Unconventional. Relevant. Eye-opening.

As an honor student, you’ll take interdisciplinary courses that aren’t offered anywhere else at FLC. Each course is designed to invite you to engage at the intersection of a variety of fields, and challenge you to think in new and creative ways about the issues we face as a society in a global world.

Recent courses

Honors courses change, but here's a sample of some of our recent offerings.

Cultivating Well-Being in Community

This course is designed to help participants develop habits and dispositions that will support them in living a balanced, meaningful, happy life infused with multiple aspects of well-being. Through a foundation in ongoing, experiential, mindful awareness practices in and out of class, we will investigate the effects of these tools on our individual well-being and that of our community.

Beyond the Manic Pixie Dream Girl & the Mother of Dragons: Women Re-visioning Representation in Pop Culture

The manic pixie dream girl. The Mother of Dragons. The strong female lead. All are examples of women in pop culture who are more trope than fully realized character - and all are created by men. As we see more women-authored work in pop culture, the representation of women changes. In this course, we'll examine how portrayals of women become more nuanced and less defined by stereotype when women are the creators. We'll look at recent film, television, literature, music, and other recent pop culture made by women and discuss how representation of women is changing and how it can and should continue to change so that all women's lives, including women of color and trans women, are reflected in popular culture.

American Superheroes

In the American 20th and 21st centuries, the concept of a "superhero" has been deployed to express American values and goals, represent ideal male and female archetypes, and in entertainment contexts deal with national and international conflicts. This honors course explores the evolution of male and female superheroes and how American ideals and anxieties regarding men and women, political, social, economic, domestic, and international issues played were displayed and explored on the radio and on television, in comic books, and at the movies.

Old West/New West

This honors course will explore diverse multidisciplinary perspectives in the history of the American West from the 16th century to the present. We will examine conquest, conflicts, and compromises related to ethnicity and race, water rights, public and tribal lands, immigration, settlement, urbanization, tourism, conservation, and the environment. Using art, photography, films, and our textbooks, we will compare and contrast the mythic West to the modern multicultural communities we live in today. We will have a fieldtrip to an historic site and a downtown Durango walking tour.

The Human Animal: New Approaches to Environmental Thinking and Representations

This course environmental issues and how traditional notions of topics such as ecology are being challenged by new thinking in areas like evolutionary theory and “deep” history. We will also be focusing on the role of art and play in our lives and what evolutionary purposes these may serve. A central theme of the course will be “representation” and how the natural world and environmental issues are represented in literature and film.

Masculinities

This interdisciplinary course moves away from the axiom that masculinity is exclusively aligned with men. Students will examine the ways in which ideas of masculinity have been utilized by different populations to create structures of power and thought, organize societies, perform gender, and transgress traditional notions of masculinity (e.g., female masculinities). This seminar emphasizes critical thinking and independent research.

The History and Mathematics of Code Making and Breaking

Cryptography – Greek for “secret writing” – is the art and science of encoding and decoding secret messages.  And from antiquity to the present, historical events and mathematical developments, particularly those in cryptography, have been inextricably intertwined.  In the 16th century, Mary Queen of Scots developed a cipher that was then cracked by the spies of Queen Elizabeth I, thereby exposing her conspiracy to assassinate the queen.  Advances in cryptography were not always driven by necessity, but rather often by human curiosity as with the deciphering of the ancient Mycenaean script Linear B, or Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (with help from the Rosetta Stone).  From the Allies breaking of the Enigma Machine used in World War II by Nazi Germany, to the future of information security and quantum computing, we will explore the historical background that motivates the increasing sophistication with which humans have hidden – and cracked – messages from one another.  Further, we will discuss the moral and ethical ramifications of this development and explore some of the beautiful and rich mathematics that underpin cryptography as well.  Students from all mathematical backgrounds are welcome.

Minor or concentration

Enrolling as a minor, you’ll take 23 credits toward the Honors program. Should that not be possible, you can choose Honors as a concentration and supplement your major with 18 credits of Honors program work. You can find more details in the Course Catalog, but here’s the overview.

See Honors in the Course Catalog
Core courses

8 credits

This includes an introductory course, a 200-level course, and two semesters for your capstone project. Your capstone project is original work that involves independent research and a final product of your design.

Liberal Arts Core courses

6 credits

You’ll take two courses from the Liberal Arts Core curriculum that have an Honors attribute. Read more about the Liberal Arts Core in the Course Catalog.

See Liberal Arts Core in the Catalog
Honors topics

9 credits

You’ll take three 300-level courses such as those described above on this page. These courses vary, are interdisciplinary, and are designed to address significant, relevant, and complex topics that fall between the standard domains of other courses.