Spotlight on Fall 2024 Honors Course Offerings

As you plan or adjust your schedule, take a look at the interesting courses below (some of them being offered in the Honors College for the first time!). See the Schedule of Classes for more details and the list of honors courses currently planned for the entire year. And don’t forget the HC 409 options for cultural ambassadorship and civic engagement!


Corvallis Campus 

Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Fall 2024.



ANS 121H Introduction to Animal Sciences

Instructor(s): Matt Kennedy & Tim Hazzard

Principles of breeding, physiology, nutrition, and management as they apply to modern livestock and poultry production.


❗NEW❗ CS 321H Introduction to Theory of Computation

Instructor(s): Instructor TBD

Survey of models of computation including finite automata, formal grammars, and Turing machines.



Instructor(s): Ed Ray

Introduces the principles of microeconomics including economic scarcity, price theory, consumer behavior, producer behavior, market structure, government role in the market, externalities, and market failure. Additional selected topics may include game theory, behavioral economics, international trade, poverty, and inequality.


ED 219H Social Justice, Civil Rights, & Multiculturalism in Education

Instructor(s): Kathryn McIntosh

Covers examination of equity and injustice based on social groupings such as race, gender, language, and ability. Discusses equitable approaches and power in systems and institutions of society (e.g., schooling, curriculum, educational policy) and how to actively make change. Reviews contemplation of multiculturalism and personal experiences through a wholeness approach.



Instructor(s): Matthew Johnston

Analysis of linear circuits. Circuit laws and theorems. DC responses of circuits. Operational amplifier characteristics and applications.


HC 407 Writing about music

Instructor(s): Kimary Fick

Can music hold meaning? How do you convey music's power through words? What makes performances good or bad? In this course, students will explore ways to communicate about music meaningfully to an audience through a variety of genres (analysis, critique, VLOG) and analytical approaches used in writing about music. This course will examine diverse styles of music"”from classical to popular to jazz"”as directed by the students' interests. You do not have to have previous musical training to be successful in this course.


HC 407 Creative Writing in Nature

Instructor(s): Jeff Fearnside

Class participants explore nature"”both around them, in Oregon's beautiful natural environment, and within them, through thoughts, associations, and memories"”as a catalyst for writing original works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Short readings in all three genres provide context for writing exercises based on specific prompts, a nature journal, and two longer creative projects. Special emphasis is on experiential opportunities found in various field trips both locally and further away, including student-led interactions with resident naturalists and other expert guides.


HC 407 Community Outreach through Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Innovation

Instructor(s): Siew Sun Wong & Candace Russo

Using Design Thinking and learning theories, this experiential learning course will teach you skills in working harmoniously, imaginatively, and effectively in a cross-disciplinary student team to serve the local community. You and your team will co-design innovative solutions that add value to the Mobile Teaching Kitchen, an outreach program that brings culinary improvisation classes to transitional housing residents to improve food/nutrition security. Your team will pitch to a sponsor and key partners and the winning pitch will be implemented. Come connect your knowledge, skills, passion, purpose and vision to community outreach in ethical, practical, meaningful, and transformative ways.


HC 407 Learning to Fly: Private Pilot Ground School

Instructor(s): Vince Remcho

Learning how to fly is something that many of us dream about, yet fewer than 0.2% of the US population are pilots! Regardless of whether your drive to learn more about aviation or become a pilot is personal enjoyment/travel or to lead to a career, the process starts in the same way for all of us: with ground school. Here's your chance! This course will equip you to take and pass the FAA's Private Pilot Written Exam. Your next step would be to start flight training, which you can do locally with the Oregon State Flying Club.


HC 407 Difficult Conversations

Instructor(s): Eliza Barstow

This course aims to help students both participate in and also design and lead conversations about difficult topics. The objectives include helping participants speak (and listen!) across divides and learn from people with different perspectives.


HC 407 How to keep your pet dinosaur alive: ethics and petkeeping

Instructor(s): Rebekah Sinclair

This class explores ethical issues that emerge in the context of the multi-species bonds humans form with animals we call "pets." Unlike creatures we make work for us, we keep pets purely because we enjoy their company. But is the relationship always beneficial for everyone? We'll read philosophy and other disciplines to explore ethical topics around: captivity of different species, pet food, how to help them die, and differences between training philosophies. We'll also spend time at Lighthouse Animal Sanctuary, cuddling with/finding out about their residents, as we ask what it means to treat certain animals as "food" or "friend."


