Baseball & American Culture

Baseball and American Culture class picture

Professor Rick Burton

Honors students in Baseball & American culture explore the ways that baseball serves as a particularly American cultural marker in the arts, literature, theatre, film, and advertising.

Fat & Feminism

Professor Harriet Brown

This course explores the intersection of body image, weight bias, and misogyny through foundational critical readings on fat and feminism, like Susie Orbach’s Fat Is a Feminist Issue, as well as newer research and writings, analysis, discussion, and and guest lectures by Marilyn Wann and other pioneers in the field.

Game Studies in Practice

Professor Chris Hanson

This course investigates the historical, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts of games, and considers the relationship of games to other media forms and texts. In addition to games, this course examines screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the concepts of game studies. 

Structures & Innovation

Professor Sinead Mac Namara

From the canal system that made Syracuse an economic gateway for a growing United States, to the Bridges that made New York City a thriving metropolis, engineers and their structures played a significant role in the economic, political, social, and aesthetic development of our urban environment.  In this class, students visit New York City to perform a "structural scavenger hunt" to catalog the works of engineering that sustain the modern city.

The Science of Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks Course Woods Hole

Professor Cathryn Newton

Students in "The Science of Shipwrecks," look at shipwrecks from many time periods—from ancient sites to the 21st century. Through this study students gain mastery of some of the scientific fundamentals of ocean processes and evolving ocean technology. The course includes a field trip to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a major Atlantic oceanographic research center. 

Aqueducts of Ancient Rome

Aqueducts of Ancient Rome Class Picture

Professor Chris Johnson

In Aqueducts of Ancient Rome, the aqueducts serve as a focal point to learn about life in the Roman Empire. Students learn about the role of public works in sustaining quality of life, how major infrastructure projects like the aqueducts were financed and constructed in ancient times, and how they contributed to the economic and military power of Rome. 

Teaching in Honors

The Honors Program is an engine of interdisciplinary teaching at Syracuse University. The program, along with faculty in the top of their fields, has developed many innovative, interdisciplinary courses, some of which have been team-taught.


Honors Program Instructors and Faculty


The Honors Program offers both Honors versions of some departmental courses, and courses unique to Honors. All emphasize active participation, critical analysis, innovative thinking and independent judgment, and often explore topics through multiple disciplinary perspectives. They typically engage material more quickly, broadly, and deeply than standard undergraduate courses. They also push students to test and expand their own limits, to internalize high standards for their work, and to develop a commitment to “getting it right” in detail.

Our instructors include many of the most distinguished teacher/scholars in the University. Most Honors courses incorporate significant writing assignments that provide detailed, critical feedback on student work; some of those assignments require multiple drafts of a single paper, so students learn to hone their writing skills. Many also require oral presentations to help students become adept and comfortable at articulating their ideas to others. Honors courses are often innovative or experimental courses that represent the faculty member’s original investigation of a topic. Honors classes are limited to a maximum of 20 students to promote close interaction between students and the instructor, and among students themselves. (Some Honors courses have even lower limits on size.)

Below are some additional characteristics important to Honors teaching. Not all Honors classrooms will exhibit all of them; the selection will vary with the expertise, talents, and teaching style of the instructor. Among the traits Honors teaching encourages are:

      • Intellectual and creative risk-taking;
      • A passion for sustained inquiry;
      • A facility for serious conversation;
      • Approaching subjects in fresh and innovative ways;
      • Critique of received wisdom – including the instructor’s;
      • Wide-ranging curiosity;
      • Growth in the student’s self-understanding;
      • Sophisticated methodological reflection;
      • Transformations – large and small – in how students perceive and interact with academic and professional disciplines and with the world;
      • An awareness and appreciation of the connectedness of ostensibly disparate domains.

We encourage Honors instructors to create special activities that deepen students’ engagement with the subject, including trips to relevant historical, natural, or cultural sites. We have a modest budget to support such initiatives.