Mar 30, 2023  
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog 
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Honors College

The Honors College

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The University of Maine offers one of the nation’s oldest continuing programs for honors-level students. Open to students in all colleges and majors, The Honors College provides a unique opportunity for motivated students to investigate diverse academic areas of the University, to be challenged in a supportive intellectual environment, and to engage fellow students and enthusiastic, distinguished faculty in thoughtful, provocative discussion. Students in The Honors College complete an academic major in one of the University’s five academic colleges while completing most of their general education program and a thesis in The Honors College. The benefits and rewards are substantial, and the program is flexible enough to be tailored to each student’s needs and interests.

Students and faculty involved in The Honors College represent all of the five academic colleges and most of the departments that comprise the University. As a community of five hundred students within the University of Maine, the Honors College offers small, interdisciplinary classes, where students and faculty members interact closely, sharing ideas and insights developed through critical exploration of primary sources.

The College is based on the belief that genuine excellence in college-level studies means substantial competence in areas outside a major field of specialization as well as excellence within it. An emphasis on learning that both broadens and deepens has been the foundation for the building of courses in The Honors College. They expand students’ perspectives by exploring areas of thought not closely related to their major fields and to allow them to work in their majors with greater intensity than would be possible within a conventional course pattern. Honors study begins with interdisciplinary broadness and concludes with unparalleled depth in the major field.
First- and second-year Honors preceptorials are limited to twelve students. Together with a faculty preceptor they study the origins and development of civilization and culture. Each year the College offers ten diverse third-year Honors tutorials (HON 310), each of which brings together eight students, a member of the faculty, and a topic that engages them in a focused academic inquiry. The curriculum culminates with a yearlong senior thesis (HON 498/499) in which each Honors student, working closely with a faculty advisor, embarks on a course of independent scholarship, developing and completing a research or creative project.

Administrative Structure
The Honors College is university-wide and is administered by a director who reports to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. The policy-advising body for the College is the Honors Council that includes faculty, staff, and students. Honors Secretaries are faculty members designated by their college to represent the college on the Honors Council and to work with students, faculty, and the administration of the college on matters concerning The Honors College. A Student Advisory Board consisting of Honors College students representing various years and disciplines also advises the director.

Entering first-year students are invited to join The Honors College on the basis of their admission records. To be eligible, students should have a strong academic record, score well on the SAT (ACT), and show curiosity, initiative, and intellectual flexibility in academic work. Students may also enter the College by applying to the director. Second-semester first-year students and first-semester second-year students are invited into the College through faculty recommendations. Transfer students wishing to join The Honors College should consult with the director.

The level of honors awarded - no Honors, Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors - depends on the quality of the senior thesis or project and the performance on the senior oral examination. Honors designations are recommended by the student’s thesis committee to the Honors College director. The designation appears on both the student’s degree and on the transcript; the thesis title also appears on the transcript.

College and University Requirements
Successful completion of HON 111, HON 112, HON 211, HON 212, and a Honors tutorial satisfies all of the Undergraduate General Education Human Values and Social Context and Ethics requirements. In addition, successful completion of HON 111 and HON 112 with a grade of C or better in each satisfies the University’s basic composition requirement (ENG 101), and a number of departments accept the honors thesis as a capstone experience. For specific information, contact the appropriate college honors secretary or department chair.

For Further Information
Questions about The Honors College should be addressed to Professor Charlie Slavin, Director, The University of Maine Honors College, 5716 Colvin Hall, Orono ME 04469-5716. The phone number is (207) 581-3263 and information can also be requested at The College maintains a web site at


The Honors College requires its students to complete the four core courses HON 111, HON 112, HON 211, and HON 212; one HON 309 or HON 310 tutorial; and the senior thesis (HON 498 and HON 499). To graduate in Honors, students must attain a minimum 3.3 grade point average in all their course work.

Regularly Offered Courses

Courses offered by the College on a regular basis include:

  • HON 111 - Civilizations: Past, Present and Future I Credits: 4
  • HON 112 - Civilizations: Past, Present and Future II Credits: 4
  • HON 151 - Honors First-year Summer Seminar Credits: 3
  • HON 211 - Civilizations: Past, Present and Future III Credits: 4
  • HON 212 - Civilizations: Past, Present and Future IV Credits: 4
  • HON 309 - The Honors Read Tutorial Credits: 3
  • HON 310 - Honors Tutorial Credits: 3
  • HON 391 - Introduction to Thesis Research Credits: 1
  • Individual Basis

    On an individual basis, students also enroll in:

  • HON 190 - Honors Summer Readings: Basic Credits: 1
  • HON 290 - Honors Summer Readings: Intermediate Credits: 1
  • HON 396 - Honors Independent Study Credits: 1-3
  • HON 397 - Honors Specialized Study Credits: 1-3
  • HON 398 - Honors Independent Research Credits: 1-3
  • HON 498 - Honors Directed Study Credits: 3
  • HON 499 - Honors Thesis Credits: 3
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