424 Cherry Hall
5030 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-5569
Fax: (816) 235-5509
honors@umkc.edu
http://honors.umkc.edu

Dean:
James McKusick, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Contact Information

Director:
Gayle Levy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of French
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Associate Director:
John Herron, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair of History
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Associate Teaching Professor:
Henrietta Rix Wood, Ph.D.
Contact Information

Assistant Teaching Professor:
Stephen Christ, Ph.D.
Contact Information

Honors College Description

The UMKC Honors College seeks to attract exceptionally motivated and academically talented undergraduates from every school and college at the University to participate in an environment that encourages excellence and challenges students to realize their greatest potential.

The UMKC Honors College is designed to enrich the college experience of the most outstanding students through the integration of traditional and novel approaches to learning from the humanities, the behavioral and social sciences, the natural and physical sciences and other divisions of the University.

Honors Credit

In order to accomplish these goals, all honors students have the opportunity to enroll in a wide variety of honors courses offered each semester. Honors credit may also be earned through:

  • Independent study
  • Undergraduate research
  • Honors contracts
  • Honors discussion groups
  • Senior Honors Thesis or Project
  • Study Abroad

Honors students are encouraged and supported in the conduct of research and the publication and presentation of their work regionally and nationally. As seniors, honors students have the option to complete a six-credit-hour project, the Senior Honors Thesis/Project. Upon graduation, those who complete an honors thesis in addition to the basic honors requirements are designated as Honors Scholars.

Honors College Initiatives

UMKC offers a supportive atmosphere to encourage integrative thinking through an exciting Living-Learning Community and specialized advising with the Honors College Advisor and Honors Faculty Fellows. Leadership skills are honed through unique seminars where students reflect on and analyze their community service experiences. Finally, with an eye toward giving students a leg up on their graduate school and career goals, honors students are strongly encouraged to conduct innovative individual and collaborative research or artistic activity in the form of the Senior Honors Thesis/Project.

Some of the other advantages that the UMKC Honors College offers students include:

  • Priority enrollment during advance registration
  • Specially designated general education courses for honors students
  • Tickets to select UMKC Theatre productions
  • Graduate-level borrowing privileges at Miller Nichols Library
  • Individual advising to prepare honors students to compete for prestigious national scholarships (such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholarships).

Admission to the Honors College

To be considered for admission, a first-year student should:

  • minimum ACT composite score of 28 or a combined verbal and math SAT score of 1260, and
  • have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 in the core (17-unit) curriculum, consisting of English (4 years), math (4 years), science (3 years), social studies (3 years), foreign language (2 years of the same language) and fine arts (1 year).

Students who do not meet these criteria may apply for admission to the Honors College and will be considered on an individual basis.  For incoming first-year students, a total of 27 hours of honors credit is required to receive a bachelor's degree with University Honors.

Transfer students must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • All of the admission criteria for first-year students as stated above; or
  • college-level GPA of 3.7 or above; or
  • participation in the Honors program at their previous college or university.

Continuing UMKC students are encouraged to apply to the Honors College. Students currently enrolled at UMKC must have a UMKC cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.

For transfer and continuing students, a total of 24 hours of honors credit is required if the student enters the Honors College with more than 25 credits but less than 50, and a total of 21 hours of honors credit is required if the student enters the Honors College with 50 or more credits. Transfer students may count up to 9 credits of honors coursework completed at their previous college or university in fulfillment of University Honors requirements.

The above-mentioned admission requirements are "target criteria." While priority consideration will be given to students who meet or exceed the requirements, the Honors College Admissions Committee takes into consideration the totality of each student's application, with emphasis on academics and civic engagement. UMKC wants Honors College students who will be leaders in the classroom and in all aspects of campus and community life. Accordingly, even if you do not meet these criteria, please feel free to apply for admission to the Honors College. Applications are especially encouraged from students who have a strong record of community engagement and are highly motivated to succeed academically.

The Honors College application may be found at the Honors website: http://honors.umkc.edu/. Priority deadline for applications is March 15 for the fall semester and October 31 for spring semester. Applications submitted after these priority deadlines may also be considered on a space-available basis. The final application deadline is August 1 for fall semester and November 30 for spring semester.

