Honors Courses

Honors courses are offered in every fall and spring semester. In the course catalog of the college they are marked with an H in the section number. Honors courses are more challenging, involve more discussion and debate, often (if not always) require longer  and more in-depth research papers and oral presentations by students. Honors courses are most certainly more demanding, usually involving more reading and preparation.

Any student in the Honors Program or with at least a 3.5 grade point average may enroll in an Honors course. Students who do not meet either of these criteria may present a case to the instructor and request permission to enroll in an Honors course.

Spring 2018 Courses

First-Year Only Honors Courses

First-Year Only Honors Course: AH 213 Impressionism to Surrealism

AH 213-HO Impressionism to Surrealism — Dr. Morowitz — Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:20 am – 12:50 pm

From the mid-nineteenth century to WWII, visual artists in Europe overturned every existing rule and completely altered our understanding of what art is and what it could be. Although art was no longer a “mirror” of reality, these works profoundly reflected the enormous social, political, philosophical and scientific changes of the period. We will look at how the phenomena of Modernism, from the rise of the metropolis, to political Revolution, to changes in the concept of time, space, sexuality and human nature are revealed in the paintings, sculpture and architecture of the period. Movements to be studied include Impressionism, Symbolism, Expressionism, Futurism and Surrealism. We will come to an understanding of the period through readings, websites, films, presentations and first hand study of works in New York City Collections.

Contact information: lmorowit@wagner.edu


First-Year Only Honors Course for Non-Science Majors: BI 125 Genes to Genomics

BI 125-HO Genes to Genomics — Dr. Cook — Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:20 am – 1 2:50 pm

Course Description: This honors course reserved for first-year students is designed for non-science majors interested in the problems and promises associated with modern-day genetics. Discoveries and technological advances in genetics are taught with an emphasis on the social, moral, ethical issues facing society today.

A comment from the instructor: With the advances that are happening in Biotechnology, the field of Genetics is going through a scientific revolution. Things that were only dreamed about or perceived as mere fiction are becoming realities. This course is an exploration of some of these scientific discoveries and applications and their impact on our lives.

Major objectives of this Honor Course are: 1.Teach basic Human Genetics, Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, 2.Encourage active participation of students in class discussions, 3.Explore the legal and social issues related to Biotechnology, 4. Debate whether the Eugenics movement is still with us and 5. Explore the impact of human genome research on society. Topics Covered in the Course include 1.Evolution, Social Darwinism and Eugenics,2.Genetics and The Human Genome Project, 3.Reproductive Technologies, Cloning, Stem Cell Research and Bioethics,4.Genetic Screening, Genetic Testing, Gene Therapy and Gene Doping,5.Criminology and DNA Forensics,6.Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Genetic Patents and 7.Race and Genography and Genetic Discrimination

Contact information: heather.cook@wagner.edu

First-Year Only Honors Course Ideal for Science Majors: CH 221 Introduction to Scientific Computing

CH 221-HO Introduction to Scientific Computing — Dr. Sharma — Mondays and Wednesdays 2:40–4:10

Global climate change is now an established scientific fact. The scientific community has reached an agreement about its veracity and its real and measurable effects. However, there is a wide disconnect between the scientific facts and public reporting and understanding of these facts. The current political climate and the official US government stance on denial of climate change is in stark contrast to the scientific standpoint. This course aims to dive into the climate change data that have been collected all over the world and investigate the impacts of climate change. Students will learn the technical and programming skills necessary to manipulate large data-sets and derive meaningful conclusions from the analysis. The course focuses on building elementary programming and data analysis skills using the Wolfram Language. The course will  provide students with an enjoyable yet rigorous introduction to technical computing and its applications across scientific disciplines. The course will focus profusely on numerical data analysis and visualization. Mathematica will be used extensively for symbolic and numerical calculations. Knowledge acquired during this course can be taken to various disciplines, where it will enhance student understanding of the subject and bolster their career prospects. A significant portion of the course grade will be based on the final project. The skills and tools gained from the course will benefit students in all Science and Math courses. The course has no Computer Science or Math pre-requisite. This course satisfies Technological Competency requirement for graduation. The course staff includes a dedicated peer research mentor to provide assistance to students. 

