About the College
Honors College Mission
UMass Boston’s Honors College provides a home for a cohort of intellectually ambitious students who are eager to research complex local and global issues from multiple perspectives. This unique experience fosters independent thinking, self-discovery, and leadership among undergraduate students who reflect the vibrant diversity of our urban, local and global communities. Seminars are taught by distinguished faculty from across the University in a collaborative and innovative environment that encourages active inquiry and rigorous analysis.
- To welcome students at all levels of entry or continuance of study at the University to participate in courses that require them to synthesize challenging material, drawn variously from the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and life sciences, nursing and health sciences.
- To create for students an environment of ecological learning, in which students and faculty use different paradigmatic lenses and methodologies to construct new ways to understand the diverse challenges existing within our local and global contexts.
- To attract students to the study of complex systems, trans-disciplinary ideas, and knowledge development.
- To enhance students’ intellectual curiosity
- To model and inspire academic excellence
- To adopt leadership and integral supporting roles in the work of inspiring or advocating for individuals and groups, as well as ideas.
- To cultivate an appreciation for the connections among seemingly disparate fields of knowledge
- To generate excitement for exploring complex intellectual terrain and to foster ethical responsibilities in conducting research
- To encourage critical social consciousness: to recognize our interconnectedness with others in local and global communities and to act on our responsibility to bring about greater equalities therein.
- To demonstrate how students’ developing knowledge and skills can benefit their diverse communities.
Honors College Components
The Honors College experience includes the following components:
- Taking courses in the Honors College (two 100-level courses, four 200-level courses, and one 300-level course)
- Fulfilling additional requirements in Math and Foreign Language
- Writing and presenting a senior thesis on a long-term project (e.g. research, internship, service learning, student teaching)
- Obtaining personalized advising from an Honors College advisor, in addition to a major advisor
- Engaging in co-curricular activities (e.g. orientation activities, special events, student organizations, etc)
Honors College Learning Outcomes
Honors College students will:
- Engage in the practice of integrating insights from multiple disciplines, and analyze connections among disciplines
- Learn from other students from diverse majors and colleges by engaging together in the lively interchange of ideas
- Appreciate that expertise and deep knowledge in a student’s major can be enriched by conversations about other areas of knowledge
- Become increasingly aware of current events, ethical issues, and controversies that permeate and impact multiple disciplines of study
- Understand that asking questions in different ways, utilizing different methodologies, and making different assumptions impacts the construction of new knowledge
- View complex challenges in ways that incorporate local, national, and global perspectives
- Engage in intellectual exploration of unfamiliar subjects, places, situations, and cultures, while being aware that deep understanding may only be achieved after significant time and thought
- Acquire critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking skills, while recognizing that these skills are continuously refined
- Work closely and collaboratively with students and faculty
- Approach complex arguments by evaluating evidence from multiple sources, and draw supportable conclusions based on this analysis
- Invest time and careful thought into brainstorming and developing ideas for workable solutions to complex issues
- Build self-awareness about one’s own interests and processes of learning
- Apply new knowledge outside of the classroom through experiential learning opportunities (e.g. research, internships, service learning, student teaching, studying abroad)
- Develop and practice the skills necessary to perform independent research
- Engage deeply in field(s) of interest through a senior thesis project that requires sustained commitment and careful follow-through
- Practice asking thoughtful questions – both broad and defined
- Identify primary and secondary sources relevant to a refined thesis statement, and generate an annotated bibliography of those sources
- Deliver one or more oral presentations at university, local, or national events and conferences
- Practice informed decision making, in contexts such as selecting courses, applying for internships and jobs, choosing thesis projects, and considering as well as preparing for future careers