Honors College Core Curriculum

  • An Honors College class discussion facilitated by Professor Mike Williamson

    Share Your Insights, Sharpen Your Thinking with the Great Questions

    You may have had Advanced Placement (AP), college-in-high-school, dual enrollment, or high school honors classes, but you’ve never experienced anything like the Cook Honors College Core Curriculum.

    Prepare yourself for the excitement of expanding your mind in ways you only dreamed possible—probing, questioning, debating, and discovering. You’ll explore new ideas and also old theories.

    The honors core curriculum is based on a series of “Great Questions”—questions that humans have wrestled with from the dawn of time, from Plato to Susan Sontag, from Martin Luther to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a program for the intellectually curious. Some of our core questions include:

    • What is the difference between belief and knowledge?
    • How do we create and use the past?
    • How do we discern the good from the bad?
    • What does it mean to be human?
    • How do we understand the sacred?

    Each question we explore is followed by the same, final question: What, therefore, should we do? It’s not just about ideas—it’s about doing something. Many of our students have been inspired to join clubs or start a service project to help others after studying subjects with the Great Questions.

    Differing Perspectives Come Together Here in a Refreshing Way

    Differing perspectives come together here in a thoughtful, connected way that is refreshingly open and scholarly. You get to test-drive theories, hopes, dreams, and goals while confronting prejudices, assumptions, and reactions to differences.

    Will we all believe the same thing? No. Reaching a consensus is not the goal. We can respect and work to understand each other, even if we don’t always agree.

    No Tests in Honors Core Classes

    Here, we believe an honors education should be about innovative, leading-edge, higher-level thinking, rather than higher pressure. There are no tests in Cook Honors College core classes. We challenge our students in different ways—instead of quizzes and tests, we write together, read together, and exchange ideas through class discussions.

    Honors Core Classes Replace General Requirements

    As a CHC at IUP student, you’ll take your honors core classes instead of several of the general education classes required of all students. We designed it this way so the Honors College adds deeper learning experiences—but not extra time or expense—to your degree.