In addition to their enrollment in Kilachand Honors College, students pursue a major in one of Boston University’s eight degree-granting undergraduate schools or colleges and pursue liberal arts coursework through Kilachand Honors College. The Kilachand Honors College curriculum will satisfy some or all of each student’s general education requirements at his or her home school or college, depending on the program. Only Kilachand courses with a grade of B in the first two years, and B+ or higher in the last two years, will count toward completion of Kilachand Honors College requirements. All components of the curriculum must be completed for students to graduate with Kilachand Honors College designation. The Kilachand Honors College curriculum consists of seven 4-credit courses and two 2-credit courses in conjunction with a required co-curricular component. The 32 credits of required coursework are to be completed over the course of no fewer than seven semesters, and the six required components of the program must be completed in the following sequence:

First-Year Seminars

During the first year, students take two seminars—one in the fall semester, one in the spring semester—that introduce them to research, creation, and discovery through an intensive look at an example of current work in a specific discipline. Seminars give students the chance to explore important contemporary themes and problems in different fields. Students register for one seminar each semester. Students are required to take one course in two different discipline areas. A second Kilachand Honors College freshman seminar in the discipline area of the first will not count toward the completion of Kilachand Honors College requirements.

(4 credits; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

Modernity and Its Discontents

Studios attempts to sharpen students’ writing, oral, and research skills. The studios do so in large part by exploring fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues posed by classic modernist texts in fields including literature, fine art, philosophy, psychology, and film. Students register for one section of the studio each semester of the freshman year.

(2 credits; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

The Nature of Inquiry

Students take a two-semester sequence, The Nature of Inquiry, which examines how we investigate nature, art, society and their interconnections. It does so by examining and juxtaposing the practices of three disciplines per semester. The fields in question may vary, but they are chosen to ensure intellectual breadth. The individual units are tied together by reference to an underlying common theme. Throughout the course, students consider fundamental ethical, social, and aesthetic issues posed by the relationship of human beings to each other, nature, and works of art. Students register for the lecture, lab, and one discussion section each semester.

(4 credits; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

The Process of Discovery

This one-semester course explores the structure of the discovery process, focusing on how researchers embed imaginative questions in viable research projects and balance creative ambition with intellectual modesty. The course is designed to guide students through the challenge of designing their senior research projects through common readings of field-changing research across disciplines, individual and group project analysis, and intensive writing exercises. Together with Kilachand Honors College faculty and a faculty advisor of their own choosing, students will learn how to capture the explanatory power of an imaginative leap in clear language accessible to anyone outside their chosen discipline. Students register for one section of the seminar either semester of their junior year.

(4 credits; Required either semester)

Innovation, Culture, and Society

This course examines the process and impact of innovation in a variety of spheres, such as aesthetic, scientific, technological, educational, political, commercial, and urban. Students register for one section of the seminar each semester of the senior year.

(2 credits; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)


This course is a directed study in which students work on and complete their keystone projects in close conjunction with their faculty advisors. Students register for the directed study each semester of their senior year unless otherwise instructed.

(2 credits; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

Co-Curricular Component

Co-curricular events are designed to allow students to interact with committed, stimulating, and accomplished faculty and thinkers inside and outside of Boston University. Site visits to high-tech companies, master classes, and theatrical rehearsals will, among other things, provide insight into the backstory of scientific, artistic, technological, and political activity. Our site visits, frequent lectures, readings, and performances complement the curriculum and give students the opportunity to meet artists, scientists, writers, performers, physicians, judges, entrepreneurs, and educators and allow them to explore Boston’s architecture, environment, and history. Participation is required of all students and attendance is considered mandatory unless a student has an approved academic conflict. Any student who cannot attend a co-curricular event must submit an absence request form to be excused.

(Required Fall and Spring Semesters, four years)

Keystone Project

The keystone project is a substantial, in-depth work of research, creation, or invention in a student’s chosen field. The primary purpose of the keystone projects is to provide students with a sustained experience of intellectual discovery. That experience begins in the junior year, when students learn to balance the excitement of imaginative approaches to their intellectual interests with the rigor of field-specific methodologies, and work on the design of their research/creative project. The process continues in the senior year, when students conduct their research, create their artwork, or invent their devices, and assess the significance of the work they have done.

The form of the keystone project may vary from field to field, but it should aim for the highest standards of the disciplinary or interdisciplinary area in question. For example, students of international relations might write a policy paper; biomedical engineers might create a device; stage designers might create a set for a specific play; ecologists might design a study of the urban heat environment; painters might create a portfolio of pictures; journalism majors might create a portfolio of articles; artists might create a pop-up gallery; a business student may design a playground for disabled children. Although the keystone project originates in and is supported by Kilachand Honors College, students will undertake their research, and be advised, in their chosen field of study.