Lower Division Colloquia

What does "colloquia" mean? Colloquium is from the Latin verb loqui, meaning “to talk or speak.” Our colloquia offer students the opportunity to complete introductory-level courses in an intimate Honors setting. Rather than sitting in a lecture hall with 150+ others, students can take equivalent courses with a fraction of that number of students – typically between 20 and 30 students.

Two Lower Division Colloquia (4 or 5 credits each) are required to graduate with Honors. Students may count one of the following in lieu of one colloquium: MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 138, CHEM 175, CHEM 176, or CHEM 225. Click for the dropdown menu to see the course description and the course equivalences. Not all colloquia are offered every quarter.

Colloquia Topics (with GUR category)

Equivalent varies depending on instructor

An introduction to philosophical methods and to the branches of philosophical inquiry. The class will concentrate on a specific subject or topic in each colloquium, and the area of emphasis will therefore vary from year to year. (4 credits)

Equivalent to ANTH 201

Introduction to the concepts, methods and practical application of cultural anthropology. The focus is on explanations for social and cultural variation around the world and over time and the significance of holistic and comparative understanding. Class will concentrate on discussion and also will provide students with an opportunity to explore one or more areas of the discipline in some depth. (4 credits)

Equivalent to PSY 101

An introduction to the basic concepts and methods of the discipline of psychology utilizing the results of research investigations. Students will have an opportunity to perform independent work. (5 credits)

Equivalent varies depending on instructor

The study of history as a discipline, including an introduction to primary sources, source criticism, basic techniques of historical research, and historical writing. Students will study a specific historical issue or event in some depth. (5 credits)

Equivalent varies depending on instructor

An introduction to the concept of politics and the types of governments and political issues in the contemporary world, with an emphasis on the comparative study of political ideas and systems. The class will focus on discussion and students will have an opportunity to study one or more areas in depth. (5 credits)

Equivalent to PSY 220

Prerequisites: PSY 101; or instructor permission.

This course will provide a basic understanding of the function of the human nervous system and how this function relates to behavior. (5 credits)

Equivalent to ECON 206

Prerequisites: MATH 112 or higher or equivalent or suitable math assessment score.

An introduction to the principles of microeconomics, including the role of the market in allocating scarce resources, the decision making of economic agents, market and regulatory failures, strategic thinking, and behavioral responses. Students will have the opportunity for extensive discussion and to explore one or more areas of the discipline. (4 credits)

Prerequisites: MATH 107 or equivalent or higher or suitable math assessment score.

An introduction to the study of the objects and systems that can be observed in our night sky. Topics include the motions and properties of planets and small bodies in our solar system, stars & star clusters, the Milky Way, external galaxies, and the large scale structure of the universe. (4 credits)

Equivalent to PHYS 101

An introduction to the basic concepts and practice of physics. In-depth study of one or more subjects such as: the laws of motion, conservation of energy and momentum, gravitation, electricity and magnetism, sound and light waves, radioactivity, or nuclear physics. The class includes a lab, and students will have an opportunity to study an area of interest in depth. (4 credits)

Equivalent to GEOL 211

Study of the earth including its origins, composition, and evolution of its continents and ocean basins through time. Processes such as plate tectonics, rock formation, climate change, and mountain building, and their effects on surface and subsurface evolution will be studied. The interplay between these Earth processes and human activity is also examined, in topics such as volcanology, earthquakes and flooding. The class includes a laboratory in which identification of minerals and rocks, as well as interpretation of landforms and maps is emphasized. Students will have the opportunity to study a particular area of geology in depth. (5 credits)

Equivalent to BIOL 101

An introduction to the study of biology, including molecular and evolutionary processes, the energetics of living systems with an emphasis on photosynthesis and respiration in relation to the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and the study of the physical structure of DNA and its involvement in information flow in the cell. The class includes a laboratory, and students will have an opportunity to explore a specific, selected area of inquiry. (4 credits)

Equivalent to ENVS 203

Physical geography is the science that studies the processes, forms, and spatial components of natural systems operating at or near the surface of the earth. This course is concerned with the geographic characteristics of natural processes that interact to produce the Earth's varying physical environments. (4 credits)

Equivalent varies depending on instructor

This course focuses on the artistic domains of non-European human diaspora, from ancient times to the present. It considers the historical circumstances of migration and displacement, for example from the transatlantic slave trade and colonial rule, through latter-day immigration and contemporary multi-cultural societies. Students examine the implications of geographic borders and national as well as ethnic identities. We will question the validity and/or durability of those borders in the post-colonial and globalization eras. Central to our approach will be notions and constructions of non-European identity as expressed through art and culture beyond the continents of origin and within new homelands. (5 credits)

    Equivalent to LING 201

    Introduction to the scientific study of language and the various subfields of linguistics, including how language is acquired, how it varies across time and space, and how it is used in different social contexts. (5 credits)

    Equivalent to WGSS 213

    An introduction to central concepts and methods in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Course may include thematic focus on: postcolonialism, the body and culture, aesthetics, science, state/nation, among other topics. (5 credits)

    Equivalent to REL 231

    This course provides an introduction to the academic study of religion. As you will find out, religious studies is comparative and interdisciplinary in nature. (5 credits)

    Equivalent varies depending on instructor

    An interdisciplinary, conceptual and historical introduction to Global humanities and to questions animating multiple disciplines of humanistic study (for example, literature, history, philosophy, art history, religious studies, etc.). Course themes and case studies will vary depending on faculty expertise. (5 credits)

      Equivalent varies depending on instructor

      An examination of the relationship between science and technology and the social and cultural milieu in which they are actually done. Individual classes may center on a single science or deal with a number of case studies dealing with different sciences. (4 credits)

      HNRS 250 seeks to engage students in the fundamental pursuit of Humanism: the conception, design, and implementation of a vision for human prosperity. Building on the course of study began in the First Year Sequence, the Colloquium in Interdisciplinary Honors focuses on concepts of personhood, individualism, community, and collectivism, from theoretical bases, as well as practical, through historical, contemporary, and even fantastical lenses, through a diverse array of such materials curated by an Honors faculty member. Students can expect to conclude the course having begun the development of their own coherent framework for human prosperity socially, politically, and economically; in essence, taking up the shared responsibility of creating culture. (5 credits)

      WWU Sociology accepts HNRS 252 as an introductory sociology course toward the major or minor - students will need to connect with the Sociology Dept office regarding the equivalency

      An introduction to the principles of sociology, including the study of social change, social institutions, and social organizations. The class will also provide an opportunity for concentrated study in one or more areas of the discipline. (5 credits)