The University Honors program is about achievement, leadership, and community. The program provides a unique academic and social community for students committed to academic and personal excellence. From foundations courses and colloquia to the capstone project, the program affords an individualized program of study to students with exemplary academic records. Honors work is different work than a traditional university classroom, but not necessarily more difficult. In an Honors learning environment, students engage directly with faculty in classes that are founded on critical analysis and discussion. The focus is less on memorization and more on critical thinking and application, and students are exposed to diverse perspectives and theories not often covered in traditional classroom settings.
Honors courses strive to provide students with faculty mentors, small collaborative communities, and opportunities in research and creative scholarship. The program’s student organization offers opportunities for leadership and service to the campus, the community, and beyond. Honors presents highly motivated students – regardless of their major field of study – an enriching education and university experience. Students who graduate from the program will graduate as University Scholars, both in name and in accomplishment.
Dedicated to achievement, leadership, and community, the University Honors Program seeks to enrich students' university experiences. The program is designed to provide the university’s top students with the support and individualized instruction they need to pursue their academic and professional goals.
The University Honors Program adds tremendous value to a Black Hills State University education, including more academic resources and opportunities, individualized instruction and faculty mentorship, and a dynamic academic and social network.
Dedicated to achievement, community, and leadership, the University Honors Program seeks to enrich its students' university experiences. The program is designed to provide the university’s top students with the support and individualized instruction they need to pursue their academic and professional goals.
From their first semester on campus, students work closely with professors across campus and specifically in their chosen field(s) of study. Honors classes remain small to promote individualized instruction and foster the student-faculty mentor relationship. The esteemed Honors faculty at BHSU are dedicated to providing students with a diverse and stimulating academic experience, whether they serve as Honors professors, capstone committee mentors, Honors Advisory Council members, or Geek Speak lecturers.
The goal of the curriculum is to provide students with a well-rounded education and, at the same time, to give them a chance to follow their own academic, professional or creative interests. Depending on the degree program, there are two tracks for the University Honors Program: Bachelor's and Associate's. Faculty create one-of-a-kind courses that promote academic excellence and the free exchange of ideas, academic scholarship and research, and experiential learning. Later in their academic career, Honors students direct their own capstone projects and defense to graduate as University Scholars.
Each Honors course promotes academic engagement and research, but as a final opportunity to direct their own research, creative activity, service project, or study abroad experience, students complete and defend a capstone project under the mentorship of their capstone committee composed of esteemed BHSU faculty. Honors students are frequent presenters at the Black Hills Research Symposium, NCUR (National Council for Undergraduate Research), and discipline-specific national conferences.
University Honors students enjoy a built-in social and academic community through frequent social events, "socials" (study socials), community service projects, and Thursday afternoon Geek Speak lectures from esteemed faculty. The program also hosts its own student group, the Honors Club, which organizes campus and community events and activities like blood drives, volunteer afternoons at the no-kill animal shelter, and the BHSU Pantry for students and student families in need. University Honors students also enjoy a private Honors Center in historic Woodburn Hall.
Depending on their track, students who successfully complete the University Honors Program requirements will receive the academic distinction of “University Scholar" on their official academic transcript. These designations indicate to employers and graduate program committees that the applicant’s academic achievement is higher than most graduates. The capstone project, too, serves as evidence of Honors-caliber academic achievement and can also serve as an ideal project and/or writing sample for post-graduation pursuits.
The goal of the curriculum is to provide students with a well-rounded education and, at the same time, to give them a chance to follow their own academic, professional, or creative interests. Faculty create one-of-a-kind colloquia to challenge and engage students in discussion-based classes that promote the free exchange of ideas, academic scholarship and research, and experiential learning opportunities. Later in their Honors careers, students direct their own capstone project, aided by the guidance of a faculty mentor and capstone committee. This experience culminates in a traditional defense at the end of the semester.
|GS100: Honors University Experience
|PHIL 100: Honors Philosophy
|ENG 201: Honors Composition II
|Non-English Language or Global Perspective Course
|HON 201: Second Year Honors Seminar
|HON 301: Honors Colloquia
|HON 304: Honors Colloquia
|HON 498: Capstone Proposal
|HON 498: Capstone
Each semester, the BHSU Honors Program offers its students the unique opportunity to take a custom-made colloquium. This "fringe" seminar is taught by an esteemed professor at the university and introduces students to concepts and ideas not normally covered in an undergraduate class. Faculty create one-of-a-kind curriculum to challenge and engage students in a course that provokes thought through free exchange of new ideas, academic scholarship and research, and experiential learning opportunities. The colloquia are selected by student vote every two years.
Disability in American Culture
The Enduring Appeal of Modern/Post-Modern Pop-Culture Hero Sherlock Holmes
Opting Out: Hermits, Pirates, Homesteaders and Hackers
Madness in Popular Culture: The "Insanity" of Women
Ethics and Leadership in Popular Science Fiction
Molecules That Changed History
As an opportunity to direct their own research, creative scholarship, or experiential learning experience, each University Honors student directs and defends a capstone project. Each project is either a thesis or a major project that is undertaken by the student and guided by a capstone committee consisting of a faculty mentor and two readers. Below are a few of the exciting projects put forth by students.