Honors College Curriculum Overview for New Students

To complete the Honors College Curriculum, students must fulfill requirements in Research Methods (Requirement I), Honors Seminars (Requirement II) and Advanced Topics (Requirement III). All Honors College students must also satisfy science and math requirements. The best way to complete the Honors College Curriculum (which fulfills all University General Education Requirements) while staying on-track in your major is to follow the advising sheet for your major.

+ Requirement I (Research Methods)»
+ Requirement II (Honors Seminars)»
+ Requirement III (Advanced Topics)»
+ Math»
+ Science»


Either HNRS 110: Research Methods (Fall/4 Credits) or both HNRS 108: Introduction to Research Methods I (Fall/3 Credits) and HNRS 109: Introduction to Research Methods II (Spring/3 Credits)

All Honors College first-semester freshmen are required to either take HNRS 110 Research Methods during their first semester or the HNRS 108/109 sequence during their first year. HNRS 110 is a 4-credit course made up of a lecture section and a recitation. Students registering for HNRS 110 will need to sign up for both the lecture and the corresponding recitation for that lecture. There are two hybrid sections of HNRS 110 (Sections 015 and 016). Registering for a Hybrid section requires the approval of your Honors College advisor. Hybrid sections are intended for students who are involved with Friday afternoon activities such as sports, debate, forensics, dance, or science labs and/or for students with compelling personal reasons to take the hybrid course. Participation in a hybrid course will require at least an equal time commitment to face-to-face courses and will additionally require a high degree of self-discipline to succeed.

Students who would like extra support mastering academic writing can enroll in the yearlong HNRS 108 (fall) and 109 (spring) sequence (6 credits). While HNRS 110 assumes advanced writing skills, the HNRS 108/109 sequence provides students additional writing instruction as they pursue their first-year research projects.

HNRS 353: Technology in the Contemporary World (3 Credits)

You may not take HNRS 353 until you have completed HNRS 110, HNRS 108/109, or HNRS 302; it is a good idea to wait until you have finished all other Honors College requirements. HNRS 353 is a topical seminar, so when it is time to register, look at the individual section descriptions to decide which ones are most interesting to you.


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HNRS 122: Reading the Arts (3 Credits)

Many students will take HNRS 122 in the first semester. Since HNRS 122 is a topical seminar, you should look at the individual section descriptions to decide which ones are most interesting to you.

HNRS 131: Contemporary Society in Multiple Perspectives (3 Credits)

You may not take HNRS 131 until you have completed HNRS 110, HNRS 108/109, or HNRS 302. HNRS 131 is a topical seminar, so when it is time to register, look at the individual section descriptions to decide which ones are most interesting to you.

HNRS 240: Reading the Past (3 Credits)

You may not take HNRS 240 until you have completed HNRS 110, HNRS 108/109, or HNRS 302. HNRS 240 is a topical seminar, so when it is time to register, look at the individual section descriptions to decide which ones are most interesting to you.


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At least two advanced topics courses are required for graduation.

ACCT 204: Honors Survey of Accounting (3 Credits)
BIOL 213H: Cell Structure and Function (Honors section only) (4 Credits)
BIOL 214H: Biostatistics for Biology Majors (Honors section only) (4 Credits)
BIOL 308H: Foundations of Ecology and Evolution (Honors section only) (5 Credits)
BIOL 311H: General Genetics (Honors section only) (4 Credits)
BIOL 314: Introduction to Research Design and Analysis (4 Credits)
BIOL 493: Honors Research in Biology (1-2 Credits)
BUS 100H: Honors Business and Society (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
BUS 200H: Honors Global Environment of Business (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
CHEM 211H: General Chemistry I (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
CHEM 212H: General Chemistry II (Honors Section only) (3 Credits)
CS 211H: Object-Oriented Programming (Honors Section only) (3 Credits)
CS 390: Research and Project Design Principles in Computing (3 Credits)
ECON 103H: Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
ENGR 107H: Introduction to Engineering (Honors section only) (2 Credits)
HHS 492: Internship in Clinical Research (3 Credits)
HNRS 130: Conceptions of Self (Philosophy/Religion), if not taken to satisfy Requirement Two (3 Credits)
HNRS 230: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (Social Science with a Non-Western Perspective), if not taken to satisfy Requirement Two (3 Credits)
HNRS 312: Research in the Public Sphere (o-3 Credits)
HNRS 330: Research, Technology, and Online Community (0-3 Credits)
HNRS 410: Thesis Proposal (0-3 Credits)
HNRS 411: Honors College Thesis (0-3 Credits)
HNRS 430: Multidisciplinary Challenges in Professional Environments (0-3 Credits)
MATH 116: Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (Honors) (4 Credits)
MATH 215: Analytic Geometry and Calculus III (Honors) (3 Credits)
MATH 216: Theory of Differential Equations (3 Credits)
PHYS 160: University Physics I (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
PHYS 260: University Physics II (Honors section only) (3 Credits)
UNIV 495: Undergraduate Research Scholars Program Seminar (0-3 Credits)
• An approved independent study in the major at the 400-level or above


