and instructor would meet outside of regular class time for an enhanced educational experience. Honors Contract courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their major coursework by exploring their discipline more deeply. This exploration will also enhance a student’s marketability in their chosen field of study by providing additional preparation in their major. Students’ must be in good standing when contracting an Honors course in their major or minor field of study.

MWSU 4433: Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar: The interdisciplinary Honors Seminar or MWSU 4433 provides an opportunity to explore a topic that might not fit nicely into an existing discipline. These courses examine subjects or combinations of subjects that are drawn from two or more academic disciplines. There are no academic prerequisites for these courses. At least one of these seminars will be offered each semester. The topics will vary from semester to semester.

Some topics recently offered include:


The Science and Literature of Sherlock Holmes


Media and the 2020 Presidential Election