HC 407 Illegitimate Music: Improvisation and Original Instrumentation

Instructor(s): John Campbell

In this course we explore the expressive possibilities of "illegitimate music": music produced without regard to genre or formal conventions, improvised and performed in nonprofessional settings. We'll study examples of such music, and we'll perform original music on self-made instruments. Here "illegitimate" doesn't have a negative connotation; it denotes musical expression not sanctioned by the academy or the entertainment industry. This is a course for the "untrained" (although trained musicians are welcome): it's not a course in music theory or composition. This course doesn't regard music as product, but emphasizes music as process and permission for free and authentic expression.


HC 407 Storytelling

Instructor(s): Jeremy Townley

Storytelling plays a central role in our lives. From informal stories such as jokes and anecdotes to more refined narratives such as podcasts, movies, and video games, we are constantly creating and consuming stories of both fact and fiction. But why do we tell stories? What can stories achieve that might not be possible in non-narrative modes such as analysis or lyricism? What are the essential elements and characteristics of stories? We will explore these questions through readings and films, short written reflections, small-group and class discussions, informal presentations, a brief personal history of storytelling, and a final narrative project.


HC 407 Throwing Back The Curtain--A Systems Approach to Understanding Life in 21st Century America

Instructor(s): Peter Schuller

Systems thinking and the ability to analyze systems dynamics have become important skills for navigating America's complex social, cultural, economic, and political environment. Students will enhance their systems thinking and critical thinking skills. They will learn about the emerging discipline of brain systems science and direct an investigation into how human intelligence differs from artificial intelligence. The final project will require discrete teams of class members to envision their own scenarios around an aspect of American life and apply systems thinking skills to address the issues presented by such scenario with a specific action plan.


pac 325h wilderness first aid

Instructor(s): Sheila Evans

Crunch! Uhg… Ouch! Do you recreate with accident-prone friends or family? Do you spend any time playing the outdoors? Knowing the fundamentals of emergency care in non-urban environments are useful skills. Backcountry emphasis with long-term care and evacuation complications makes this course unique. There will be a number of outdoor sessions so come prepared with “grubby” clothes that will get dirty or fake-bloody. The course has two components: knowledge as evidenced by performance on written exams and quizzes and practical skills as demonstrated throughout the course and on the final exam. This course covers the fundamentals of emergency care in a non-urban environment, including physiology, injury assessment, short term care, anatomy, and small group rescues. While much of the material appears to be standard emergency care information, the backcountry emphasis with long-term care and evacuation complications makes this course unique.



Instructor(s): Juan Hu

Introduces science and application of psychology. Emphasizes psychological concepts, theories, and principles related to: Research Methods, Behavioral Neuroscience, Consciousness, Sensation/Perception, Learning, Memory, Thinking and Intelligence, and related topics.



Instructor: Ana Ribero

Analyzes stories from and about the US-Mexico border. Explores and challenges conventional ideas about undocumented immigration in the US and considers immigration as a complex phenomenon with various causes. Examines historical and current causes of migration across the US-Mexico border and the difficulties experienced on the migrant trail. Analyzes discriminatory practices of dehumanization, deportation, and detention and reveals immigrant resistance to oppression.



Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Fall 2024.



FW 345H food from the sea

Instructor(s): Lisa Ellsworth

Where does seafood come from, and how does seafood arrive on a plate? How productive are the world’s oceans, and can the oceans continue to produce enough to feed (and employ) the masses? How do different cultures, ethnicities, and regions of the world rely upon food from the sea for daily meals? Food from the Sea is an exploration of the cultural, societal, economic, practical, and environmental features of the protein that feeds billions.


HC 407 Philosophy and Happiness

Instructor(s): Marta Kunecka

We all have a desire to be happy. Is human need for happiness causing us to suffer while looking for an unobtainable illusion or is this desire substantial and necessary to live a fulfilled life? What is it that we are looking for? What, in fact, is happiness"”can it even sustain a definition? In this course we will immerse in the wisdom of some of the greatest philosophers from various intellectual traditions, and search for answers which can become guidelines for life.


