Graduating with University Honors is one of the highest honors granted by Bowling Green State University and it is the expectation that every Honors student enrolled in the College will graduate with University Honors. To graduate with University Honors, students must perform well in a range of Honors and non-Honors courses and demonstrate their attainment of the four learning outcomes essential to the Honors College:
(1) the ability to think critically,
(2 and 3) the ability to convey ideas clearly and persuasively both orally and in writing, and
(4) the ability to integrate ideas across disciplines.
A significant part of the Honors College curriculum is the Honors Project experience that all students who aspire to graduate with University Honors must conceive and execute. The Honors Project is a self-designed, capstone experience intended to showcase the breadth and depth of a student’s learning within a fairly narrowly-defined area of interdisciplinary study. The Honors Project can be a “traditional” thesis, but it also can take on a number of other, different forms that suit an individual student’s interests, areas of expertise, and dominant learning style(s). Examples include senior recitals in music, juried arts shows, screen-/stage plays, book manuscripts, and service learning projects.
The oral defense component of the Honors Project Course: HNRS 4990 is required for all Honors students who joined the Honors College starting Fall 2015 and after.
Honors Project Requirements
Honors Projects only have three requirements:
1. Original Scholarship
Original scholarship means the student needs to produce something that is new for their field. Given the wide range of majors and scholarly fields across the campus, it is hard to define this specifically. It is not the summary and collation of existing knowledge in novel ways, as might be appropriate for a paper assigned in a class. Original scholarship requires that the student develop, synthesize, and/or create ideas in new and different ways and allows the students to apply what they have learned across a number of different courses to a specific idea. Original scholarship should involve inquiry-based learning and, depending on the field, may involve experimental or library research. Depending on the field, “research” and “creative work” may be understood to be synonymous.
2. Interdisciplinary Connections
An Honors Project may focus on any topic of the student’s choosing. Each project must, however, be interdisciplinary; that is, it must make use of the bodies of knowledge and methodologies of two different fields (One of these is typically the student’s major field, though it need not be.). Projects have been produced by students in almost every department of the University.
3. Justification of the Theory
This part of the project simply explains why students have chosen certain methods or creative endeavors for their projects. In some fields (i.e., philosophy, chemistry, literature), this is typically inherent in the project itself and doesn’t need to be explicitly addressed. In other fields (i.e., music and arts), this part of the project provides an explanation of why certain materials, musical styles, and presentations are used. For example, it provides an explanation of why an artist chose to present their work in ceramics as opposed to water colors. In addition, it helps explain the purpose and meaning behind the materials and images selected for presentation.
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The Mayeux Awards are given each year to one or more students who have completed outstanding Honors Projects. The money for the prizes comes from an endowment created in honor of Patricia Mayeux, long-time employee and friend of the University. In recent years, $750 has been divided evenly among five winners. Mayeux Award winners are chosen by a committee of Honors faculty, chaired by the Honors Director. To be eligible for a Mayeux Award, a student must submit a Mayeux award application, a final copy of the completed project to ScholarWorks, and a completed FORM 2 by your faculty advisors showing that the student earned a final grade of an “A”, to the Honors College office in advance of Senior Recognition. They must also present their project at a Regional, National, or formal departmental presentation/conference. Their completed project is due the Monday of finals week.