Rambler Experience: Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program

Rambler Experience: Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program

Do you enjoy appreciating different works of art that deal with bigger themes of divine right/absolutism, gender relations, or transgression of traditional social norms? Do you have fun reading and learning from classic epics like Homer’s Iliad/Odyssey or Virgil’s Aeneid? Or, do you enjoy watching operas like Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz or watching plays like The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht? 

If so, Loyola’s Interdisciplinary Honors Program might be for you! With a rigorous but enjoyable course load, the honors curriculum encourages students to think critically and analytically on various texts, plays/operas, and pieces of art. Like Loyola’s core curriculum, the honors curriculum encourages students to gain a holistic approach on a variety different topics. Each semester offers a different selection of seminar style courses letting professors have freedom with the course.

Here’s the breakdown (with some helpful tips built in): 

  1. Freshman Year: All honors students who decide to live on campus live in Campion Hall with other honors program students. For your first year you take a year-long class on Western Traditions: Antiquity to Middle Ages and Middle Ages to Modernity, with both a lecture portion (with all of your honors peers in auditorium style lecture) and a discussion portion (which is a smaller group of 20 students setting). Each member of the honors faculty helps discuss a book/section of their speciality. For example, one professor from the political science department may talk about Thucydides and The History of the Peloponnesian War while another professor from the philosophy department might discuss on The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
  2. Sophomore-Senior Year: After taking the first year seminar style class, you take courses in a variety of disciplines: The US Experience, Area Studies (Asia, Middle East, Europe, Latin America), Science & Society, and a Moral Capstone. Unlike the first year seminar, the topics in each of these smaller seminars can vary widely each semester. For example, I am taking a course in Southeast Asian Culture, Ethnography, Film, and Literature as part of my area studies requirement. Some of classmates have taken a class in Chinese Epics in Translation or Political Number Theory, just to name a few.
  3. The Benefits of Honors: One of the biggest perks of the honors program is having priority registration. When you register for classes each semester you are guaranteed to register on the first day before the rest of the student body gets to. Additionally, being in the honors program helps to open more opportunities for their students: with internships, alumni connections, etc. Also, if you do not start with the honors program your freshman year, you can qualify to join the second semester of your freshman year or join your sophomore year, whichever you feel most comfortable doing.
  4. Do you have more questions? Be sure to check out the Honors Program website for more information that explain the application process, sample syllabi, and other information that you and your parents might find useful! (http://www.luc.edu/honors/)


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