Contact information: aksharma@wagner.edu

First-Year Only Honors Course: GOV 102 Political Ideologies

GOV 102-HO Political Ideologies — Dr. Snow — Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00–2:30 pm

This course has several goals. First, to provide a comparative and critical understanding of the concept of ideology, and to introduce and analyze some of the most important contemporary political ideologies. We give particular attention to liberalism, conservatism, fascism, socialism, communism and Islamism. Second, the course aims to familiarize students with the origins and key concepts of contemporary political debates. In addition, by the end of the course students should understand what ideology (or ideologies) they believe in, and the most important criticisms of these ideologies. We will accomplish these goals by reading, thinking, talking and writing in depth about writings by, among others, Thomas More, Robert Owen, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Murray Rothbard, Peter Singer, T.H. Green, Mikhail Bakunin, Emma Goldman, Sayyid Qutb and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Contact information: sgsnow@wagner.edu

First-Year Only Honors Course: HI 231 The 1960s in America (D)

HI 231-HO The 1960s in America (D) — Dr. Palfreyman — Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:20 am – 12:50 pm

This course examines one of the twentieth century’s most tumultuous decades.  From the War in Vietnam to the battle for civil rights, from atomic power to Flower Power, the story of the 1960s is full of fault lines – the moment the post-World War 2 consensus of the 1950s seemingly fell to pieces.  Looking at the “Sixties” broadly — from the late 1950s until the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 — this course will cover the Cold War, the space race, the Civil Rights Movements, women’s liberation, gay rights, counterculture, the anti-war movement, environmentalism, and more.

This course fulfills the General Education American Diversity (D) requirement.

Contact information: brett.palfreyman@wagner.edu

Honors Intermediate Learning Communities

One-Unit, Honors Team-Taught ILC: Cities and Perversities: Art and Literature in Turn-of-the-Century Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona (W) (I) — AH 326, EN 310, or FR 310
This honors team-taught ILC focuses on the art and literature in the fin-de-siècle in four major European centers: Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Barcelona.  The works of the period are studied in relation to issues of national identity as a response to the shock of metropolitan life, sexuality, the impact of psychoanalysis, escapism and withdrawal to the interior.  We will undertake a detailed reading of some of the major literary works of the period by authors such as Marcel Proust, Colette, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke and Arthur Rimbaud. Artistic movements studied include Symbolism, Expressionism, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil.  The course attempts to understand the shared visual and literary language of turn-of-the-century Europe, while illuminating the special contributions of each city.  The course includes museum visits, films, special lectures and shared readings and assignments.
AH 326-HL Cities and Perversities (W) (I) — Dr. Morowitz — Mondays 1:00–4:00 pm
EN 310-HL Literature in Turn of the Century (W) (I) — Dr. Stalcup — Mondays 1:00–4:00 pm
FR 310-HL Literature in Turn of the Century (W) (I) — Dr. Stalcup — Mondays 1:00–4:00 pm
One-Unit, Honors Team-Taught ILC: The Big Change: Capitalism, Globalization and Climate Change — EC 291 or HI 291
This course will examine the connection and linkages between capitalism (markets) and climate change.  We will begin with an examination of the contemporary structure of global capitalism and the nature of climate change.  Then we will engage in an exploration of possible policies and techniques designed to deal with climate change and their consequences for our society.
EC 291-HL The Big Change: Capitalism, Globalization and Climate Change — Dr. Leacy — Wednesdays 6:00–9:00 pm
HI 291-HL The Big Change: Capitalism, Globalization and Climate Change — Dr. Rappaport — Wednesdays 6:00–9:00 pm
One-Unit, Honors Team-Taught ILC: Pirates, Colonizers, and the Cultures of Capitalism — EN 332 (W) (D) or AN 291

This honors course will examine the rise of western capitalism and the origins of American democracy in relation to the African, Asian, and American continents. Europeans colonized these other spaces as explorers, merchants, spies, evangelists, and pirates. Imaginative literature from the 16th through early 19th centuries reflected a tense dialogue among colonizers and colonized as some attempted to justify slavery and conquest and others attempted to resist and find freedom. This course combines anthropological study of this foundational moment in world history and literary study of some of the classics of early American authors such as Phillis Wheatley and Benjamin Franklin as well as notorious pirates. As Puff, Biggie, and Lil’ Kim once rapped, it’s all about the Benjamins.

EN 332-HL (Honors ILC) (W) (D) Pirates, Puritans, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World — Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:40–11:10 am (Taking the ILC as EN 332 fulfills requirements for English literature, Writing intensive, and American diversity.)


AN 291-HL (Honors ILC) An Anthropology of Capitalism: Europeans and the Peoples Without History — Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:40–11:10 am

Honors Courses

Honors Course: AA 475 Entertainment Business Law

AA 475-HO Entertainment Business Law — Prof. Price — Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:40–11:10 am

This course will consist of an overview of the legal system and how the legal system impacts the entertainment industry.  The topics to be explored include the relationship of Artist and Agent/ Manager, contractual issues, copyrights and trademarks, constitutional issues, and antitrust regulation of the industry.  The laws and business practices affecting the broadcast, music, television, film, and theatre industries will be discussed.   Students will be required to visit arts organizations and report to the class on their experiences.  The weekly schedule will be flexible to allow for guest speakers, class trips, and class presentations.

