Courses

Honors courses

Honors courses differ from regular courses in that they typically spend less time covering introductory information and emphasize individual initiative and deeper learning. Honors courses offer richer course material, but don't always require more work. 

Check out these types of honors courses:

Core courses

Up to 30 special honors sections of core courses in topics such as literature, art history, biology and psychology allow you to be challenged in introductory courses.

In some core courses, you will register for the regular section and participate in a separate weekly discussion with other honors students. Other core courses are entirely different from the regular section, or some may be enriched versions of the regular section.

Cluster courses

Honors cluster courses pair two courses around a common theme so you can study two subjects in a more holistic way. You will complete two honors requirements and two core requirements.

Cluster courses are only offered to first-year honors students during the fall semester and are capped at 20 students to encourage more dynamic classroom conversation.

Contract courses

Any course that Calvin offers can become an honors course when you contract with a professor to do special research or work in an area that interests you.

Early in the semester, you should meet with your prof and decide what will be required for an honors grade and draft an honors contract. Generally, honors contracts require special reading, writing and/or conferences. You should send a copy of your contract to the Calvin Honors Program office.

Honors thesis

If you plan to graduate with honors distinction, most majors require that you work directly with a faculty member to complete an honors thesis or project. This can be an exciting opportunity for you to explore a topic of interest and gain experience researching and writing before graduate school.

In the fall of your junior year, ask your department's honors adviser about the timeline for the project. You may be required to begin researching as early as the spring of your junior year.