The University ProfessorsProgram of Study
The Freshman Year and Sophomore Years
The Junior and Senior Years
Courses Taught by The University Professors
University Professors Emeriti
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Bruce Redford, BA, BA, PhD, Director
The University Professors Program (also known as UNI) is a separate College at Boston University that grants bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in fields that combine or bridge established disciplines. Consulting closely with faculty, students design their own cross-disciplinary programs of study.
The distinguished group of faculty who make up the faculty of the University Professors Program have built their own intellectual bridges between various disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This integrated approach to scholarship is reflected in the courses they teach and in the guidance they offer their students. The University Professors are some of the most distinguished scholars at Boston University, including Nobel Prize winners, and their counsel enables UNI students to get to know leading authorities in many disciplines. All faculty members have joint appointments in one or more School or College in addition to their rank in the University Professors Program.
Program of Study
On admission to the University Professors Program as undergraduates, students are assigned to a faculty advisor who will offer guidance and assistance in the preparation of schedules of academic work that are consistent both with their particular intellectual interests and aspirations and with the requirements of the program.
During the freshman and sophomore years, the student's class schedule is built around core courses in the areas of literature; culture, history, and society; and science. The remainder of the schedule consists of a foreign language course and electives chosen from any School or College of the University. Freshmen are also required to participate in the ID 500 seminar, a year-long course (one credit per semester), as described in the "Freshman and Sophomore Years" section. The core courses, taught by the faculty of the University Professors Program, provide a comprehensive and solid foundation for the independent work of the junior and senior years.
During the junior and senior years, students design a program of study consisting entirely of courses offered in any School or College of the University, which will reflect their intellectual interests. Course selection always takes place in close consultation with the student's faculty advisor. In the senior year, students are required to write and orally defend a Senior Thesis.
Students interested in careers in medicine are encouraged to discuss their plans early in their freshman year with the Preprofessional Advising Office of the College of Arts and Sciences to ensure the compatibility of their academic schedules.
It is possible for undergraduates in their freshman or sophomore year to transfer into the program. Those students who are interested should contact the program coordinator of the University Professors Program.
For information on admission to the University Professors Program, see the Admissions section on this site.
To remain in the program, a student must maintain a 3.50 grade point average from semester to semester.
In certain instances, an instructor may agree to grant an Incomplete (I) grade. In such a case, an Application for Incomplete Grade must be obtained from the instructor. The form must be filled out and signed by both the student and the instructor and stipulates that the course must be completed within one year following the semester in which it was taken. Failure to complete the course requirements within this period will automatically transform the grade into an F.
Graduation with honors is based on the student's cumulative average and on the final Senior Thesis and oral examination.
The Freshman and Sophomore Years
All freshmen are required to take the following courses:
All incoming students, from freshmen to doctoral candidates, are required to participate in The University Professors Seminar. The seminar meets every week throughout the academic year to consider papers presented by University Professors working across a full spectrum of disciplines. The seminar provides a practical opportunity for incoming students to learn about the academic interests, analytical methods, and current investigations conducted by faculty of the University Professors Program. Students are required to register both semesters. Redford. 1 cr, each sem.
Four Semesters of a Foreign Language
Students are required to continue the study of a foreign language beyond the level of minimal reading competence. For students interested primarily in the humanities, a command of two foreign languages, one ancient and one modern, is highly desirable.
Students are also required to take two additional courses in each semester, one of which is drawn from the "Culture, History, and Society" group, and the other from the "Science" section. Individual courses from these categories may be taken either in the freshman or the sophomore years.
CULTURE, HISTORY, AND SOCIETY
From ancient Greece to the modern world, the relationships of individuals to one another and to the societies in which they live have often been complex. This course examines some of the ways in which moralists and political philosophers have tried to address such issues as the nature of the just society, the relation of individual well-being to the public good, the ways in which notions of right and wrong can be justified, and the possible conflict between politics and other human activities. Among the authors read are Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hume, Kant, and Nietzsche. Schmidt. 4 cr, 1st sem.
This seminar will make use of the works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century social thinkers (such as Marx, Weber, and Durkheim) to undertake a sociological and cultural analysis of some of the central aspects of modern experience and identity, including issues of religion and political culture. Greenfeld, Lindholm. 4 cr, 2nd sem.
