Honors Courses offer opportunities for lively interaction and independent thinking to students in the Honors Program as well as to other qualified and motivated students. The workload is not necessarily more, but it is different. See the course descriptions below for more details. All of these classes are limited to 12 or 15 students, depending on the course.  Indicate your interest in taking one or at most two of these courses on the Academic Interest Form or by contacting Dr. Lois Daly at daly@siena.edu. If you want to take one of them in the future, then choose other courses to take in the fall.

Honors ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics

In Honors ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics, students learn about the dynamics of markets, including supply and demand, elasticity, and market structure. In addition, students in the Honors class spend significant time thinking about market failures and what policies might be appropriate in addressing them. Poverty, externalities, public goods, market concentration, and imperfect information are all discussed at length. In addition to the textbook, students are required to read Corporate Crime and Violence as well as numerous newspaper and journal articles. Participation in class discussions is emphasized.  Entering Honors students in Business will be enrolled in this class unless they already have credit for microeconomics. This course fulfills the core disciplinary requirement in social science.

ENGL 190: HNRS Great Books

ENGL 190: HNRS Great Books is a student-centered course, designed for those who seek an intellectually exciting, collaborative learning experience. Instruction is conducted in seminar format, with students encouraged to take an active role in determining the direction of the class. Students will meet weekly to discuss classic literary works of the Western tradition as well as contemporary multicultural works. Through close reading, careful analysis, and lively discussion, we will draw connections among these works from different times and cultures. Great Books includes a focus on writing a sophisticated literary analysis paper. This course fulfills the core disciplinary requirement in English; it counts toward the college Honors requirements and also toward the English Honors Certificate. Entering Honors students majoring in English will be enrolled in this course.

HIST 190: HNRS Contemporary World History

HIST 190: HNRS Contemporary World History is the honors level of the core requirement in History.  The course is student centered featuring discussion, analysis of pertinent primary sources, and research. There are no exams but it does require a research project as well as several other writing exercises including primary document analyses and response papers. Generally, the course is taken by first and second year students. The course counts toward the college honors requirements and also to the History Honors Certificate. Entering Honors students majoring in History will be enrolled in this class.

PHIL 103: HNRS Reason and Argument

In a world filled with conflicting claims, how should we decide what to believe? This course will equip students to answer this question by familiarizing them with the basics of critical thinking: the systematic formulation and evaluation of beliefs through rational standards. We begin with an introductory unit on the structure, analysis and standards of arguments. We then proceed to a unit on deductive reasoning, in which we study the uses and applications of symbolic logic. In our third unit, we study a variety of inductive and abductive forms of reasoning, including analogical reasoning, enumerative induction, and probabilistic reasoning, as well as the standards used to judge scientific theories and explanations. In our final unit, we study common fallacies, or reasoning errors, to which we as human beings are prone, and the biases in our psychology that make those fallacies common. We will study these facets of critical thinking in a variety of contexts and subjects, including morality, politics, law, science, media, and various branches of philosophy.

RELG 141: HNRS Introduction to Religious Thought

RELG141 Introduction to Religious Thought introduces students to the beliefs and teachings of the three major religious traditions that have shaped western civilization: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Using primary texts, the course will explore how each tradition understands God, the meaning of human existence, and how persons of faith interact with each other and with the natural world. Included will be such topics as the nature of God, divine providence (does God control events?), goodness and evil in human beings, the roles and status of men and women, and the religions’ stance on war and peace, social justice, and environmental responsibility.

The Honors First Year Seminars

The Honors First Year Seminars are reserved for incoming Honors Fellows.

This year there are three choices: (1) Gender and Sexuality, (2) The Idea of War, and (3) Popular Culture and the Meaning of Life. All Honors Fellows will be enrolled in one of these. Indicate your preference on the Academic Interest Form. In some cases the schedule for required courses in your major may determine which seminar you will take.