Hood Honors Programs

The Honors Program at Hood is highly selective, admitting a limited number of outstanding students each year. Successful applicants are awarded a stackable award of $2,000, which is added to their existing merit scholarship and is renewable annually. Eligibility for the Honors Program is determined as a part of the admission application process.

Freshman year

Students take two Honors seminars, each with a different theme. The first, Honors 101, explores the problem of evil: its sociological and philosophical dimensions, and its representation in literature and art. The second, Honors 102, takes an interdisciplinary approach to the sciences and technology, through topics such as AIDS and ethics or the medicinal properties of plants.

Honors Program students take field trips to augment their freshmen year courses.

Honors 101 trips have included:

  • The National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.
  • Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Honors 102 trips have included:

  • U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
  • The National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

Sophomore year

Students first choose a seminar that investigates global issues. One course is called “Gods, Guns, and Globalization”; another examines the cultures of northern Africa. The spring semester offers a faculty-guided practicum featuring a community-service project tailored to students’ academic interests. Each student chooses a social or intellectual problem to address, writes a research paper and works at an off-campus site, gaining experience that can help determine a future career.

Sample research papers:

  • “Power Shifting and Getting in Gear: The Youth Movement Toward a Sustainable Future” Site: Energy Action Coalition
  • “19th Century Health Care” Site: National Museum of Civil War Medicine
  • “Environmental Justice Through the Eyes of the Deep Ecologist” Site: Catoctin Zoo
  • “Slavery and Social Injustice” Site: Monocacy National Battlefield
  • “Acid Victims: A Spotlight on Social Injustices Faced by Women in South Asian Countries” Site: Frederick Memorial Hospital

Junior year

Students choose upper-level Honors electives from a wide array of options. These courses fulfill specific requirements in the civilization section of Hood’s Core curriculum. Students may also elect to study abroad; sites chosen by Honors students include France, Spain, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Israel, Korea and New Zealand. Study abroad counts as one Honors elective. Sample Honors electives:

  • African Political Autobiography
  • Images of Women (team-taught by an archaeologist and a historian)
  • Mind-Body Medicine: Eastern and Western Approaches to Healing
  • Law and Cyberspace (team-taught by a lawyer and a computer scientist)
  • Dante and Giotto (team-taught by a literary critic and an art historian)
  • Censorship in America (team-taught by a political scientist and a journalist)

Senior seminar

The senior seminar is a high point of the Honors Program. Students choose a topic of broad interest and select a faculty member to teach the course. Recent seminar topics include love and friendship; political assassinations; the hero in popular culture; the city of Frederick; and monsters from antiquity to the present.

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