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Washington State University

Courses in the Honors College

Please note: this list may be incomplete and will be updated with new information as it is received. If you have questions about the following courses, please contact

A wide variety of course topics are available to Honors College students. Please check back often, as changes may occur until the semester begins. Need an appointment with an Honors College advisor? Stop by the Honors College main office in Elmina White Honors Hall 130 or phone 509-335-4505.

Course descriptions are intended to provide general information about the scope of the class, the name of the faculty member teaching it, credits, and texts. All descriptions are posted as soon as possible the semester preceding so students can consider their options and plan accordingly. Listings from previous semesters are located at the bottom of this page.

Summer 2022

HONORS 280.1*
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
(Online course – register through WSU’s Global Campus summer 2022 schedule)

May 9 – June 19
Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Creative Writing: The Short Story
This course is an introduction to the art and craft of short-form fiction writing. We will read, analyze, and discuss award-winning short stories, complete weekly writing exercises, and write a full-length short story while working to explore and develop short-story craft elements including characterization, point-of-view, dialogue, plot, scene and summary, setting, and the use of metaphorical language and themes. Each student will have their story workshopped with written peer reviews and instructor feedback provided.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Materials:
Method and Madness: The Making of a Story, Alice LaPlant. ISBN#: 9780393928174

HONORS 290.1
Science as a Way of Knowing
(Online course – register through WSU’s Global Campus summer 2022 schedule)

May 9 – June 19
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

How much wolf is in our dogs?

This Summer we will examine the origins of the domestic dog. In recent years, researchers have taken a keen interest in our dog companions for a variety of reasons. I am a “dog person”, but as an evolutionary biologist, the wealth of research on domestic dog evolution and artificial selection for the over 200 AKC recognized dog breeds fascinate me. Therefore, we will examine the domestic dog precursors, the multiple origins of domestic dogs, and the ancient and recent breeds. However, we will also delve into the co-evolution of Homo sapiens and Canis lupus familiaris, beginning with the ancient relationship between early humans and wolves, Canis lupus. Our studies will include selection for canine morphological and behavioral traits and how artificial selection in breeding results in deleterious mutations over time. Other topics, including feral dog populations, domestic dog use in modern medicine, among others will be discussed. According to one researcher…. without the human-dog relationship, our society would never have advanced to its current levels.
The course will use the Canvas Discussion Board Forum. You will be assigned readings, various media, including films and videos, and engage in peer discussion.


HONORS 390.1
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
(Online course – register through WSU’s Global Campus summer 2022 schedule)

June 20 – July 31
Instructor: Joanna Schultz


An Investigation of Earth’s Anthropogenic Impacts

The geologic record clearly documents five major extinctions throughout Earth’s history. We are now undergoing a “Sixth Extinction” event, caused by anthropogenic impacts. This Summer, we will examine climate change and these six extinctions, with particular attention to the Anthropocene extinction event, its causes, rates, implications, and similarities and differences with past extinctions.
Course readings will reflect course content and will be chosen from the primary literature and non-fiction book sources. We will engage in discussion via the Canvas Discussion Board Forum, watch excellent films on a range of topics related to climate change and biodiversity, and you will have a valuable environmental experience with the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) if face-to-face CCE is back in business.

Required Course Materials:

“Field Notes From a Catastrophe” by Elizabeth Kolbert (2015) Bloomsbury Publishing ISBN: 978-1-62040-988-6 and “Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life” by EO Wilson (2016) Liveright Publishing ISBN-10: 9781631490826 ISBN-13: 9781631490828

HONORS 390.2
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences

M, TU, W, TH, F 9:00-10:15 am
Instructor: Lydia Gerber

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

The Practice, Science and History of Mindfulness

Mindfulness, defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” is an inherent human capacity, cultivated throughout history. Mindfulness training enhances one’s ability to cope with anxiety and stress, decreases the likelihood of burnout in challenging professions, and has a beneficial effect on overall health. Among mindfulness training programs Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), developed in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, stands out as a program that has been rigorously researched for its safety and effectiveness. This class invites students to explore the practice (following the eight-week program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn) and the growing field of published research on MBSR in academic disciplines ranging from Psychology and Education to Neuroscience and Cell Biology.
The instructor has received her training in MBSR through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has been teaching classes in the Pullman community and at WSU since 2012 and is looking forward to working with you! Please feel free to contact her at if you have questions about the class!

Required Course Materials:

There is no textbook for this course.
We will rely on journal articles made available without charge through the WSU Library system
Please have a yoga mat available for this class!

Thesis Proposal Seminar

(Online course – register through WSU’s Global Campus summer 2022 schedule)

Meetings: asynchronous/online only 
Annie Lampman

This is a seminar-style course with the purpose of assisting and supporting each participant in completing his/her Honors thesis proposal. In the course, you will generate an Honors thesis topic, formulate your thesis question, identify a thesis advisor, and prepare you thesis proposal. We will discuss ways to structure your thesis, perform research, and evaluate the information you obtain in relation to your chosen topic. During the course, we will discuss and constructively support and critique projects as they develop in the proposals. Each student will present their proposal to the class, and submit a complete proposal—including title, introduction, research question, methodology, and annotated bibliography—as a final product. S/F grading.