The Curriculum

The Honors Core Curriculum

Honors studies begin with a set of integrated and interdisciplinary Honors Seminars:

  • Standards of Antiquity
  • Foundational Traditions
  • The Scientific Enterprise
  • Modernity and Its Legacies

In these small interactive seminars, Honors Scholars join a centuries-old conversation about how we make sense of our human condition, and what ideas, principles and practices best equip us to live well. Honors Scholars analyze literary and artistic creations, mine historical accounts, weigh philosophical arguments and political debates, and examine scientific discoveries and technological innovations — all with an eye toward deepening our understanding about ourselves and the world in which we live.

The Honors Program reflects and reinforces the educational values and course requirements of the Tulsa Curriculum. Scholars are encouraged to think hard about difficult ideas, to ask unsettling questions, to defend what they say with good reasons, and to write with clarity, confidence, and grace. In short, the Honors seminars aspire to help scholars cultivate the habits of mind and attention that distinguish a well-rounded, well-educated human being. Because of this, each Honors Seminar counts toward "block course" requirements that all University of Tulsa students must fulfill.

The Honors Portfolio

The Honors Portfolio invites Honors Scholars to reflect upon how their studies influence their own development. At the end of each semester, Scholars reflect upon the ideas they have been engaging, the work they have been doing, the questions they have answered and, most importantly, the new set of questions they have discovered.
Scholars' reflection advances in three parts:

  • With an annotated bibliography, Scholars index the ideas they have engaged over the semester.
  • Then, Scholars select a writing sample or some other artifact that represents their most meaningful work of the semester.
  • Finally, Scholars craft a succinct narrative where they distill the questions that have been animating their curiosity and articulate how they have been shaped by the semester’s studies. 

Honors professors read Honors Scholars' portfolio entries so that they may help Scholars identify potential research questions, recognize Scholars' burgeoning interests, and articulate emerging themes across Scholars' interests.

The Honors Plan

After completing the Honors Core Curriculum, Honors Scholars review their Honors Portfolio with two TU professors (one from the Scholar's home major and one in a different discipline).  Together, the Scholar and the professors design an Honors Plan — a course of action that will complement the Scholar's developing area of expertise with well-chosen interdisciplinary inquiries.  
Honors Scholars tailor their Honors Plan to suit their developing interests and to serve their particular aspirations.  With the guidance of an Honors Mentor, Scholars pursue their Honors Plan and continue building their Honors Portfolio.

Honors Scholars who wish to enrich their studies as an upperclassman with independent work must file their Honors Plan with the Honors Program Office by October 1 of their fifth semester at TU.

To remain eligible for the Honors Program and the Honors Scholarship, Honors Scholars should be making good progress through the Honors curriculum. Specifically, Honors Scholars must:

  • maintain a 3.0 grade point average in the first year, and a 3.25 cumulative grade point average thereafter;
  • be enrolled in an Honors seminar, or having completed the Honors curriculum, have an approved Honors Plan on file with the Honors Program office; and
  • post their threefold reflection to their Honors Portfolio each semester.