Interdisciplinary Honors


Overview

Interdisciplinary Honors is equivalent to Departmental Honors distinction and is specifically for students who wish to combine at least two academic disciplines into one cohesive project. While requirements will vary by discipline, students interested in pursuing Interdisciplinary Honors will work with a faculty member in one of the academic departments, who will serve as their Interdisciplinary Honors faculty advisor, in conjunction with the Honors College. Students will choose one of two options to meet the minimum 14 credit hour requirement for Interdisciplinary Honors:

  • Three-Course Option: Three upper level courses of at least three credit hours each across at least two disciplines, each in conjunction with HON 4010 (1) for a total of 12 credit hours, plus two hours of HON 4990.
  • Thesis/Project Option: Two upper level courses of at least three credit hours each across two disciplines, each in conjunction with HON 4010, plus at least 6 hours of HON 4990.

Students interested in pursuing Interdisciplinary Honors should first meet with Katie Maxwell, Director of Advising, during their second semester of their sophomore year to discuss their interest areas and project idea.


Options and Requirements

Students pursuing Interdisciplinary Honors can choose between two options: a Three-Course Option, or a Thesis/Project Option. The main differences between the two options are the amount of research hours required and the final product.

  • Three-Course Option: Three upper level courses of at least three credit hours each across at least two disciplines, each in conjunction with HON 4010 (1) for a total of 12 credit hours, plus two hours of HON 4990.
  • Thesis/Project Option: Two upper level courses of at least three credit hours each across two disciplines, each in conjunction with HON 4010, plus at least 6 hours of HON 4990.

The faculty advisor will be listed as the instructor for the one credit hour HON 4010 companion course for the upper level courses the student will be completing. In addition, the same faculty member will be the instructor for HON 4990.

In HON 4010 the student will meet regularly with the faculty advisor to discuss additional readings or assignments related to the associated course, and how the course integrates with the student’s proposed interdisciplinary topic. The student will be required to submit a final reflection essay as part of grade for each semester of HON 4010.

Students completing the thesis or major project option will take at least 6 hours of HON 4990 and prepare a substantial product (which must be described and approved in the form at the end of the junior year). Students taking the three course option will take two hours of HON 4990 as a capstone course to explore connections between their courses, culminating in a reflective essay pulling together their interdisciplinary experience.

Students will work with their faculty advisor to outline their course plan and then document this plan in the Interdisciplinary Course Proposal Form, to be completed second semester of their sophomore year (and revised at the end of their second semester of their junior year). All courses must be approved by the Interdisciplinary Honors Steering Committee prior to enrolling in the courses. Under no circumstances may courses be counted towards the requirements for Interdisciplinary Honors unless they are approved by the Steering Committee.


Proposed Timeline

Second semester sophomore year:

1.   Students interested in pursuing Interdisciplinary Honors should first meet with Katie Maxwell, Director of Advising, to discuss their ideas and how to combine two disciplines of interest into a project. Make an appointment with Katie.

2.   Students should find a faculty member with whom they want to work for the entirety of their project. Once they have identified this person, they should set up a meeting to discuss their ideas for their project/research and course options, and begin writing their Interdisciplinary Course Proposal Form. This form is due four semesters before the student graduates (which, for most students, is the second semester of their sophomore year). This proposal form will outline the courses the student is planning on taking as well as a summary of the student’s interest area and overall plan.

3.   After meeting with their faculty member, the student should be able to decide which option they will be pursuing, the Three-Course Option, or the Project/Research Option. The student’s Course Proposal Form should reflect this decision and articulate what courses they will be registering for in the upcoming semesters.

4.  Submit Interdisciplinary Course Proposal Form to Katie Maxwell to be reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Honors Steering Committee.

5.  Upon approval of the Course Proposal Form, register for the first course in addition to the HON 4010 companion course, facilitated by your faculty advisor, for Fall semester. The honors advising staff will create the HON 4010 course and notify the student of when and how to register.

Junior Year:

1. Revise Interdisciplinary Course Proposal Form & submit by the last day of classes of Spring semester.

2. Continue following course plan.

First semester Senior Year:

1)    For students pursuing the Thesis/Project Option: Coordinate/create your final product. Enroll in HON 4990.

2)    For students pursuing the Three-Course Option: Take third course and HON 4010 companion course.

