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 interdisciplinary 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. Kilachand students must earn a grade of B in their Kilachand classes during their first and second years and a grade of B+ in the junior and senior courses. 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.

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 are required to take seminars in two different disciplines and are encouraged to explore topics outside of their major.

(4 credits each; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

First-Year Studios

The studio courses sharpen students’ writing, oral communication, critical thinking, and research skills. Students explore fundamental ethical, aesthetic, and social issues posed by challenging texts and compose and revise their own writing, with significant individual attention in conferences with the studio instructors. Students register for one section of the studio each semester of the freshman year.

(2 credits each; Required Fall and Spring Semesters)

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Challenges

Students take a two-semester sequence during their second or third year that examines global challenges with a team of faculty representing at least three different disciplines each semester. The major challenges we face, including 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. Students will work in teams to develop practical solutions to the fundamental challenges facing human societies. Students register for the lecture, lab, and one discussion section each semester.

(4 credits each; Required)

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. Students will learn how to explain their research and imaginative work in clear language accessible to anyone outside their chosen discipline.

Students register for one section of the seminar either semester of their sophomore or junior year.

(4 credits; Required)

Innovation, Culture, and Society

This course examines the impact of innovation through case studies drawn from a variety of spheres, such as aesthetic, scientific, technological, educational, political, commercial, and urban. Students turn their own Keystone Projects into case studies, an exercise that asks them to consider the broader societal implications of their research. 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 intellectuals, artists, and professionals in ways that complement the curriculum and provide insight into the backstory of scientific, artistic, technological, and political activities. Students choose at least three co-curricular events to attend 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. Students are welcome to organize co-curricular events with the approval of Kilachand.

Keystone Project

The Keystone Project is a substantial work of research, scholarship, creation, or invention in a student’s chosen field. Its primary purpose is to provide students with a sustained experience of intellectual discovery and an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience. The Keystone project 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 begin to work on the design of their project. The process continues in the senior year, as students conduct their research, create their artwork, or invent their devices, and assess the significance of the work they have done. Although the Keystone Project originates in and is supported by Kilachand Honors College, students will undertake their research with a faculty advisor in their chosen field of study.

The Keystone Project might take a variety of forms, but students must aim for the highest standards of the discipline or interdisciplinary area they select. Students of international relations might write a policy paper; biomedical engineers might invent a device; stage designers might create a set for a specific play; ecologists might design a study of the urban heat environment; journalism majors might create a portfolio of articles; a business student might plan (and launch) a new enterprise; a future teacher might design a curriculum for special needs children.