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 and 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.

(Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

Modernity and Its Discontents

During the first year, students also take two studios, which foster writing, research, and quantitative skills by exploring fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues. They focus on the themes and problems raised by provocative modernist texts drawn from literature, film, psychology, philosophy, and the arts.

(Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

The Nature of Inquiry

Students take a two-semester sequence, The Nature of Inquiry, that 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.

(Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

The Process of Discovery

In the third year, students take a one-semester course, The Process of Discovery, aimed at helping them design their keystone project that they will undertake in their senior year.

The course is structured around three basic activities:

  1. individual and group analysis of innovative research drawn from a variety of intellectual disciplines
  2. individual writing aimed at fostering intellectual discovery, methodological rigor, and project design
  3. group activities aimed at honing project design and presentation skills

Focusing on specific case studies, students explore the structure of the discovery process, including how researchers embed imaginative questions in viable research projects and balance creative ambition with intellectual modesty. After breaking into smaller groups so that students can work on developing their research agendas and honing their presentation skills, students present their keystone project to their peers.

(Required either semester)

Innovation, Culture, and Society

The culmination of the curriculum is a two-semester sequence—Innovation, Culture, and Society—that provides students with a framework for understanding innovation and its impact, while working on their keystone projects in close conjunction with their faculty advisers. The keystone project is a substantial, in-depth work of research/creative project roughly equivalent to an honors thesis. Its form may vary from field to field, but it should emphasize intellectual creativity and aim for the highest standards of the disciplinary or interdisciplinary area in question. At the conclusion of the Spring Semester, students will plan and carry out a conference to showcase their work.

(Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

Co-Curricular Component

The co-curricular program illuminates the backstory of creative activity in the arts, sciences, and professions by exposing students to nationally and internationally distinguished figures doing exciting work in different fields, including literature, the arts, science and technology, law, medicine, and business. Activities include performances, readings, talks, and site-visits to leading Boston cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, WGBH, the Huntington Theatre, and the Boston Ballet. The co-curricular program is an essential and required component of the Kilachand Honors College curriculum and is designed to allow students to interact with committed, stimulating, and accomplished faculty and thinkers inside and outside of Boston University.

(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 project 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 or creative project. The process continues in the senior year, when students conduct their research or create their project, 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. 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.