Students will learn to analyze issues and express reasoned opinions about the legal and business practices of the entertainment industry.  This class will provide students with a broad overview of how the entertainment industry operates.

Prerequisite:  AA 250 Introduction to Management and the Arts or permission of Instructor.

Contact information: todd.price@wagner.edu

Honors Course: AS 108 Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies

AS 108-HO Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies — Prof. Kozak — Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:40–11:10 am

Course Description: This course in astronomy is given for both science and non-science majors, and is multidisciplinary. One aspect deals with astrobiology-the evolution of our solar system, the formation of the earth, and the sequence of events leading up to the evolution of our own species. These topics serve as a model in the quest for discovering extrasolar planets, as well as extraterrestrial life. Another aspect of the course deals with astrophysics- the application of the theories of Newton and Einstein in studying the life cycle of stars, as well as the formation of galaxies. Included will be a discussion of black holes and the future possibility of time travel. The final aspect of this course will deal with cosmology- the big bang theory of how the universe began, as well as the possibility of a multiverse consisting of an infinite number of universes existing in space-time. The most recent research will be explored, including that with high-speed particle accelerators, the existence of the Higgs boson, and the LIGO experiments with colliding black holes proving gravity waves exist. Lectures will be supplemented by slides, science and science fiction film clips, and recent articles from newspapers and magazines. Students will be required to do research at the Rose Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

A comment from the instructor: This honors course differs from the non-honors section because students in this course will be required to select either a science book, science fiction novel, or a periodical from a selected bibliography given by the instructor. This assignment will count as a lecture exam, giving the honor student an enriched experience with the possibility of earning a higher course grade than if the student were not enrolled in the honors section. In addition, the instructor, currently serving his fourteenth year as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA, will supplement all lectures with the most up to date information on stars and galaxies. The instructor has taught this course for the past eleven years and finds it just as exciting and interesting as the students taking the course.

Contact information: hkozak@wagner.edu

Honors Course: CH 112 General Chemistry II

CH 112-HO General Chemistry II — Dr. Sharma — Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10:10–11:10 am

Course Description: A study of the basic theories and laws of chemistry and of the properties of the more common elements.

A comment from the instructor: The pace at which material will be covered in this class will be significantly faster than in a regular section of general chemistry, as it will be assumed that students are capable of performing simple calculations and deducing relationships between topics presented. The increased pace allows for greater depth of analysis of the topics being covered. Every week, a challenging problem set containing multiple questions will be handed-out. Instructions will be included with each problem set, and each student (or group of students) will be expected to complete the problem set by the end of the week. The Friday class will be devoted to a discussion and presentation of solutions to these problems, and each student should be prepared to present their work to the entire class as well as participate in any discussions. A fraction of the course grade is based upon these presentations and participation. Students will be selected at random at the start of each Friday class to make the presentation. It is vital that you are ready each week to make a presentation.

Prerequisite: CH 111 General Chemistry I

Contact information: aksharma@wagner.edu

Honors Course: EN 111 World Literature (W) (I)

EN 111-HO World Literature — Dr. Hurley — Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00–2:30 pm

This course is designed for the student who intends to wander the world, either informally through the desire for exploration or formally as the start to a career in government, business, education, or international service.  Literature, as an important cultural asset, can be an essential traveling companion.  Accordingly, we will circumnavigate the globe through reading novels, poems, short stories, essays from the Middle East to the Far East, to the African continent, South America and the Caribbean, and just about everywhere except Antarctica  (unless penguin lit is suddenly discovered).  Expect to be engaged and challenged!

This course fulfills the General Education requirements for English literature and International Perspective (I). The course also Writing Intensive (W).

Contact information: ahurley@wagner.edu

Honors Course: EN 213 / SP 213 Hispanic Literature in Translation (W) (I)

EN 213-HO or SP 213-HO Hispanic Literature in Translation (W) (I) — Dr. Kiss — Mondays 6:00–9:00 pm

This is a course in English designed to introduce several masterworks of the Spanish and Latin American literary traditions to students who may or may not be ready to read the texts in the original language.  Readings include selections from early peninsular works, such as El Cid and the Quixote, pre-Columbian texts such as the Popol Vuh, poetry from colonial Mexico’s Sor Juana and, finally, contemporary works from both Latin America (Borges, Cortázar, Allende) and Spain (Matute, García Lorca, Arrabal).

This course fulfills the General Education requirements for English literature and International Perspective (I). The course also Writing Intensive (W).

