Honors 291

Interdisciplinary Sophomore Honors Seminars (HON 291) are specially created inquiry-based courses that promote critical thinking and the humanistic perspective associated with liberal arts education.  Courses address particular issues or problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, and demonstrate various theoretical and methodological approaches.  Emphasis on ethics, social policy, and/or civic participation is particularly welcome. Topics for seminars should be amenable to an interdisciplinary approach, so the instructor should establish early in the semester a common base of knowledge which can be used as a foundation for class participation and individual assignments.

Course structure

  • Enrollment in HON 291 is limited to Honors Program students and is typically limited to 15.
  • HON 291 should be designed to meet General Education Diversification requirements (see https://manoa.hawaii.edu/gened/req/div/) and may be designated as Writing Intensive.
  • HON 291 typically meets twice a week for one hour and 45 minutes, though other formats are possible.

Proposal Format

Please explain the topic in sufficient detail for Honors to gauge its appeal to students from a variety of majors. If available, a full syllabus would be helpful, but please at least provide the following:

  • course description
  • statement of course goals and/or expected learning outcomes
  • weekly outline of course topics
  • descriptive list of assignments
  • explanation of the course grading system
  • reading list

In order to obtain GEC approval for the WI designation, please also show that written assignments constitute at least 40% of the final grade, how the course uses writing to promote learning of materials, and what interaction on writing there will be between the instructor and students (see https://manoa.hawaii.edu/gened/req/focus/).  The Honors Program will submit your proposal to the General Education Committee.


For instructors the reward is a chance to teach something new and exciting to some of the best of Manoa’s undergraduates in small classes akin to graduate seminars.  Compensation is provided to departments for release time, and may include lectureships at 0.25 FTE, o.5 FTE GA, or equivalent monies whichever is preferred.