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General Education Requirements for Honors Students Entering beginning in Fall 2016

General Education Requirements for Honors Students

SIUE’s Honors Program requires 19 credit-hours of general education course work. These requirements fall in two categories:  the Honors Core and the Pro-Seminar Requirement.

These requirements are detailed in the chart below (which is only a model):


Fall Semester


Spring Semester


HONS 120—Big Questions and the Spirit of Inquiry (3 credit-hours)

HONS 121—Honors Rhetoric (3 credit-hours)

HONS 100—Pro-seminar:  Leaning/Working/ Living (1 credit-hour)


HONS 250—Connections (3 credit-hours)

HONS 200—Pro-seminar: The World


HONS 320A—Problems in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (3 credit-hours)

HONS 300—Pro-seminar:  Special Topics (1 credit-hour)


HONS 320B—Problems in the Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Technology (3 credit-hours)

HONS 499—Pro-seminar:  Civic Engagement, the Professions, and the Public (1 credit-hour)

Honors students will work with both a dedicated Honors Advisor and a discipline/program specific advisor in order to guarantee that they meet the requirements of both the Honors Program and the specific requirements of their major in a beneficial way.

Honors Core (15 credit-hours)

Honors students are required to take Honors 120, “Big Questions and the Spirit of Inquiry,” and Honors 121, “Honors Rhetoric” the first-semester of their first year.  These linked courses are designed to introduce students to university instruction and inquiry by examining a big question of abiding human concern while simultaneously teaching them how to make, present, and compose persuasive arguments.  Honors students go on to take Honors 250, “Connections,” which explores the connections between seemingly diverse fields or types; this course is designed to lay the foundations of learning how to integrate knowledge.  Honors students complete the Honors Core by taking Honors 320A, “Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Problems in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences” and Honors 320B, “Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar: Problems in the Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Technology.”  These courses provide honors students the opportunity to apply the disciplinary knowledge they have been acquiring and the ability to integrate knowledge that honors education has nurtured to wicked, real-world problems.

Honors Pro-Seminars (4 credit-hours)

Honors pro-seminars are small, short discussion-intensive classes that address pressing contemporary matters.  Most pro-seminars are taught in a five (5) or eight (8) week period, meeting once a week.  They are designed as opportunities for honors students to get used to talking about difficult, sometimes uncomfortable issues that confront our culture and our time; in the pro-seminars students can learn how to navigate some of the sharp value differences that animate our time. Honors students are required to take Honors 100, “Honors Pro-seminar: Learning, Working, Living,” in the second semester of their first-year.  The pro-seminar examines the nature of liberal education and the relationships between education, work, and the broader demands of living a good life.  After that honors students take Honors 200, “Honors Pro-Seminar on Globalization,” and Honors 300, “Honors Pro-Seminar:  Special Topics” during their sophomore and junior years.  Honors 200 examines the accelerating economic integration of the world that is producing both remarkable opportunities and deepening anxieties and disruptions of social, political, and cultural institutions.  The topic of Honors 300 is variable, but the interesting thing is that it is determined by a group of honors students who meet to decide what should be offered. Finally honors students are required to take Honors 499 at the same time they take their departmental senior assignment.  Honors 499, “Honors Pro-seminar:  Civic Engagement and Inter-disciplinarity,” is the Honors Program’s capstone experience.  It provides honors students interdisciplinary feedback on their disciplinary senior assignments as well as the opportunity to take their disciplinary/professional work into the public, during the Honors Symposium.  All honors students are required to participate in the Honors Symposium.

Service/Co-Curricular Requirement

Beyond the Honors curricular requirements, honors students are required to complete 50 hours of community service prior to graduation. This service requirement embodies the University’s commitment to social and civic responsibility, and deepens and enriches the class-based honors curriculum. By providing students opportunity to engage with the local community, we encourage:

  • self-reflection about our place in the local and larger communities and the privileges, duties, and responsibilities that accompany citizenship;
  • knowledge about community-based services and resources in the arts, recreation, social services, education, and multiple other areas;
  • the life-long investment of students and faculty in the communities to which they belong;
  • application of ideas, concepts, and solutions discussed in classes to real-life settings.

Honors service can be completed in any semester, including summer sessions. For planning purposes, most students should consider completing their service over multiple semesters – completing 7 hours of service each semester of attendance would complete the requirement.


The service requirement can be completed through many different venues.

  • Students may participate in services opportunities provided by Kimmel Student Involvement Center. Any project or service offered through Kimmel’s Community Engagement program is automatically eligible for honors service.
  • Students can participate in service to the University community. As long as the service is unpaid and not-for-credit, events like interviewing students or parents on Meridian Scholar Day, representing the University Honors Program at an admission function, or serving as a mentor/tutor for a specific class would all be considered.
  • Students may also propose their own independent service. In these cases, these opportunities must be provided through non-profit entities that are serving the general public in some way. These service opportunities must be proposed to and approved by the leaders of the Kimmel Student Involvement Center.
  • Service can also be combined with that required in a major or minor, or through other organizations on campus.

No matter the type or content of service, all service hours must be verified through CollegiateLink. The instructions for using CollegiateLink are included at the end.

On-Campus opportunities

Kimmel Student Involvement Center provides ready-made opportunities for students to become involved in service learning. Several pre-arranged activities are listed below; more information about each can be found at:

Campus Kitchen

Weekly service opportunity during which students cook a meal using collected food that would otherwise be wasted. A shift is approximately two and a half hours.

The Gardens at SIUE

Each semester there are opportunities for student volunteers to work outside at The Gardens, one of the premier botanical gardens in the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area.

Service Saturdays

Almost every Saturday, the Kimmel Student Involvement Center organizes and provides transportation to a local non-profit (Lutheran Senior Service, the Metro East Humane Society, St. Vincent de Paul, Willoughby Farms).  These service opportunities begin roughly at 8:30 am and finish by 1 pm. Pre-registration is required.

Alternative Spring Break

For students interested in a more extensive service learning opportunity, the Kimmel Leadership Center provides Alternative Spring Break.  The domestic opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year are trips to Memphis, TN and Roanoke, VA; the international trip will be to Jamaica.

Developing Projects

As the Honors Program develops at SIUE in the coming years, it is our hope that honors students working with faculty and staff, will develop unique service opportunities tailored to the needs and drawing on the strengths of SIUE honors students.

Questions & Contacts

Questions about the Honors Program service opportunity should be addressed to Dr. Eric Ruckh, Honors Program Director or Mr. Ian Toberman, Honors Program Advisor.

Questions about particular on-campus service learning opportunities should be addressed to Ms. Sarah Laux, Assistant Director, Community Engagement, Kimmel Student Involvement Center (

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