Arvind & Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College

Kilachand Honors College provides a diverse living-learning community and a challenging, interdisciplinary curriculum focused on questions of ethical, scientific, social, and aesthetic significance. Students hone their creative, critical thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills as they learn alongside faculty and students from across Boston University. Through coursework, cocurricular events, and experiential opportunities, Kilachand students benefit from exposure to a variety of ideas and approaches toward solving major problems. Kilachand alumni possess the capacity to understand and confront major challenges as they affirmatively and skillfully engage with diverse social, cultural, scientific, and philosophical perspectives.

Kilachand cocurricular events—which are stand-alone events, panels, and activities—are distinct from Hub cocurriculars, numbered HUB CC XXX, for which students must register. Kilachand cocurricular events do not carry any Hub units.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students explore different domains of knowledge in the arts, sciences, and professions, and articulate disciplinary differences and similarities, including what constitutes knowledge in different fields.
  • Students hone their creative and critical-thinking skills and apply them to complicated questions of high scientific, social, ethical, and aesthetic significance, recognizing that complex global challenges must be analyzed with a diverse range of tools and methodologies.
  • Students investigate a variety of research methods and develop the ability to plan and execute an intensive senior research project, the Kilachand Keystone Project.
  • Students learn oral and written communication skills that allow them to share their research with broad audiences.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular 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.

Program Requirements

Kilachand students must meet the following program requirements:

  • Complete required Kilachand coursework, earning a grade of B or better in each course.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0.
  • Attend two Kilachand cocurricular events each semester.
  • Reside in the required Kilachand first-year student housing.
  • Not be separated from any Kilachand specialty housing community for judicial reasons.

Course Requirements

Kilachand students must also meet the following course requirements:

Required Courses

The First Year

The first year introduces students to academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields and focuses on helping them develop the crucial skills of critical and creative thinking and college-level writing.

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. First-year seminars engage students in scholarly research and creativity through an intensive look at topics, problems, and questions in various disciplines and interdisciplinary areas.

First-Year Studio

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

In Studio I (KHC ST 111), Kilachand students develop 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 tutorials, 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 (KHC ST 112), 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 learning research skills and methodologies, designing and composing a research paper, and sharing research, orally and in writing. Students engage in the drafting and revision process with the benefit of significant individual attention in tutorials with their instructors. Students register for one section of Studio II in the spring semester of their first year.

The Second and Third Years

In the second and third years, students explore a variety of research methods and scholarly and practical approaches to fundamental problems facing human society that are best understood in an interdisciplinary context.

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Challenges

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

Kilachand students are required to take either KHC HC 301 or KHC HC 302 in the second or third year. These team-taught courses invite students to discuss and propose solutions to major global challenges, from climate change to forced displacement to political systems. The course structure features an integrated curriculum that blends lecture, discussion, and group projects, and students have the opportunity to work in teams to develop practical solutions to the fundamental challenges facing human societies. KHC HC 301 is offered in the fall and KHC HC 302 is offered in the spring.

Epistemologies and the Process of Inquiry

  • 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.

The Fourth Year

In the fourth year, Kilachand provides the space and resources for students to engage in their own creative and intellectual pursuits and then share their work with a variety of audiences. At the same time, students will engage in the People in Process seminars, where students and faculty discuss how to live engaged and fulfilling lives within and beyond the University, at a transitional moment in students’ personal experiences.

People in Process

  • KHC HC 501
  • KHC HC 502 or KHC HC 512 or KHC HC 522

Keystone Project

Students complete a yearlong Keystone Project in their chosen fields under the mentorship of a project advisor. They present the outcome of their projects at the celebratory Keystone Symposium each April.

Kilachand Cocurricular Events

During their time at Kilachand, students engage in various cocurricular events that provide them with the opportunity to interact with committed, stimulating, and accomplished intellectuals, artists, and professionals. Kilachand cocurricular events engage students in the broader implications of the Kilachand curriculum and academic community and provide insight into the backstory of scientific, artistic, technological, and political activities.

Keystone Pathways

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 Keystone Project. Regardless of pathway, all Kilachand students present their work at the annual Keystone Symposium and submit to Kilachand a project statement in their junior year, as well as a précis drawn from their project in their senior year.

Keystone Pathways and Required Keystone Pathway courses:

Kilachand Pathway

  • KHC HC 451 (2 cr)
  • KHC HC 503 Keystone I Directed Study (2 cr)
  • KHC HC 504 Keystone II Directed Study (2 cr)

CAS Honors Pathway

  • CAS XX 401 & CAS XX 402
  • CAS PO 493 & CAS PO 494
  • Students whose CAS departments do not offer a directed study sequence (typically CAS XX 401 & CAS XX 402) enroll in KHC HC 503 and KHC HC 504 to receive credit for their Keystone.

CAS/GRS BA/MA or BA/MS Thesis Pathway

  • GRS XX 591 & GRS XX 592
  • Students whose GRS departments do not offer a directed study sequence (typically GRS XX 591 and GRS XX 592) enroll in KHC HC 503 and KHC HC 504 to receive credit for their Keystone.

College of Engineering Senior Design Project Pathway

  • Students in Biomedical Engineering enroll in ENG BE 465 and ENG BE 466
  • Students in Electrical & Computer Engineering enroll in ENG EC 463 and ENG EC 464
  • Students in Mechanical Engineering enroll in ENG ME 460 and ENG ME 461

College of Communication Production III Pathway

  • Students enroll in COM FT 468

Sargent College Thesis for Distinction Pathway

  • Students enroll in SAR HP 495 a minimum of 2 credits per semester