Betsy Wackernagel Bach, Interim Dean
The Davidson Honors College is a campus-wide association of faculty and students united by a common concern for academic and personal excellence. Its mission is to foster intellectual and civic values, and to support the best possible teaching and learning circumstances for participating faculty and students.
The College offers an academic and social home to motivated and talented students as they pursue their undergraduate education. Students from all major areas in the College of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools are welcome, as well as students undecided about a major. Honors is not a major in itself, but an enhancement to General Education in the liberal arts and sciences as well as to virtually all undergraduate majors on campus.
The new Honors College building, at the center of the campus, provides a large student lounge, study rooms, classrooms and a computer center for student use. Additionally, the new Instructional Technology Resource Center (ITRC), located in the Davidson Honors College lower level, provides Honors College faculty and students with a state-of-the-art technology resource for possible collaborative work. The Honors Students' Association plans and conducts a variety of social and academic activities as well as community service projects throughout the year. A special Honors dormitory floor is available. The Davidson Honors College also sponsors The University of Montana Volunteer Action Services, an office that coordinates student service activities in the community and beyond, and supports the integration of community service experience into the academic curriculum.
As they pursue their undergraduate education, students in the Davidson Honors College are asked to focus on three broad themes:
Honors students are encouraged to pursue these themes inside the classroom and out, in their work and their recreation, in volunteer service, membership in clubs and organizations, participation in campus and civic governance, in independent study, pursuit of their hobbies and interests, and in formal course work.
Honors courses are limited in enrollment to 20-25 students and usually are conducted in a discussion or seminar format, emphasizing critical thinking, the development of written and oral communication skills, direct contact with the faculty, and use of original texts or "hands-on," participatory experience. These courses are taught by outstanding faculty selected according to their department's standards of excellence. Course offerings vary somewhat and represent many academic departments and subject areas. Honors courses typically fulfill General Education and many common major requirements.
Some Honors courses are offered as a part of Learning Communities or Freshman Interest Groups. In these groupings, a cohort of students enrolls for the same two or three courses in a given semester. Each class meets separately with its own instructor, but the same students are in all classes. Frequently in contact with one another and dealing with the same issues daily, these students tend to have a more intense learning experience than those in individual classes.
At the junior and senior level students are offered a selection of honors seminars. These seminars are open to students from all disciplines. The aim of these seminars is to assist students in applying different methods of inquiry and research, in using the insights of various disciplines, in integrating the students' knowledge, and in developing well-informed personal stances toward the material and issues studied.
In their last year, students complete an honors thesis or project, assuming responsibility, together with a faculty mentor, for a significant undertaking in the civic or intellectual world. This project may coincide with a departmental requirement, and is intended to prepare students to fulfill roles of intellectual, moral, cultural or social leadership as they realize their places in society.
Assessment of Personal and Academic Goals
A college education invites students to formulate goals and reflect on their progress toward attaining them. Davidson Honors College students are responsible for evaluating their aims and attainments from year to year in collaboration with an advisor. Entering students are asked to assess their abilities and resources and begin to formulate interests and aims in light of the themes of community, communication and leadership mentioned above.
Davidson Honors College students are required to complete a minimum of seven honors courses, including HC 121L and a senior honors project (may be counted as one honors course). Details are available in the Davidson Honors College office or on the DHC web site.
It also is recommended that all students include in their curriculum at least one course or seminar or independent study project which includes an experience of volunteer community service.
To maintain good standing in the College, students must take at least one honors course per year and maintain an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. Academic progress is reviewed each semester. Those with strong grades are commended, and those whose grades are below the 3.0 standard are given an academic warning. A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 is placed on academic probation and remains in this status until the cumulative grade point average rises to 3.0 or higher. Suspension from the Honors College occurs when the term grade point average of a student on probation is below 3.0. A suspended student may be reinstated when the cumulative grade point average rises to 3.0 or higher.
Graduation through the Davidson Honors College requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and 3.4 in the major field. Upon successful completion of the requirements, students will receive their bachelor degrees as "University Scholars" in their respective majors and have this noted on their diplomas. Graduation through the Davidson Honors College is not connected with the distinctions "with honors" and "with high honors" bestowed on the recommendation of major departments according to certain grade point averages and/or on the basis of exams or other means of assessment in the senior year.
The Davidson Honors College administers the Presidential Leadership Scholarships for incoming freshmen, and several other scholarship programs for currently enrolled students. For further information about these scholarship programs, contact the Honors College. Honors students and those transferring from other institutions are eligible for the general scholarship program. For further information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
The Honors College also coordinates University of Montana participation in the National Merit Scholarship program. Four-year awards are available to finalists who have indicated UM as their first choice for attending college, as well as to semi-finalists. Interested students should contact the Honors College for details as soon as they know their status in the competition.
Eligibility and Application
Admission to the Honors College is open to students who present evidence of strong motivation and abilities. Ordinarily, these can be attested to by standing in the upper 10 percent of the high school graduating class, or ACT composite scores of 27 or higher or SAT combined scores of 1150 or higher. Transfer students should have a grade point average of 3.4 or higher. These criteria are not absolute, however, and motivated students are encouraged to apply.
Applications are invited from non-traditional students, those from minority backgrounds, and those whose experience of formal education may not reflect their abilities and motivation. Evaluation of all applications will consider not only numerical data but character and life experience as well. Priority consideration will be given to applications received before February 1. Applications received after that date will be considered on a space available basis only.
Admission to the Davidson Honors College is a separate process from admission to The University of Montana. To obtain an application form, contact:
The Davidson Honors College
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: (406) 243-2541
web page: http://www.dhc.umt.edu
U = for undergraduate credit only, UG = for undergraduate or graduate credit, G = for graduate credit. R after the credit indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R.
Honors College (HC)
U 121L Ways of Knowing 3 cr. Offered autumn and spring. A critical assessment of contrasting epistemological stances expressed in various views of God, nature and the self.
U 194 Introduction to Honors Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr. Interdisciplinary offerings by various faculty. Orientation to practical and theoretical issues facing students entering college.
U 195 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-6) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 196 Independent Study Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr.
U 198 Cooperative Education Experience Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr. Practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus.
U 295 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-6) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 298 Cooperative Education Experience Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr. Practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus.
U 395 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-6) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 396 Independent Study Variable cr. (R-6) Offered intermittently. Prereq., consent of instr.
U 398 Cooperative Education Experience Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr. Practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus.
U 496 Independent Study Variable cr. (R-3) Prereq., consent of instr.
U 498 Cooperative Education Experience Variable cr. (R-6) Prereq., consent of instr. Practical application of classroom learning during placements off campus.
U 499 Honors Thesis/Project Variable cr. (R-9) Prereq., consent of thesis/project director and dean of Honors College.
Betsy Wackernagel Bach, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1985 (Interim Dean)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Sean O'Brien, Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1989 (Philosophy; Advisor)