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Polymathic Scholars – honors students in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) who seek the Evidence and Inquiry certificate – will complete a total of seven 3-credit-hour courses and one 1-credit-hour course, for a total of 22 credit hours for the certificate. Non-CNS students, as well as CNS students who don't pursue the honors curriculum, will take a different sequence.

Polymathic Scholars Coursework Timeline (2018-2020 Catalog)

Year 1 (5 credit hours)

  • UGS 303 Originality in the Arts and Sciences (Fall)
  • NSC 110H/PS First-Year Seminar (Fall and Spring)

Year 2 (5 TO 8 credit hours)

  • NSC 109, Topic 4: Polymathic Capstone Field Invention (Fall)
  • NSC 110H/CNS Honors Seminar (Spring)
  • Capstone Field Course(s) (Spring)

Year 3 (8 to 11 credit hours)

  • NSC 110H/CNS Honors Seminar (Fall and Spring)
  • Complete Capstone Field Courses (Fall and Spring)
  • PS Thesis Planning Workshops (Fall and Spring)

Year 4 (6 credit hours)

  • NSC 323, Topic 1: Polymathic Capstone Thesis Preparation Seminar (Fall)
  • NSC 371 PS Capstone Thesis Seminar (Spring)
Polymathic Scholars Coursework Descriptions

UGS 303 Originality in the Arts and Sciences: In their first semester, Polymaths enroll in this Signature course for CNS honors students that satisfies the research methods course requirement for the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). In their second semester, Polymaths have the opportunity to initiate and engage in real-world research experience with faculty and graduate students through the FRI, which has over twenty research streams.

NSC 110H/PS First-Year Seminar: Freshmen participate in a year-long first-year seminar led by Dr. Alex Huk, PS program faculty director. The goal of NSC 110H / PS First-Year Seminar is to introduce students not only to some of the university’s finest teachers and researchers, but also to the range of intellectual work on campus.

NSC 110H/CNS Honors Seminar: One of the major advantages of being a CNS honors student is having access to small seminars that connect students with some of the university’s best teachers and top researchers. These seminars help create the honors community of scholars and introduce students to noted faculty in a small-group setting. Topics/instructors vary from semester to semester. Students choose a seminar to take in spring of their sophomore year and in fall and spring of their junior year. See current CNS Honors Seminars

PS Thesis Planning Workshops: These workshops are required for all Polymaths who plan to write their theses in the following academic year. During their third year, Polymaths will take several one-hour workshops to support their progress toward successful completion of their theses.

NSC Capstone Seminars: PS-specific seminars walk students through their Capstone experience:

  • NSC 109, Topic 4: Polymathic Capstone Field Invention: In fall of their sophomore year, Polymaths design a multidisciplinary Capstone field of study inspired by one or more questions they would like to answer by the time they graduate. Before they begin coursework in their field, they write a proposal in which they explain why their field of study interests them, argue that it deserves scholarly attention, and identify six relevant university courses (representing at least two academic departments) and two faculty members with relevant research interests. They’ll take no fewer than four of the six courses. Two of the courses must be upper-division (i.e., advanced).
  • NSC 323, Topic 1: Polymathic Capstone Thesis Preparation Seminar: In fall of their senior year, students prepare to write their honors theses the following semester. Students will conduct independent research, develop an annotated bibliography, write a short thesis proposal, and begin outlining the thesis, among other incremental assignments.
  • NSC 371: Capstone Thesis Seminar: Students are provided research and writing support while writing their honors thesis under the direction of one or more faculty supervisors.