Continued Participation in the Honors College

Honors students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2. Students whose cumulative grade-point average drops below a 3.2 have a one-semester grace period during which time they can remain in the Honors College while they work on bringing their cumulative grade-point average above the 3.2 minimum. If, at the end of the grace period, the student's grade-point average is still below a 3.2, the student will be dropped from the Honors College.

Honors Living-Learning Community

The UMKC Honors College, in collaboration with Residential Life, sponsors the Honors Living-Learning Community. Located in UMKC's Oak Street Hall, this community of honors students has the opportunity to live and learn together through cohort classes, special programs and events, informal interaction with UMKC faculty, social activities and community service. The Honors Living-Learning Community is designed to build cohesive community among the honors students, promote student and faculty engagement, and provide continuity of the intellectual learning experience beyond the classroom.

Lucerna, the Honors College Undergraduate Research Journal

The Honors College produces Lucerna, UMKC's only research journal open to papers written by UMKC undergraduates.  The honors student editors oversee all aspects of production of the journal, from soliciting submissions to editing the chosen papers.  Lucerna is published annually.

Kauffman School Partnership

Beginning in Fall 2011, the UMKC Honors College joined in partnership with a local charter school, the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, to create and develop an opportunity for students from both institutions to engage in intellectual growth and creative collaboration. Students in the Honors College look forward each semester to working with the Kauffman School, promoting the educational and social opportunities available to Kauffman students. The Honors College provides UMKC students with two options: work-study positions for students who are eligible and wish to work extensively (15 to 20 hours per week) at the Kauffman School, and volunteer positions for students who wish to help lead after-school clubs.

Study Abroad

Students in the UMKC Honors College are strongly encouraged to spend a summer, a semester or a year studying in a foreign country. Taking classes and living abroad is one of the most personally and intellectually fulfilling experiences a student can have while an undergraduate. Every summer, the Honors College organizes a summer study abroad program in Ireland, Scotland, or Sweden; however, in consultation with the administration of the Honors College, students can earn honors credit by participating in any study abroad program. Visit International Academic Programs for complete information on all study abroad opportunities at UMKC.

SEARCH: Students Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research

Honors students completing the senior honors thesis or undergraduate research project are encouraged to present their findings at the annual SEARCH Symposium for Research and Creative Achievements. The purpose of this symposium is to display and celebrate undergraduate participation in outstanding research and other creative endeavors. Presentations may be in the form of poster presentations or other performance media displaying creative works. For more information, see the SEARCH website.

James McKusick2,3
Professor of English
Honors College Dean
B.A. (Dartmouth College); M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Yale University)
Contact Information

Gayle A. Levy
Associate Professor of French
Honors College Director
A.B. (University of California-Berkeley); M.A. (Johns Hopkins University); Ph.D. (Duke University)
Contact Information

John Herron2,3
Associate Professor and Chair of History
Honors College Associate Director
B.A., M.A. (Montana State University), Ph.D. (University of New Mexico).
Contact Information

Henrietta Rix Wood
Associate Teaching Professor in the Honors College
B.A. (Southern Methodist University); M.A., Ph.D. (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
Contact Information

Stephen Christ
Assistant Teaching Professor in the Honors College
B.A., M.A. (University of Central Missouri); Ph.D. (University of Missouri)
Contact Information

2 Members of UMKC Graduate Faculty

3 Members of UMKC Doctoral Faculty

University Honors Requirements

Students must complete 27 hours of honors coursework to earn the University Honors distinction. Students must earn a grade of "B" or better in an honors course in order for it to count in fulfillment of University Honors requirements. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 is required to graduate with University Honors.

Transfer students and currently enrolled UMKC students who enter the Honors College with 25-50 university credits will need 24 hours of honors credit to earn the University Honors distinction. If a student enters the Honors College with more than 50 hours, they will need 21 hours of honors credit to earn the University Honors distinction. Transfer students may count up to 9 credits of honors coursework completed at their previous college or university in fulfillment of University Honors requirements.

The following courses are recommended, but not required, for all Honors College students. In addition to the courses listed below, students can also earn honors credits through honors-only seminars, departmental honors courses, study abroad, honors contracts, graduate courses, and honors discussion groups (in chemistry, biology, French, Spanish, German, accounting, etc.).

