Honors courses

In courses intended to go deep and be driven by their interests, honors students forge bonds with peers and preeminent mentors while developing expertise and intellectual curiosity.
Teacher speaks to three students

Course listings

Both the University Honors Program and academic departments offer sections and courses available to honors students. KU's online schedule of classes provides details for all available honors courses, which can be viewed by clicking “Options” and selecting “only honors courses.”

Featured courses

The following courses are offered directly by the honors program on a regular basis:

  • HNRS 370 – Personal Writing Seminar

    This seminar helps students develop their personal writing abilities. Students analyze language and rhetorical choices in the genre of the personal essay. (Completion of a course interest form is required to enroll.)

  • HNRS 380 – Critical Thinking and Advocacy Seminar (Spring Semester)

    In this seminar, students devise a basic system for critical analysis, develop the skills necessary to apply it, and design effective and ethical persuasive messages. (Completion of a course interest form is required to enroll.)

  • HNRS 410 – Health and Health Care: The American Model from Origins to the Present (Fall Semester)

    This course is intended for potential health care professionals and others interested in the historical origins and present currents within American health and health care.

  • HNRS 410 – Exploring the American Legal System (Fall Semester)

    This course provides students with an introduction to the breadth of our legal system and the role lawyers play in that system.

  • HNRS 492 – Character, Engagement, and Society (Fall Semester)

    This course will focus on the scholarship and practice of character-building, incorporating KU’s IRISE values (Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship of KU, and Excellence), as well as associated virtues. 

  • HNRS 492 – Citizen Philanthropy (Spring Semester)

    This course is an introduction to non-profits and community-based organizations specifically as it relates to the students’ interests in community service or philanthropy.

Special course options

Honors course contracts

An individual student or group of students may pursue honors-level work within the framework of a non-honors class at the 300 level or higher through an honors course contract. Students should develop contracts in collaboration with their faculty member, and submit their honors course contract no later than the 20th day of the semester. For the spring of 2024, this date is Monday, Feb. 12. Decisions will be supplied within seven business days after faculty approval of submission. For more information, contact Student Experience Designer Mauricio Gómez Montoya.

HNRS 496

This one-to-three hour asynchronous online course consists of writing assignments to help you reflect on the skills and knowledge you are building through an internship. HNRS 496 students will also have the opportunity to meet by Zoom to share internship experiences. To request enrollment, complete the HNRS 496 enrollment request form. (To participate, international students must complete the requirements for Curricular Practical Training through ISS, and the internship must satisfy a graduation requirement, often as an ELE.)

Other qualifying courses

Students may also meet their honors course requirement with the following academic experiences: 

  • Graduate courses at the 700 level or higher;
  • Two semesters maximum of a less commonly taught language.