Honors Courses and Components

Unique course opportunities are at the core of the Berkshire Honors Scholar Program. With small class sizes and close access to faculty, Honors Scholars can enjoy all of the opportunities that Berkshire Community College offers. Students who complete the Honors Program can transfer into Commonwealth Honors programs at public colleges and Universities across Massachusetts.

Course Offerings

Summer 2024

Fall 2024

Frequently Taught Honors Courses

These are a selection of courses frequently available to Berkshire Honors Scholars. Click on a course to see its entry in the catalog (if available).

Colloquia Courses
Disease and Disability Mythology
Gothic Literature and Horror Film Climate Change
Knowledge in an Internet Age Literary Memoir
Food, People and Planet Introduction to Psychology
Graphic Novel and Comics Biology of Sex and Gender
Deconstructing Whiteness in America Introduction to Sociology
Conspiracy Theories in American History The 1960s in the US
  ENG-103: Honors Composition I
  ENG-104: Honors Composition II

Course Types

  • Honors Colloquia

    Colloquia are seminar-style interdisciplinary courses that look at wide ranging topics in order to help students think more broadly and critically. They support other courses by helping students learn how to investigate academic areas independently, and by connecting what's learned in one class to what's learned in others.

    Past Colloquia Include:

    • Conspiracy Theories in American History
    • Seventeenth Century Thought
    • The Philosophy of the Life Sciences
    • Graphic Novel and Comics as Cultural Barometer
    • Gothic Literature and Horror Film
    • Disease and Disability: A Historic and Holistic View
    • Deconstructing Whiteness in America

    What all of these topics have in common is that they provide a broad base of understanding that goes well beyond the subject material. They give students crucial knowledge that will connect to and support many other courses that they take, and with important analytical and critical thinking skills that are crucial to academic (and workplace) success.

    Each honors student must take at least one colloquium to graduate as a Berkshire Honors Scholar. Students may take more than one colloquium to fulfill the three course requirement.

  • Honors Courses

    These are special sections of regularly scheduled courses that are reserved exclusively for honors students. They cover the same material as non-honors sections and fulfill the same requirements, but involve deeper and more independent work. Honors Courses are listed in the course catalog under their discipline, with an H added to the course number (e.g. ENG 298H).

    Past courses include:

    • Irish Literature
    • Environmental Advocacy
    • The Harlem Renaissance
    • The 1960s in the US
    • LGBTQ+ Literature
    • Social Problems
    • Modern Poetry
  • Honors Composition Sequence

    The Berkshire Honors Scholar Composition Sequence provides an alternative to BCC's traditional composition sequence by offering two courses that challenge students in rigorous academic writing, research, and presentation methods. The first course in the sequence, ENG 103, can be taken instead of ENG 101, and will give students practice in formulating written arguments, conducting college-level research, and learning to read critically through a variety of lenses. ENG 104, which can be taken instead of ENG 102, is a research and presentation methods course during which students will undertake individually developed research projects and learn how to present them in a variety of academic formats. Together, these two courses expose students to the practices of academic writing and research to be used throughout their college and academic careers.

  • Honors Components

    These one-credit independent studies are attached to an existing course, which results in that course counting as one of the three required honors courses. These are in-depth research projects on an area jointly determined by the faculty member and the student. They must result in some written work that will be kept on file in the Berkshire Honors Scholar Offices. They may also include a presentation, performance, or work of art. Students will add and pay for one additional credit.

    Although you can ask your professor in any course about the possibility of doing a Component project, we also have a growing list of Component-Ready courses - these are courses identified by their faculty teaching them as being ready for component projects.  So for example, if you are looking for an honors course in a subject we aren't currently offering for honors, you may find it on the list of Component-Ready courses, which is another way you can earn honors credit for that subject.

    Process for Adding a Component:

    • Students should contact their professor before the first day of classes to make sure the professor is able to work on an honors component that semester.
    • Students should notify the Honors Coordinator once there is agreement on the potential for adding a component to the course.
    • Students must meet with the Honors Coordinator no later than the first week of classes to start working on the proposal. Students contacting the Honors Coordinator after the first week of classes will not be permitted to add a component.
    • Proposals for honors components are due no later than the end of the third week of classes.

    Learn more information about adding a component.

  • Honors Independent Studies

    Honors independent studies are like regular independent studies. They are available to fulfill an intellectual investigation that is not found in the regular curriculum at BCC. Students should find a professor to teach the independent study; the schedule for organizing an independent study is the same as that for components.

    Learn more information about setting up an Honors Independent Study.