Freshman Year (15 hours)

Fall Semester

  • Honors Anchor 1 (Reasoning and Values): 3 credits
  • Honors Discourse H100 or Honors Focus C (Human Actions, Values and Ethics): 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • Honors Anchor 2 (Culture and Diversity): 3 credits
  • Honors Discourse H200: 3 credits
  • Honors Focus A (Arts and Humanities): 3 credits

Sophomore Year (12 hours)

Fall Semester

  • Honors Anchor 3 (Civic/Community Engagement): 3 credits
  • Honors Discourse H300: 3 credits
  • Honors Elective, such as Honors 391: Special Topics or Honors 490: Special Topics: 3 credits

Spring Semester

  • Honors Focus B (Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis): 3 credits

             OR

  • Honors Elective, such as Honors 391: Special Topics or Honors 490: Special Topics: 3 credits

Junior and Senior Years (variable credit)

  • Beyond the Classroom Experience - recommended but not required
    • The Beyond the Classroom (BTC) Experience could be an internship, practice teaching, undergraduate research, or a community engagement project. Up to 6 academic credits earned in BTC Experiences may be counted in fulfillment of the 27 hours of coursework needed to earn the University Honors distinction.
  • Graduate Courses - recommended but not required
    • Up to six credits of graduate-level coursework may be counted toward the University Honors distinction.
  • Study Abroad - recommended but not required
    • Two thirds of the credits earned in a non-honors study abroad program may be counted toward the University Honors distinction. Honors College study abroad programs are counted as regular honors credits and do not fall under the two-thirds rule.

Honors Scholar Requirements

All Honors College students are encouraged to undertake a six-credit Senior Honors Thesis in their senior year. The Senior Honors Thesis should be a research paper or project in the student’s major discipline that is completed under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Upon graduation, those students who complete an honors thesis in addition to the University Honors requirements are designated as Honors Scholars.

The Senior Honors Thesis is normally completed over three semesters, starting with a preparatory seminar in spring semester of the junior year. Students are invited to select their own thesis topic, which will involve in-depth research with a faculty mentor. All senior honors thesis coursework must be completed with a course grade of B or better. See the senior honors thesis guidelines for additional information.

The Honors Scholar distinction requires a minimum of six credits of honors thesis or independent research project coursework in addition to the 27 credits required for the University Honors distinction. The following course sequence is recommended for Honors College Thesis projects.

Junior and Senior Years (6 hours)

  • Honors Thesis or Project
    • Junior Year: (Spring) Honors 330 Senior Honors Thesis/Project Practicum (1 credit)
    • Senior Year: (Fall) Honors 495 Senior Thesis independent study (2 credits)
    • Senior Year: (Spring) Honors 499 Senior Thesis/Project Writing Group (1 credit)
    • Senior Year: (Spring) Honors 495 Senior Thesis independent study (2 credits)

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog. Honors sections are available for many of these General Education courses.

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester-by-semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years. Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”. In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the Honors College advisor.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study. This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

Courses

HONORS 100 First Year Seminar Credit: 1

This course is designed to assist first-year students to be exceptional fellowship and graduate/professional school applicants. Students will hone their communication and critical thinking skills and learn how to create supportive relationships with faculty members. Additionally, students will learn about the academic resources available to them at UMKC.

HONORS 101 Freshman Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 102 Freshman Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 201 Sophomore Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 202 Sophomore Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 210 Reading the World Credits: 3

An intensive reading, research and writing course surveying world literature from 500 BCE to 1600 CE. The course will cover a range of authors, genres, and cultural traditions, which may include epic, lyric poetry, prose, drama, and historical, political, and religious writing.

Prerequisites: Honors College Student, or a 3.5 GPA or higher, or a 28 ACT score or higher.

HONORS 215 Researching Kansas City Credits: 3

Researching Kansas City is an interdisciplinary undergraduate research course open to honors and other high-achieving students. It will introduce students to scholarly research and analysis through the exploration of important issues of the past and present in Kansas City.

Prerequisites: Honors College Student, or a 3.5 GPA or higher, or a 28 ACT score or higher.