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Honors College Math Requirement

Each Honors College student must take or have transfer credit for one or more approved math courses, depending on your major, to satisfy the quantitative reasoning requirement.

The only courses that satisfy this requirement for the Honors College are:

HNRT 125: A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus
HNRT 225: Applied Calculus
MATH 113: Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
MATH 123: Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A and MATH 124: Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B
MATH 108: Introductory Calculus with Business Applications


Which math course is right for you?

Majors may have specific math requirements, so please consult the advising sheet for the majors that interest you to understand what those majors require.

Honors College students fulfill their quantitative reasoning requirements through one of the following:

Most (but not all) students in the humanities, social sciences, as well as some students in life and health sciences

HNRT 125: A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus (for those with little or no prior calculus experience),
HNRT 225: Applied Calculus (for students with an introductory calculus course covering the basics of limits and derivatives), or
Any of the approved math classes from the above list you have placed into.

Students pursuing degrees from the School of Business or the IT department in Volgenau College

MATH 108: Introductory Calculus with Business Applications, or
HNRT 225: Applied Calculus

Students interested in fields with more rigorous quantitative requirements, including economics, computer science, engineering, and some natural sciences.

MATH 113: Analytic Geometry and Calculus I, or
MATH 123: Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part A & MATH 124: Calculus with Algebra/Trigonometry, Part B


Math placement

Students interested in MATH 108, MATH 113, or the MATH 123 & 124 sequence must take Mason’s Math Placement Test or earn qualifying scores on an AP Calculus or IB Math exam. If you do not place into the Math course required by your major, you needn’t fear – simply ask your advisor about your options. You may simply need to take some pre-requisite courses first.

Students who intend to take HNRT 125 or HNRT 225 are not required to take the Math Placement Test to register for the class. However, they must show competency in Algebra before the first day of classes. This competency can be demonstrated by:

An SAT quantitative score of 540 or above,
An ACT quantitative score of 22 or above,
A passing score on the Algebra I portion of the Math Placement Test, or
Completion of MATH 008, the Mason Online Algebra Program.

Details for registration for MATH 008 program will be emailed to all incoming Honors College students in early June.

Options for students expecting transfer, AP, and IB math credits

If you expect to have transfer, AP, or IB math credits, you should read “What to do once AP/IB test results come in for Math, Computer Science, and Chemistry” (PDF) and, if necessary, discuss options for further math study with your advisor.


Math course titles and/or descriptions:

HNRT 125: A Liberal Arts Approach to Calculus. A course in mathematical modeling with basic ideas of calculus for honors students. Taught in small sections for students who have had little or no calculus.
HNRT 225: Applied Calculus. A course in the application of calculus to mathematical modeling for honors students. Taught in small sections for students who have had an introductory calculus course covering the basics of limits and derivatives.
MATH 104: Trigonometry and Transcendental Functions
MATH 105: Precalculus
MATH 108: Introductory Calculus with Business Applications (no trigonometry)
MATH 113: Calculus I
MATH 114: Calculus II
MATH 116: Honors Calculus II (a small class)
MATH 123-124: Calculus I with Algebra/Trigonometry. Together, MATH 123 and MATH 124 meet the prerequisite for MATH 114.
MATH 125: Discrete Math I
MATH 213: Calculus III. For students who have received 8 hours of AP/IB or dual enrollment credit for MATH 113 and MATH 114 and are taking further math courses.
MATH 215: Honors Calculus III (a small class)


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The Honors College science requirement mirrors the science requirement of a student’s college and major. Please see the advising sheet for your major for further details on the science courses that will be best for you.


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