Personalized Pathway

The UAB Honors College is dedicated to innovative courses, hands-on experiential learning, service learning, and – most importantly – the individuality and diversity of our brilliant students.

Those learning experiences – and those unique students – just don’t fit into the standard college curriculum. Some of our students pick up second majors or interesting minors, or they incorporate electives from multiple programs to give them a more well-rounded education. Others create individualized majors that reflect their unique mosaic of interests. To make sure their curiosity is fed, their passion is pursued, and their fire stays stoked, we guide our students in charting their own course with their own personalized curriculum.

Benefits

Working with an honors advisor each semester, students pursuing a Personalized Path develop their interests and talents into goals. Then they work together to create a personalized curriculum that will take them places no standard, one-size-fits-all curriculum ever could. One of the greatest benefits to the Personalized Path is its flexible and customizable curriculum. Rather than being told which honors courses to take each semester, students constructing a Personalized Path choose from an array of more than 30 honors courses each term. And when students discover new interests, their honors advisors help them identify honors coursework and experiential learning opportunities that align with those new passions. 

Coursework

In a Personalized Path, honors students take a mixture of honors seminars, honors sections of core and elective courses, honors experiential learning courses, and honors by contract. These classes are smaller in size (maximum of 25 students per section) and provide students with uniquely engaging curricular experiences.

  • Honors Freshman Seminar: These multidisciplinary seminars, designed for first year students, cover topics not typically offered at UAB and are taught by some of our most outstanding faculty. Students choose from 10-15 topics each fall. Prior examples include: Media and Society; Healing: Ritual, Relationships and Faith; Justice for All? Education and Opportunity in America; Design Thinking for Innovators; and Health and Humanity: Being a Global Leader.
  • Honors Core and Elective Courses: Enhanced sections of regular courses that provide students with a high level of engagement and critical thinking.
  • Honors Experiential Learning Courses: Students may participate in individual projects in service learning, research, internships, or education abroad.  The UAB Honors College also offers specific experiential courses, including recent study abroad courses in the Netherlands and Cuba.
  • Honors by Contract: Students may work individually with a faculty member to enhance a standard course with academic work going above and beyond the common requirements of the class.

Community

Students pursuing a Personalized Path are immersed in the UAB Honors College community through activities each semester organized by our student leaders, advisors, and Honors Faculty Fellows. Even before classes begin, the Honors College offers orientation dinners and an Honors New Student Retreat to introduce students to one another and prepare them for success at UAB. Once on campus, our Honors RAs facilitate monthly programming in the residence halls, and students receive a weekly newsletter making them aware of college-wide service opportunities, social events (e.g., Holiday Soiree, Spring Ball), and professional development workshops. Students also have access to exclusive space for studying and spending time with friends. 

Honors-Level Courses

UAB Honors College students on our Personalized Pathway must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of honors-level coursework in order to graduate with Distinguished Honors. Students who choose to earn 30 or more honors credits will graduate with High Distinguished Honors.

Honors credits can be earned in any of the following ways:

  1. Courses offered with an HC prefix
  2. Courses offered with an STH, HON, or GCLH prefix
  3. Honors-level course sections offered through academic departments
  4. Honors by Contract*
  5. Courses required for departmental honors programs

*Honors by Contract allows students to augment their experiences in standard courses. Within the first two weeks of the semester, an interested student should meet with a faculty member to devise an honors contract. Contract details vary, but they share a commitment to academic excellence above and beyond the minimum requirements for the course. Some faculty may require additional readings, labs, papers, or research. Others may ask students to complete qualitatively different work while maintaining the same quantity of assignments. Once the faculty member and student have agreed on the contract, they both sign an Honors by Contract form which the faculty member submits to the UAB Honors College. Forms are due no later than the second week of the semester the student is enrolled in the course. 

Honors Seminar

Students are required to complete an honors seminar during their first year in the Honors College. Available seminars will be communicated each semester through the honors advisors.

Experiential Learning

Students are required to complete a minimum of one experiential learning course at UAB.  These courses may include service learning, study abroad, research, or internships.

Courses

HC 101. Honors College Leadership. 1-3 Hour.

This course is the first course in the three-course Honors College leadership series. Specifically, this course is an introduction to the study of leadership; including the study of traits and characteristics of leaders, values & ethics used in leadership, the situational nature of leadership, the importance of Emotional Intelligence in leadership, and the study of leadership as a team activity.

HC 110. Honors Seminar: Special Topics. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience course.

HC 111. Honors Seminar in Engineering. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Engineering. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 112. Honors Seminar in Public Health. 0-3 Hours.

Honors College seminar in Public Health. Course content varies and is based on topics in Public Health of interest to honors students. Freshmen honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience course.

HC 113. Honors Seminar in Education. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Education. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 114. Honors Seminar in Business. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Business. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 115. Honors Seminar in Health Professions. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Health Professions. Course content varies and is based on health-related topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 116. Honors Seminar in Social and Behavioral Sciences. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 117. Honors Seminar in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 118. Honors Seminar in Arts and Humanities. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar in Arts and Humanities. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 119. Honors Seminar. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 120. Honors Seminar. 1-3 Hour.

Honors College seminar. Course content varies and is based on topics of interest to honors students. Honors students may take in lieu of a First Year Experience (FYE) course.

HC 201. Leadership Skills. 1-3 Hour.

This course is the second course in the three-course Honors College leadership series. HC 101 focused on leadership principles and individual characteristics that contribute to a leader's style. HC 201 will focus on planning the project to be carried out in HC 301 and on related leadership skills such as communication methods, professionalism and the identification of measureable outcomes.
Prerequisites: HC 101 [Min Grade: C]

HC 300. Contemporary Social Issues, Leadership and Scholarship. 0-3 Hours.

Analysis of classical and modern foundations and principles of leadership and a survey of contemporary social issues. Practice in scholarship essay writing, interviewing, and critical thinking. Intended for national and international scholarship and fellowship applicants. Enrollment limited to sophomores and juniors.

HC 301. Advanced Leadership Skills and Practice. 1-3 Hour.

Provides students with an opportunity to lead an independent project using leadership principles and skills.
Prerequisites: HC 201 [Min Grade: C]

HC 395. Honors Study Abroad. 0-3 Hours.

Students will participate in an honors study abroad experience. Instructor and Director of Education Abroad approval required. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. May be repeated for credit.

HC 396. Honors Service Learning. 0-3 Hours.

Students will propose and complete a service learning project under the supervision of a faculty member. Instructor approval required. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. May be repeated for credit.

HC 397. Honors Independent Study. 0-3 Hours.

Students will propose and complete an honors-level academic project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Instructor approval required. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. May be repeated for credit.

HC 398. Honors Undergraduate Research Studies. 0-3 Hours.

Students will propose and conduct an undergraduate research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Instructor approval required. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. May be repeated for credit.

HC 399. Internships or Co-op Studies. 0-3 Hours.

Students will propose and complete an internship or co-op experience under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. Instructor approval required. May be repeated for credit.

HC 401. Honors Independent Leadership Project. 1-3 Hour.

Students will propose and complete a leadership experience under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Must be an Honors College student in good standing. Instructor approval required. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisites: HC 301 [Min Grade: C]