Students must choose to earn credit for EN 213 or for SP 213. This course is cross-listed.

Contact information: mkiss@wagner.edu

Honors Course: GOV 375 Feminist Film

GOV 375-HO Feminist Film — Dr. Moynagh — Thursdays 5:00–8:00 pm

This course brings together the study of feminist theory with the interpretation of film from a gendered analysis. We will read several classic and contemporary works in feminist theory which will give us some critical tools for analyzing many different kinds of films. We will discuss whether or not the films can be regarded as feminist and what is at stake in making such judgments.

Contact information: patricia.moynagh@wagner.edu

Honors Course: PS 101 Introduction to Psychology

PS 101-HO Introduction to Psychology — Dr. Groth — Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00–2:30 pm

This introduction to psychology course explores the background and history of psychology in philosophy, natural science, social science and the humanities. Students will read primary sources from the work of seminal thinkers in the field, including William James, Sigmund Freud, John Broadus Watson, and several less well known clinical psychologists. We will discuss each of the major themes of the traditional introductory course: consciousness, sensation, perception, memory, development, learning, cognition, emotion, motivation, personality and psychopathology from the perspective of the psychologizing, that is, actively investigating human experience and behavior as a unique subject. Additional topics given special attention are intelligence, dreaming, schizophrenia and psychotherapy.

Contact information: mgroth@wagner.edu

Honors Course: PS 209 / RE 209 Is Religion "Man-Made?"

PS 209-HO or RE 209-HO Is Religion “Man-Made?” — Dr. Kaelber — Wednesdays 6:00–9:00 pm

Are religious “truths” divinely given or are they created by human beings? We will unravel this issue by approaching the question from various perspectives. We will consider, for example, the psychological approach of Sigmund Freud as well as the materialistic approach of Karl Marx. We will also consider the way in which Christian beliefs, in particular, are conditioned by cultural and political circumstances. We begin by examining religious predictions regarding the “end of the world” and why people continue to hold these beliefs even when they are proven to be untrue. We conclude with the powerful play “Equus” about a teenage boy who creates his own religion.

Students must choose to earn credit for EN 213 or for SP 213. This course is cross-listed.

Contact information: wkaelber@wagner.edu

Honors Course: PS 254 Psychology and Literature

PS 254-HO Psychology and Literature — Dr. Groth — Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:20 am – 12:50 pm

This interdisciplinary course provides students with an opportunity to read a broad range of drama, poetry, and fiction from the ancient Western classics to modern literature from a psychodynamic perspective on human experience. We will consider the many themes about which creative writers have provided insight into human feeling, thought and action long before psychology as a human science attained similar insights. Authors read include a selection from the following: Euripides, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Emily Dickinson, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Mann, Lewis Carroll, T. S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse, and Peter Shaffer. The course will offer generous opportunity for presentations and discussions led by students.

Contact information: mgroth@wagner.edu

Honors Course: SP 232 People and Politics in the Hispanic World: Advanced Spanish Composition and Conversation (I)

SP232-HO People and Politics in the Hispanic World: Advanced Spanish Composition and Conversation (I) — Dr. Sanchez — Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00–2:30 pm

Students will work on writing and speaking skills at the advanced level. Various forms of written expression such as letters, essays, summaries, textual analyses, and film criticism will be addressed. Students will acquire theoretical vocabulary through weekly newspaper and magazine readings. Class conversations and debates will focus on social, cultural and political topics pertaining to Latin America and/or Spain. This class is open to native speakers of Spanish. Prerequisite: SP 231 or equivalent. Offered spring semester.

Honors Course: SPC 103 Public Speaking

SPC 103-HO Public Speaking — Prof. Tennenbaum — Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:40–4:10 pm

A hands-on, practical approach to the study and practice of effective oral communication. Through a series of speaking assignments students will develop strategies to assist them in organizing their thoughts and overcoming performance anxiety on their way to becoming effective speakers. Different types of speeches will be covered including informative, demonstrative and persuasive. The course also includes preparation for special occasion speeches (awards, honors, ceremonies, weddings, etc.) as well as one-on-one situations. The primary goal of the class is to create relaxed, confident speakers who can be comfortable in any situation, whether formal or socially casual.

Honors Courses Offered in Previous Semesters

Fall Semester 2017

Spring Semester 2017

Fall Semester 2016

Spring Semester 2016

Fall Semester 2015

Spring Semester 2015

If you have questions about honors courses, please feel welcome to contact the Co-Directors of the Honors Program, Dr. Amy Eshleman (esh@wagner.edu) and Dr. Nick Richardson (nrichard@wagner.edu).


Antium Font. Textbooks available on Reserve