Courses & Seminars

Honors College courses help students develop strong critical-thinking, research and writing skills through active-learning approaches such as in-depth discussions, field experiences, debates, simulations and small-group projects.

Our courses also span a wide array of disciplines, introducing students to new concepts and perspectives. Only Honors College students can enroll in these courses, which are capped at 25 students.

Students can take a mixture of our 1- and 3-credit courses. Incoming freshmen must earn 18 Honors College credits, while students admitted during their first year must earn a total of 12 Honors College credits.

Honors College Courses

UAlbany’s most distinguished faculty teach Honors College courses by invitation. Most of our 3-credit courses also meet at least one general education or elective requirement. Explore the Schedule of Classes.

Honors College Seminars

The Honors College offers multiple 1-credit seminars on unique topics from diverse disciplines to broaden the depth and breadth of our curriculum. Explore the Schedule of Classes.


TUNI 101: “Introduction to Honors Education” (Fall Semester first-year seminar)

This course prepares all incoming Honors College students for life at UAlbany. 

Incoming first year students read and discuss a common book. Using this as a starting point, they choose refined research questions.

Students work individually to create a paper outline on a topic of their choice, then identify and evaluate several sources for writing the paper.


TUNI 102: “Introduction to Honors Research” (Spring Semester seminar)

This course helps prepare students to participate in research and write their senior thesis. 

Students learn how scholars of various disciplines approach research and how a thesis is conceptualized and written. Lectures touch on developing research questions, identifying possible methods, using human subjects, conducting analysis and more. 

Selected graduating Honors College seniors are also invited present their theses and share their research experiences. 


TUNI 150: Special Honors Topics (multiple seminars per semester)

Each semester the Honors College offers four to five Special Honors Topics seminars (all titled “TUNI 150") that address timely issues, invite interdisciplinary dialogue or provide a hands-on learning opportunity.

The topics of past seminars have included: 

  • Conspiracy Theories and Public Discourse

  • Human Trafficking

  • A Non-Mathematical Introduction to Game Theory

  • Order and Chaos of Human Language

  • Sports Issues of Our Time

  • The Economics of U.S. Health Reform from a Global Perspective

  • Understanding the Actions and Behaviors of Serial Killers

  • Microwave Remote Sensing of Earth and Space

  • Mindful Yoga and Nutrition for Health and Well Being

  • Politics and Power in Disease Policy

  • Pets: Aiming for the "Forever Home"

Faculty members interested in pitching a new seminar should review the Honors College Seminar Policy and complete a Seminar Proposal Form

When to take Honors College courses

We suggest Honors College students complete our courses and seminars during their freshman and sophomore years, so they can complete their major's departmental honors program and concentrate on other opportunities during their junior and senior years.

However, if a student has an educational reason for taking an Honors College course during their junior year, they can file a petition asking for an exception. This situation most commonly arises when students study abroad during their sophomore year.

Please note that AP classes do not count towards the Honors College credit requirement. However, students can use AP credits to satisfy some of the University's general education requirements.


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Departmental Honors Programs

The Honors College takes a student-centered approach to nurturing aspiring students at every stage of their academic journey, regardless of their major. Departmental honors programs further ensure excellence in each student's chosen field. 

Students apply to their major’s departmental honors program and complete all requirements of that program in order to graduate from the Honors College. Program requirements are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin

The few students whose majors do not have a departmental honors program instead meet with their advisors during their sophomore year to map out which courses within their major they’ll need to take to graduate from the Honors College. 

Note: Honors College students are not automatically enrolled in their majors’ departmental honors programs. They must apply and be accepted. 

Each departmental honors program has different requirements and deadlines. Please contact your academic department for more information.



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Honors Theses

As an Honors College student, you will complete one senior thesis that fulfills the requirements of both your major's departmental honors program and the Honors College requirements.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Honors Thesis or to start exploring the resources available to you. Good preparation will give your thesis better direction and help you avoid mistakes.

All Honors College theses are available on Scholars Archive, a digital repository of UAlbany faculty, staff and student scholarship. You can search by graduation year or department. 

Decide what kind of research you'll complete

The type of research you complete will be determined by your major. Research looks significantly different, for example, in English than it does in Biology. 

Your thesis advisors and other professors in your major’s department will be your best resource as you determine the type of research to complete. The University Libraries may also have discipline-specific resources. 

Find the current literature

Every thesis starts with a review of the relevant literature. You need to discuss the current body of knowledge and how it was developed before you add to it.

University librarians is available to meet one-on-one to help you find the materials you need for your thesis. They can help identify what’s available in our library, what you can request to borrow from other libraries and what sources you haven’t yet used. 

Please visit the University Libraries website for more information.