Undergraduate Bulletin, 1999-2000

General Education Honors Program

Richard L. Collier, Director

Presidential Scholars, Frederick Douglass Scholars, and students who complete a semester or more at the University at Albany with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher are invited to enter this program. Other students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher may apply for admission on a space-available basis. To remain in the program, students must maintain an honors cumulative average of at least 3.25.

All tutorials in the General Education Honors Program are preceded by the prefix T. All tutorials are considered "liberal arts and sciences" courses. For major and minor programs which require lower division electives in the given subject, a General Education Honors Tutorial may be applied toward the major or minor. (For example, the tutorial T Eng 240 counts as a lower level elective within an English major or minor.)
These "tutorials" (honors seminars) have remained the distinctive feature of this program for the several hundred students who have participated in General Education Honors since the program was initiated over a decade ago. Because the students meet with honors instructors regularly to develop and discuss individual honors projects related to the course, this affords students an early opportunity to do creative and rewarding work under the mentorship of some of the University's leading faculty members.

Tutorials are likely to involve such elements as independent study and readings; seminars or colloquia with other honors students and faculty; critiques or position papers; fieldwork; individual and directed research; creative works; and opportunities for students to relate the course material to their own interests and intellectual commitments, whether for a major, career, extracurricular pursuit, or hobbies.

First Semester Self-Selection:

Some entering freshmen who feel they will benefit from individualized honors work and believe they will achieve the 3.25 requisite average may enroll in the program at orientation for their first semester. Since the number of spaces remaining in the fall semester honors courses limits this option, admission is on a first come, first served basis until all spaces are filled.

To continue in the program, students must maintain an overall Albany average of at least 3.25. Students who choose not to continue in the program may still apply the credit from satisfactorily completed tutorials toward graduation, General Education, and major or minor requirements, as appropriate.

General Education Honors Program Requirements:

Students admitted will take 18 credits of their General Education requirements by completing specifically designated honors courses and their accompanying tutorials.

Students must complete six credits each in their choice of three different General Education discipline categories (currently, there are five categories: Humanities and the Arts, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Cultural and Historical Perspectives, and Human Diversity).

Students who successfully complete the three pairs of honors courses and graduate with a 3.25 or higher cumulative grade point average will have entered on their transcripts the words:

Honors in the General Education Program

Alternatives to the Regularly Scheduled Honors Tutorials:


    U Uni 101 Foundations of Great Ideas I

    U Uni 102E Foundations of Great Ideas II

    Presidential and Douglass Scholars who complete either of these courses may use it plus a General Education course of their choice as one of the three pairs.


    Students are encouraged-but not required-to complete the three pairs of courses within their first four semesters, before they are likely to participate in study abroad programs, internships, honors work in their major, preparing for their application to graduate and professional programs, and so on.

    Nevertheless, at times students who have completed two of the three required pairs of courses in the program will be unable to accommodate comfortably into their programs a third pair of the regularly scheduled honors courses and tutorials.

    At that point, students should discuss this problem with the director of the program to see whether an individually designed tutorial (essentially, a directed study project) can be created for the student to complete the program when paired with another course already completed by the student. This option depends on the willingness of a member of the Albany faculty to serve as the instructor of the individualized tutorial.

Major Honors Programs

In an effort to provide challenging and alternative curricular options to its best undergraduates, the University has taken a revitalized interest in encouraging its academic departments and programs to offer high-quality major honors programs. The majority of Albany major programs already have this opportunity in place. Descriptions of these programs may be found under the academic unit offering the program. Students who complete an honors program may receive a special honors certificate upon the recommendation of their major department.

Current List of Programs

Honors programs exist in the following majors. The College of Arts and Science is working to develop major honors programs in the few departments which do not currently offer them.

Art (departmental studio program)
Atmospheric Science
Chinese Studies
Computer Science (all three programs)
East Asian Studies (interdisciplinary)
Greek and Roman Civilization
Japanese Studies (interdisciplinary)
Judaic Studies
Latin American Studies
Political Science
Puerto Rican Studies
Rhetoric and Communication

University Honors Scholars

If a student successfully completes the requirements for the General Education Honors Program as well as the requirements for one of the departmental/ major honors programs listed previously, the student will be designated a UNIVERSITY HONORS SCHOLAR and this distinction will be entered on the student's transcript.

General Education Honors Program Tutorials

The following are among the tutorials that have been offered in the program. The list changes each semester and appears in the published Schedule of Classes for the given term.

T Aas 220Z Black and White in America
T Ant 110N Intro to Human Evolution
T Ant 131M Ancient Peoples of the World
T Ant 160G Symbol and Human Nature
T Arh 170L Survey of Art Western World I
T Atm 102N Science/Major Environ Issues
T Atm 107N The Oceans
T Bio 102N General Biological Sciences
T Eac 170W China Its Culture & Heritage
T Clc 110L Great Ideas of Greece & Rome
T Com 100M Human Communication
T Csi 201N Intro to Computer Science
T Eco 110M Principles Eco I: Microeconomics
T Eng 144E/L Reading Shakespeare
T Eng 222L Masterpieces of Literature
T Eng 233L/234L Modern Drama, Poetry
T Eng 240 Growing Up in America
T Eng 295L/296L Classics Western Lit: Drama
T Geo 100N Planet Earth
T Gog 102M Intro to Human Geography
T Gog 160M China: People and Places
T His 100/101 U.S. History I, II (3,3)
T His 130/131 History European Civ I, II (3,3)
T His 158 World in the 20th Century
T His 263E Art, Music & History
T His/Jst 275 Antisemitism in Hist Perspective
T Jst 150 Survey of Jewish Civilization
T Jst 155 Judaism: Traditions & Practice
T Jst 260 Jews & Immigrant Exper in America
T Lcs 100 Cultures of Latin America
T Mus 208L Intro to Opera
T Mus/Lcs 216L Music of Latin America
T Phi 114L Morals and Society
T Pos 101M American Politics
T Pos 102M Comparative/International Politics
T Psy 101M Intro to Psychology
T Rel 100L Intro to Religion
T Soc 115M Intro to Sociology
T Thr 107L Intro to Dramatic Art

For further information on the program, please contact

Mr. Richard L. Collier,
Director of the General Education Honors
Program, AD 214,

University at Albany