Honors Curriculum

Integrated and Comprehensive

Rose Hill Honors Program

"More than anything else at college, it is the Honors Program that has shaped the way I think about the world, and the questions that I ask as I am analyzing anything, from historical situations to literature to religions and spirituality to my experiences on Global Outreach service immersion trips." ~ MaryKate Glenn, junior

The Honors Curriculum

The Honors Program curriculum is an integrated study of the ideas, events, texts, and artworks that have shaped the Western world, proceeding over two years from antiquity to the present.

Each semester in the initial four-semester sequence is devoted to an integrated study of:

  • Literature
  • History
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Fine Arts

This sequence is followed by two courses in the junior year that focus on contemporary ethical and moral issues.

The Senior Thesis 

The capstone of the Honors curriculum is the Senior Thesis, an extended research project in the student's major field, researched and written under the guidance of a faculty mentor selected by the student. Recent theses have explored topics as diverse as:

  • Effects of cellular aging on human chromosomes
  • Latina theology
  • Environmental ethics 


Interdisciplinary Seminars

Library Books

The first year and sophomore curriculum is also supplemented by a series of interdisciplinary seminars. Attended by all of the faculty and students involved in each semester's historical period, these seminars examine a particular issue from the perspective of a variety of disciplines.

Recent topics include:

  • Ancient semester: Wars, Plagues and Hunger: Communities in Crisis in the Ancient Period
  • Medieval semester: The Notion of Self in Medieval Europe; The "other" in the Middle Ages
  • Early Modern semester: Understandings of Science in Early Modernity; What makes the Early Modern period "modern"?
  • Contemporary semester: The Western Canon in a Global Context; Artistic Representation of Horrific Historical Events