Arvind & Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College

The mission of Kilachand Honors College is to offer a challenging liberal education grounded in critical and creative thinking and interdisciplinary problem-solving. Kilachand provides an integrated, four-year curriculum in which students address important global, societal, corporate, and geopolitical challenges over the course of the program.

Kilachand coursework is augmented by an extensive series of enrichment experiences, including visits to cultural institutions, arts events, and discussions with leading scientists, artists, and professionals. In their last year, Kilachand students complete an intensive project involving research, scholarship, and creativity, and they share the outcomes of their work in a celebratory symposium. All of these endeavors occur within a supportive living-learning community that offers students educational experiences similar to those of a small liberal arts college with the resources and intellectual depth of a major urban research university.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn to formulate and discuss questions of scientific, social, ethical, and aesthetic significance and share their conclusions with a broad audience.
  • Students will hone their creative and critical-thinking skills and apply them to complicated problems of great contemporary relevance.
  • Students will be exposed to a variety of research methodologies and develop the ability to plan and execute an intensive senior project.


All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities.

Ordinarily, Kilachand students will satisfy a majority of their BU Hub requirements through the Kilachand curriculum. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied from a wide range of available courses within and outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Program Requirements

Kilachand students must meet the following:

  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.3.
  • Achieve a semester GPA of 3.3 each semester of enrollment in Kilachand.
  • Complete required Kilachand coursework, earning a grade of B or better. Grades of B– to D will not count toward Kilachand requirements but will count toward BU general education requirements.
  • Attend and participate in the requisite number of enrichment experiences each semester.
  • Reside in the required Kilachand first-year student housing.
  • Not be separated from any Kilachand specialty housing community for judicial reasons.

Required Courses

1. First-Year Seminars

  • Various course numbers (4 cr)

During the first year, students take two seminars—one in the fall semester, one in the spring semester—that introduce them to empirical and scholarly research, creative work, and discovery through an intensive look at examples of current work in various disciplines. Seminars give students the chance to explore important contemporary themes and problems in different fields.

2. First-Year Studio

  • KHC ST 111 (2 cr)
  • KHC ST 112 (2 cr)

In Studio I, Kilachand students hone their writing, critical reading, and analytical skills. Students explore fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social concerns posed by challenging texts and events. They compose and revise their own writing, learning to consider the evidence, media, genres, and styles of expression that are appropriate to the goals of the piece and its designated audience. Meeting one-on-one with studio faculty in individual conferences, students identify strengths and weaknesses in their writing and practice the drafting and revision process. Students register for one section of Studio I in the fall semester of their first year.

In Studio II, Kilachand students hone their writing, critical reading, and thinking, oral communication, and research skills. Students continue to explore fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues posed by challenging texts and events. The focus of Studio II is on learning research skills and methodologies, designing and composing a research paper, and sharing research, orally and in writing. Students hone the drafting and revision process with the benefit of significant individual attention in conferences with their instructors. Students register for one section of Studio II in the spring semester of their first year.

3. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Challenges

  • KHC HC 301 (4 cr)
  • KHC HC 302 (4 cr)

Kilachand students take a two-semester sequence during their second or third year that examines global challenges with a team of faculty representing different disciplines and perspectives. The major challenges we face, such as climate change and global health concerns, are best understood in an interdisciplinary context, and the tools and insights of many fields of study must be harnessed to tackle these problems. The course structure features an integrated curriculum that blends lecture, discussion, labs, and group projects, and students will have the opportunity to work in teams to develop practical solutions to the fundamental challenges facing human societies.

4. The Process of Discovery

  • KHC HC 401 (4 cr)

In the second or third year, students explore scholarly research and the creative process by studying a variety of methodologies and applying them to contemporary issues. Students gain an understanding of what constitutes data in various disciplines and how to evaluate the data, facts, and statistics they see every day. Students register for one section of KHC HC 401 in the fall or spring of their sophomore or junior year.

5. Innovation, Culture, and Society

  • KHC HC 501 (2 cr)
  • KHC HC 502 (2 cr)

In the fourth year, students take Innovation, Culture, and Society, which examines the impact of innovation through case studies. Students consider the broader implications of their research and develop strategies to present their work to a general audience. Students register for one section of KHC HC 501 in the fall of their senior year and one section of KHC HC 502 in the spring of their senior year.

Research Requirement

All Kilachand students complete a substantial work of empirical or scholarly research, creativity, or invention by the close of their senior year.

There are various pathways through which Kilachand students can complete the Kilachand Research Requirement, and students must aim for the highest standards of the discipline or interdisciplinary area they select. Regardless of pathway, all Kilachand students present their work at the annual Kilachand Symposium and submit to Kilachand a written component drawn from their project in their senior year.

Research Pathways:

  • Kilachand Keystone Project
    • KHC HC 450 (1 cr) Proposal Workshop
    • KHC HC 503 (2 cr) Keystone I Directed Study
    • KHC HC 504 (2 cr) Keystone II Directed Study
  • CAS Honors
    • Students enroll in the course credits associated with the honors thesis in their major department.
  • CAS/GRS BA/MA or BA/MS Thesis
    • Students enroll in the departmental course credits associated with the MA or MS thesis in their major department.
  • College of Engineering Senior Design Project
    • Students enroll in the departmental course credits associated with the College of Engineering Senior Design Project.
  • College of Communication Production III Honors Thesis
    • Students enroll in COM FT 468.

Enrichment Experiences

Enrichment experiences are designed to allow students to interact with committed, stimulating, and accomplished intellectuals, artists, and professionals in ways that complement the curriculum and provide insight into the backstory of scientific, artistic, technological, and political activities. Students are required to attend a specified number of events each semester, chosen from an array of panels, lectures, discussions, site visits, and performances. After the event, students must briefly answer three questions that help frame the event and offer a guide to reflection. These are not essay questions, but thought questions intended to provoke quick and energetic responses.