HC 407 (How) Is a Better World Possible? Politics Between Utopia & Dystopia

Instructor(s): Philip Kneis

We are all aware that we are living in a world of imperfection, and we frequently wonder whether a better world would indeed be possible. In fact, one of the oldest problems for political and social theory is how to create an ideal state. Yet this quest for utopia has always come at the price of dystopia. An ideal state for whom? Every utopia, it seems, is someone else's dystopia. Even the most well-meaning ideas for creating a better society will have unintended consequences. We will discuss key utopian ideas and how to develop sustainable solutions for concrete sociopolitical problems.


HC 407 Jazz Fiction: "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"

Instructor(s): Damien Weaver

This course explores the concept of "jazz fiction." By this, we mean novels and stories that are not only about jazz, but those which strive to be jazz in their attempts to imitate, evoke, or metaphorically suggest the music in narrative form. We are also interested in the notion of call-and- [reader]-response"”that is, how authors attempt to involve the reader as active participants in the creation of the work. Features of the course include jam session-style discussions, creative writing exercises, and a final collaborative project. Much music will also be played throughout.


HC 407 The History and Future of Thrifting

Instructor(s): Katherine Hubler

The class explores the intersection of charitable organizations, ecological preservation, consumerism, and cultural identity. The course begins with an examination of the origin of “thrift” stores (and the concept of thrift) in conjunction with the industrial revolution and religious charities, the evolution of thrift stores in the early 20th century, the global life (and afterlife) of textiles and furniture, the counter-culture and mainstreaming of thrifting, the ethics of thriftflipping and resale, and representations of thrifting on social media.



Instructor(s): Juan Hu

Introduces science and application of psychology. Emphasizes psychological concepts, theories, and principles related to: Research Methods, Behavioral Neuroscience, Consciousness, Sensation/Perception, Learning, Memory, Thinking and Intelligence, and related topics.



Instructor: Matthew O Laughlin

Explores connections between the study of human behavior and the achievement of conservation goals. Understanding how people think about and interact with nature is crucial for promoting environmental sustainability and human well-being. Students will examine theory and research on human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to nature.


WR 227HZ Technical writing

Instructor: Emily Elbom

Introduces students to producing instructive, informative, and persuasive technical/professional documents aimed at well-defined and achievable outcomes. Focuses on presenting information using rhetorically appropriate style, design, vocabulary, structure, and visuals. Gathers, reads, and analyzes information and learns a variety of strategies for producing accessible, usable, reader-centered deliverable documents that are clear, concise, and ethical.

OSU-Cascades Campus

Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Fall 2024.



HC 407 drugs in societies

Instructor(s): Bruce Seal

During the course we will explore the origins of life-altering and life-saving drugs from early history to those that were developed from laboratories and research teams in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Opium, for example, is derived from the poppy plant that has been used for at least 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest drugs exploited in various societies. Subsequently, during the 1830s the first non-natural drug was developed in a laboratory, chloral hydrate from which chloroform, one of the first anesthetics, was developed for use during surgeries. Other drugs of historical and sociological importance will be discussed up to the present that impact our lives and lifestyles.


*HC 407 Curating Climate Change

Instructor(s): Rebekah Sinclair

In this class, students will spend three days at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon learning about and reflecting on how ethics, education, and ecology come together to address the impacts of climate change in the Oregon high desert. Students will learn first-hand about OHD ecosystems and creatures from experts in biology and traditional ecological knowledge (Ecology), discover and reflect on the moral, societal issues that contribute to desert ecological harms and changes (Ethics), and gain tools to analyze and reproduce the various pedagogical practices that allow curators and science communicators to convey these ideas to the public (Education). Field Trips: required all-day field trips, 9/11 - 9/13.

*not for incoming students new to OSU for fall term. See page 2 of Cascades course descriptions document on the Course Descriptions Page for instructions on how to register. 


WR 121HZ Composition I

Instructor(s): Catherine Malcynsky

Engages students in the study and practice of critical thinking, reading, and writing. Focuses on analyzing and composing across varied rhetorical situations and in multiple genres. Applies key rhetorical concepts flexibly and collaboratively throughout writing and inquiry processes.