HONORS 230 Honors American Government Credits: 3

This course will analyze the structure and operation of American government. Major topic areas include the historical development of American democracy, mass political behavior, political institutions, public policy, and their connections. The US and Missouri Constitutions provide a framework for the class and are examined in-depth throughout the class.

Prerequisites: Honors student, or a 3.5 GPA or higher, or a 28 ACT score or higher.

HONORS 301 Junior Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 302 Junior Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 330 Senior Honors Thesis/Project Practicum Credit: 1

The Senior Honors Practicum is a graded one-credit-hour course that will prepare honors students to undertake a Senior Honors Thesis or Project. In this class, students will explore different options for theses or projects; identify a topic and faculty advisor; plan the production of the thesis or project; produce a component of the thesis or project; and collaborate effectively with other honors students to develop their plans.

HONORS 350 Honors Tutorial Credits: 1-3

Independent Study

HONORS 391 Special Topics Credits: 1-3

A particular subject normally not offered through regular courses. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. Open to members of the Honors College and students who meet Honors College admissions criteria and/or with permission of instructor.

HONORS 401 Senior Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas Cit region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 402 Senior Honors Colloquium Credit: 1

This one hour interdisciplinary course is designed to foster a shared intellectual community among the Honors College members. Guest lecturers from UMKC and the greater Kansas City region will speak on a given theme, to change from year to year.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Honors College.

HONORS 490 Special Topics Credits: 3

An advanced undergraduate course designed to deal with a topic that is not available in the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when the subject changes.

Prerequisites: Admission into Honors College.

HONORS 495A Senior Thesis-Criminal Justice and Criminology Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495AA Senior Thesis Anthropology Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495B Senior Thesis-Art History Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495C Senior Thesis Biology Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495D Senior Thesis-Chemistry Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495E Senior Thesis-Communication Studies Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495EE Senior Thesis-Electrical and Computer Engineering Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495F Senior Thesis-Economics Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495G Senior Thesis-English Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495H Senior Thesis-Foreign Languages Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495I Senior Thesis-Geosciences Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495J Senior Thesis-History Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495L Senior Thesis-Mathematics Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495M Senior Thesis - Business Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495ME Senior Thesis-Medicine Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495N Senior Thesis-Philosophy Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495NH Senior Thesis-Health Sciences Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495NN Senior Thesis-Nursing Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495O Senior Thesis-Political Science Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495P Senior Thesis-Psychology Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495Q Senior Thesis-Sociology Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495R Senior Thesis-Theatre Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495S Senior Thesis-Education Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495U Senior Thesis-Classics/Ancient Studies Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495V Senior Thesis-Physics Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 495X Senior Thesis-Music Credits: 2-6

Students who have completed the requirements for the Honors College may choose to do independent research and then write or create a senior thesis. If the thesis is acceptable as an honors thesis, the student will then graduate as an Honors Scholar.

HONORS 496 Honors Internship Credits: 1-6

This course is an academic internship that requires written assignments in addition to the work performed in a professional workplace. Internships are individually arranged with the sponsoring organization, which may be a business, school, nonprofit agency or government office. Academic credit may range from 1 to 6 credit hours (for 0 credit hours see Honors 496A). There will be a Learning Agreement established in the first week of the semester that states the contractual responsibilities of the student, the workplace supervisor and the internship coordinator. This Learning Agreement will outline the job responsibilities, workload expectations, assignments and anticipated learning outcomes of the internship experience.

HONORS 496A Honors Internship Credits: 0

This course is an academic internship that requires written assignments in addition to the work performed in a professional workplace. Internships are individually arranged with the sponsoring organization, which may be a business, school, nonprofit agency or government office. Academic credit for this course is 0 credit hours (for variable 1-6 credit hours see Honors 496). There will be a Learning Agreement established in the first week of the semester that states the contractual responsibilities of the student, the workplace supervisor and the internship coordinator. This Learning Agreement will outline the job responsibilities, workload expectations, assignments and anticipated learning outcomes of the internship experience.

HONORS 499 Senior Thesis/Project Writing Group Credit: 1

This course is open to honors students and high-achieving students who are working on senior theses, projects, or capstone papers. The group meets twice a month to offer peer response to the work of members, who set goals and deadlines for producing their theses or projects. A faculty member of the Honors College advises the group. Non-honors students who meet the Honors College admission criteria may receive permission to enroll.