Honors Seminars

Fall 2024

Discover new interests and perspectives with exclusive Honors Seminars. These 300-400 level courses are limited to 15-20 students and focus on different subjects each semester. Register for seminars in MyNIU to delve into fascinating topics with some of NIU's most engaging professors. There are no prerequisites.

Perhaps no other institution is so heavily mythologized in the popular consciousness than the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It is hailed by some as the stealthy protector of world liberty and freedom and reviled by others as the epitome of tyranny and democratic hypocrisy. This seminar examines the history of this influential and controversial agency not solely from an American perspective but also from a global historical vantage.

Taught by Eric Jones, Ph.D., Department of History

Learn about the reality of American healthcare now and its prospects for the future. Healthcare topics in this seminar include insurance, shortages, competition, prescription drugs, profiteering, the role of government, and the Affordable Care Act. This course will focus on the availability, accessibility, quality of care, and financial efficiency of healthcare. Students will gain the knowledge to better understand the relationship between health care, economics, and ethics within society.

Taught by Kunal Patel, DrPH, School of Health Studies

In the mid 1654 a French gambler asked a well-known scientist and mathematician to analyze a simple game of chance. The human perception of rational decision making would never be the same again. The history of probability theory will trace rational decision making in the face of uncertainty from its roots in games of chance to modern applications of artificial intelligence, data science, business and financial analysis and more.

Taught by Alan Polansky, Ph.D., Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science

Can social media affect the health of individuals and communities? Students will review the effects of social media across the life span and diverse populations and apply the learning to individual physical and mental health that can help improve individual and community wellness.

Taught by Anitha Saravanan, Ph.D., School of Nursing

Civic and community engagement are the cornerstones of democratic institutions. Students in this seminar will explore what it means to contribute to a strong civil society through responsible engagement and emerge with a better understanding of democratic citizenship in theory and in practice. We will pay special attention to identifying various modes of engagement and helping students develop their own civic identity rooted in their interests and experiences.

Taught by Andrea Radasanu, Ph.D., and Alicia Schatteman, Ph.D.

Are you ready for an exciting journey to Barcelona and Catalonia? Discover the rich cultural heritage and distinctive Catalan language spoken by over 10 million people. Beyond the popular destination of Barcelona, this course offers a comprehensive approach to the political, historical, and sociolinguistic contexts of Catalonia leading to an appreciation of the region’s unique situation as a stateless nation. Through the lens of Catalonia, students will investigate broader concepts of political identity. All readings are in English. Course materials are available for free.

Taught by Laura Vilardell, Ph.D., World Languages and Cultures

Calling all Honors students who are interested in medicine, television, and drama! Are you fascinated by the intersection of medicine and media, eager to unravel the mysteries behind the portrayal of healthcare in popular TV dramas? We will explore how various disciplines intersect within the realm of healthcare as we critically analyze the portrayal of medical scenarios on the small screen. We will gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of real-life healthcare practice. Don't miss out on this opportunity to challenge your perceptions and deepen your understanding of the multifaceted world of medicine and media!

Taught by Tyler Wood, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education


The ability to attend honors-only courses makes the course or assignments more personal.
A'Jah Davis, kinesiology

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University Honors Program 
Peters Campus Life Building 110
DeKalb, IL 60115


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