Our understanding of the functioning of the human body has increased considerably over the last several hundred years. Much of this understanding has been derived from the application of physical and mathematical principles to the body. This course explores how the interplay of physics and mathematics with physiology has yielded insights into the fundamental biological principles. We discuss the essential role of experiments, mathematical models, and machine analogues in the life sciences by focusing on case studies in human biomechanics and neuromuscular control. Collins. 4 cr, 1st sem.
Prereq: must be enrolled in the University Professors Program. Recent developments in our understanding of the nature of the genetic material, and how it selectively controls a multitude of biological processes, have profound implications not only on the present and future practice of medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology, but also on legal, ethical and moral aspects of society. This course will examine the scientific basis of molecular genetics and will attempt to discuss the societal consequences of that information. Kornberg. 4 cr, 2nd sem.
Students may transfer from another School or College of the University, or from another university. Course requirements will depend on the time of transfer and will be determined after discussion with the Director of the University Professors Program.
In the junior and senior years, in close consultation with the advisor, students continue to select courses offered both in UNI and in other Schools and Colleges of Boston University. At the start of the junior year, students begin to consider the topic of their Senior Thesis, which will be written over the course of their last year in the program.
During the senior year, the coursework continues to be selected in consultation with the advisor. At this time, an advisory committee is formed to work with the student on the Senior Thesis (UNI DW 401-402, 4 cr, each sem.). This committee consists of the advisor and one or two other relevant faculty members from Boston University, depending on the area of inquiry. The student will meet often throughout the year with the advisory committee and the committee will be present at the oral defense of the Senior Thesis.
In the event that a student chooses or is advised to transfer into another degree program at Boston University or another institution, the student is expected to fulfill the entrance requirements of that program.
Courses Taught by The University Professors
The faculty of the University Professors Program offer courses designed to provide discussion incorporating themes and ideas from various disciplines. All but the freshman and sophomore core courses are open to students from all departments and Schools of Boston University.
UNI HU 311 Stalking the Wild Mind: The Psychology and Folklore of Psychic Phenomena and Extrasensory PerceptionA research seminar exploring the implications of and methodologies for investigating phenomena at the threshold of human ability. Topics include extrasensory perception, constraints on the development of human potential, prophetic divination, dowsing, and artistic insight. 4 cr, 1st sem.
Professor James Collins
On sabbatical, Semester II, 2006/2007.
Professor Liah Greenfeld
Prereq: must be enrolled in the University Professors Program. Recent developments in our understanding of the nature of the genetic material, and how it selectively controls a multitude of biological processes, have profound implications not only on the present and future practice of medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology, but also on legal, ethical, and moral aspects of society. This course will examine the scientific basis of molecular genetics and will attempt to discuss the societal consequences of that information. 4 cr, 2nd sem.
Rise and development of the mystical movement in early Islam; analysis of the thought of leading Sufi brotherhoods, their organization, liturgy, and religious life; the impact of Sufism on classical and postclassical Islam. 4 cr, 1st sem.University Professors Program. 1 cr, both sem.
On sabbatical, Semester II, 2006/2007.
Professor Rosanna Warren
Prereq: competence in a second language. Weekly series of presentations by translators from Boston and elsewhere, open to registered students and to the public. Registered students complete special projects and attend workshops. 4 cr, 2nd sem.
Prereq: open only to students enrolled in the University Professors Program. This year-long sequence centers on the critical study of major texts from Western literary tradition. These texts invite students, in differing ways, to consider the relationship between language and belief, rhetoric and culture, intention and form. The syllabus includes readings from various periods, traditions, and genres. Students are asked to analyze closely, to write frequently, and to learn multiple ways of responding to W. H. Auden's question: "Here is a verbal contraption. How does it work?" 4 cr, 1st sem.
Prereq: consent of instructor, to whom a selection of poems must be submitted during the period just before classes begin. Individual conferences. Enrollment limited chiefly to graduate students. 4 cr, 1st sem.
Professor Elie Wiesel
Asterisk (*) denotes on leave for one semester. Two asterisks (**) denote on leave for one year.
