George Mason University
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George Mason University


An Accelerated Core Curriculum for Honors College Students

The Honors College Curriculum is an alternative way to complete the Mason Core general education requirements. For most students, it requires fewer credits to complete the core because our intensive multidisciplinary seminars often count towards more than one Mason Core requirement.

These condensed core classes allow Honors College students to have more space in their schedules to accommodate internships, advanced undergraduate research, study abroad experience, minors, or even double majors.

To complete the Honors College Curriculum, students must fulfill requirements in Research Methods (Requirement I), Honors Seminars (Requirement II), and Advanced Topics (Requirement III). Students must also complete a math requirement, as well as science requirements of their major(s).

Creating a diagram on the white board

The Honors College has a condensed curriculum so students have time to pursue additional academic interests.

Requirement I (Research Methods)
Requirement II (Honors Seminars)

Since HNRS 122, HNRS 130, HNRS 131, HNRS 230, and HNRS 240 are topical classes, you should look at the individual section descriptions to decide which ones are most interesting to you.

Requirement III (Advanced Topics)

At least two advanced topics courses are required for graduation.


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


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

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

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 in various ways.

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 who have taken calculus in High School), or
  • MATH 111H: Linear Mathematical Modeling 
  • Any of the approved math classes from the above list you have placed into.

Students pursuing degrees from the School of Business

  • MATH 108: Introductory Calculus with Business Applications, or
  • HNRT 225: Applied Calculus (for students who have taken calculus in High School),

Students interested in fields with more rigorous quantitative requirements, including economics, computer science, engineering, and most 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 (for students who have already taken an introductory calculus course) are not required to take the Math Placement Test. However, if they have an SAT quantitative score lower than 540 or an ACT quantitative score lower than 22, and cannot pass the Algebra I portion of the Math Placement Test, they are strongly encouraged to take MATH 008, the Mason Online Algebra Program.