Second semester Senior Year:

1)    For students pursuing the Thesis/Project Option: Finish coordinating/creating final product. Enroll in HON 4990.

2)    For students pursuing the Three-Course Option: Take two hours of HON 4990 as a capstone course and submit your reflective essay.


Required Forms

Interdisciplinary Course Proposal Form 

  • Due with at least four semesters (fall and spring) remaining in a students’ academic curriculum.
  • Eligible students must have 4 semesters (excluding summer) left within their undergraduate curriculum.
  • Student, Faculty advisor and Honors Staff must sign and approve documentation prior to the start of coursework.
  • The proposal will include the proposed interdisciplinary course curriculum and summary of focus.
  • If pursuing the Thesis/project Option this form should include the following:
    • Summary of Focus
    • A Thesis/Project Plan of Study outlining the courses you plan to take during each semester
    • Information for faculty advisor(s)
    • Ideas for a final product (thesis, gallery show, etc)
  • If pursuing the Three-Course Option this form should include the following:
    • Summary of focus
    • Plan of study, outlining the courses you plan to take during each semester
    • Information for faculty advisor(s)
    • Ideas on how to integrate or relate your courses to their overall focus

 Interdisciplinary Revision Form

  • Due no later than the last day of classes concluding Junior Year and as necessary afterwards.
  • Students will revise their original proposal and include updates to curriculum or project focus.

 Interdisciplinary Course Completion Form

  • Due no later than the final day of classes the semester the student intends to graduate.
  • Faculty will submit a completion form awarding the student with interdisciplinary Honors if the student made an A or B in all courses in the proposal.

Students Examples

Geneva Hutchinson ’19

Major/Academic Disciplines: Visual Arts and Communications

Project Focus: Using various art forms to make a tangible, physical connection between people and their interpersonal and mental feelings, specifically as it relates to women, the #MeToo movement, and other feminist topics.

Final Product: Curated group show


Addie Stone ’20

Major/Academic Disciplines: Spanish and Agriculture

Project Focus: To explore the intersection of Spanish and agriculture as it pertains to either migrant workers and their families or urban Hispanic youths’ involvement with agriculture.

Project Excerpt: "My goal in life is to start a think tank dedicated to connecting urban citizens with agriculture. I think that if more people from non-traditional and varied backgrounds become involved in agriculture, it will lead to quicker innovation and more educated consumers. By focusing on Spanish and agriculture, I can explore how to get a very prominent group of people interested or advanced in the industry."

Final Product: Thesis or outreach project


Kylie Ippolito ’22

Majors/Academic Disciplines: Chemistry and Food Science

Project Focus: Sugar Determination and Flavor Analysis

Project Excerpt: "My project would look into the amounts and types of different sweeteners, such as simple sugars and synthetic sweeteners, as well as flavors in foods, such as soft drinks, sport electrolytes, etc. through the learning and operation of advance chromatographic instruments, including GC and HPLC, for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of the aforementioned food components."


Erica Wearing ’22

Majors/Academic Disciplines: Agricultural Education

Project Focus: STEM Integration in Agricultural Education for Adult Learners

Project Excerpt: “The project will be focused on STEM integration and the use of inquiry-based instruction within agricultural education. The project will consist of two parts to assess already existing rubrics and evaluation tools and then creating a more streamlined and content specific tool to evaluate STEM lesson plans that agriscience teachers have designed and use to teach. Part 1 of the research will be assessing lesson plans that meet national AFNR standards and core concepts for how well they integrate STEM and how effectively they utilize inquiry based instructional teaching methods. Part 2 of the research will be creating and testing a rubric (lesson plan evaluation tool) that assesses the lesson plans incorporation of both factors (STEM integration and IBI teaching methods).”


Student Examples

Look at examples of proposal forms and project ideas from graduated and current students.

Architecture and Film Example

Japanese and Forestry Example 

Electrical Engineering and Music/Audio Technology Example

Contact Us

Clemson University, Clemson University Honors College, Honors Courses, Interdisciplinary Honors, Contact Honors, Katie MaxwellIf you have questions, or would like to learn more about Interdisciplinary Honors please contact Katie Maxwell.  You may reach her at bower2@clemson.edu, or 864-656-5512.  You may also schedule a meeting with her at clemson.campus.eab.com