Anthony G. Barrand University Professor; Professor of Anthropology. BA, Keele University (England); PhD, Cornell University
Alicia Borinsky Fellow of The University Professors; Professor of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. MA, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Aram V. Chobanian President Emeritus of the University; University Professor; John I. Sandson Distinguished Professor of Health Sciences, and Dean Emeritus, School of Medicine; former Provost, Boston University Medical Campus. AB, Brown University; MD, Harvard Medical School
James J. Collins University Professor; Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Co-Director, Center for BioDynamics, College of Engineering. AB, College of the Holy Cross; PhD, University of Oxford (England)
Richard H. Egdahl University Professor; Alexander Graham Bell Professor of Health Care Entrepreneurship; Professor of Management; Professor of Surgery and Public Health. MD, Harvard Medical School; PhD, University of Minnesota
Howard Eichenbaum University Professor; Professor of Psychology; Chairman, Psychology Department. BS, PhD, University of Michigan
David Fromkin University Professor; Professor of International Relations, History, and Law; Director, Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. BA, JD, University of Chicago; Postgraduate Diploma in Law, University of London (England)
*Sheldon Glashow University Professor; Arthur G. B. Metcalf Professor of Mathematics and Science in the Department of Physics. AB, Cornell University; AM, PhD, Harvard University
Charles Glenn Fellow of The University Professors; Professor of Education in Administration, Training, and Policy Studies. AB, Harvard College; PhD, Boston University
Liah Greenfeld University Professor; Professor of Political Science and Sociology; Director, Institute for the Advancement of the Social Sciences. BA, MA, PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)
David Hempton University Professor; Professor of Church Theology. BA, Queen's University Belfast (Ireland); PhD, University of St. Andrews (Scotland)
James Johnson Fellow of The University Professors; Associate Professor of History; Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. BA, University of Oklahoma; MA, PhD, University of Chicago
*Sir Hans L. Kornberg University Professor; Professor of Biology. BSc, PhD, University of Sheffield (England); MA (by decree), DSc, University of Oxford (England); ScD, University of Cambridge (England)
Charles Lindholm University Professor; Professor of Anthropology. BA, MA, PhD, Columbia University
Igor Lukes University Professor; Professor of History and International Relations. BA/MA, PhD, Universita Karlova (Czech Republic); MALD, PhD, Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Herbert Mason University Professor; William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of History and Religious Thought; Professor of History and Religion. AB, AM, PhD, Harvard University
Jeffrey Mehlman University Professor; Professor of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. BA, Harvard College; PhD, Yale University
Uri Ra’anan University Professor; Professor of International Relations; Director, Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy. MA, MLitt, University of Oxford (England)
Bruce Redford University Professor; Professor of Art History and English; Director, University Professors Program. BA, Brown University; BA, King's College, University of Cambridge (England); PhD, Princeton University
Stanley H. Rosen University Professor; Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy. BA, PhD, University of Chicago
*James W. Schmidt University Professor; Professor of History and Political Science. BA, Rutgers University; PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John Silber President Emeritus, Boston University; University Professor; Professor of Law, School of Law; Professor of Philosophy and International Relations. BA, Trinity University; MA, PhD, Yale University; LLD (hon.); LHD (hon.)
H. Eugene Stanley University Professor; Professor of Physics and Physiology; Director, Center for Polymer Studies. BA, Wesleyan University; PhD, Harvard University
Lawrence Sulak Fellow of The University Professors; Professor of Physics. BS, Carnegie Mellon University; AM, PhD, Princeton University
Rosanna Warren University Professor; Emma Ann MacLachlan Metcalf Professor in Humanities; Professor of English and Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. BA, Yale University; MA, Johns Hopkins University
*Elie Wiesel University Professor; Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities; Professor of Philosophy and Religion. LittD (hon.), Jewish Theological Seminary; LHD (hon.), Hebrew Union College, Boston University, Brandeis University, University of Notre Dame
Rodolfo Cardona University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. BA, MA, Louisiana State University; PhD, University of Washington
D. S. Carne-Ross University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of Classics and Modern Languages. BA, MA, University of Oxford (England); MA, Cornell University
Hermann Frederick Eilts University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Political Science. BA, Ursinus College; MA, Johns Hopkins University; LLD (hon.), Boston University; PhD (hon.), Cairo University (Egypt)
Gerald Fitzgerald University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of English and Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. AB, AM, PhD, Harvard University
Geoffrey Hill University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of Literature and Religion; Co-Founder, Editorial Institute. MA, University of Oxford (England); DLitt (hon.), University of Leeds (England)
Alberto de Lacerda University Professor Emeritus of Poetics and Comparative Literature; Institut Français (Portugal), British Institute (Portugal)
Norman Lichtin University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. BS, Antioch College; MS, Purdue University; PhD, Harvard University
Claudio Véliz University Professor Emeritus; Professor Emeritus of History. BSc, University of Florida; PhD, London School of Economics, University of London (England)
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