BIC & the Honors Program
The Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and the Honors Program share many similarities.
Small class sizes: Small classes allow for more meaningful discussion and personal attention from the professor.
Seminar style teaching: Seminar style teaching consists of thoughtful dialogue, where each person’s voice is heard within the context of a small group of peers (usually about 10-15 students per class). A professor guides the conversation and may also present information in lecture form. But students are not passive note-takers! Much of the preparatory work is done outside the classroom so that meaningful conversations may take place in class itself.
Intellectual and character formation: Students often find that these seminar-style classes form them both intellectually and personally. In learning how to converse civilly, sometimes with humor, and always with integrity, they gain skills for living with people who often differ quite markedly from them.
Devoted faculty: Accomplished faculty from both the BIC and the Honors Program meet regularly with students, to guide them in their academic pursuits and throughout Honors thesis projects. Faculty often invite students to their homes, or to church, and get to know them as people. Professors write informed and detailed recommendation letters for internships and graduate programs. And many mentorships continue long after students have graduated from Baylor.
Informed engagement: Program classes engage meaningful and sometimes even contentious issues. We converse about difficult questions of faith, Christian doctrine, and about contemporary social problems. Perhaps most important of all, these kinds of intense conversations encourage deep and lasting friendships.
The BIC and Honors Program complement each other.
Students complete the majority of their BIC courses during their freshman and sophomore years at Baylor. By their junior and senior years, they will only have 2 or 3 courses remaining in the BIC. Honors students are required to earn Honors credits their freshman and sophomore years but complete the more rigorous aspects of the program their junior and senior years. The Honors program curriculum culminates in a Senior Thesis. For this project you choose and work with a mentor who guides you in choosing and pursuing a research question. A required course in research methods during your sophomore or junior year is meant to guide you as you formulate your particular project. A thesis might consist of bench research in the sciences, archeological field research in Italy, creating original artwork, writing a business plan -- the possibilities are practically endless! Since the BIC courses are mostly concentrated during freshman and sophomore year, and the Honors program is concentrated junior and senior year, many Baylor students choose to participate in both programs.
BIC Courses Can Be Taken for Honors Credits.
Students participating in both programs are eligible to take BIC courses for Honors Credits. At the beginning of the semester, Honors students ask their professors to take courses for Honors Credits. BIC professors are familiar with this request and have creative requirements for fulfilling Honors Credits in their courses. For example, Honors students taking Social World II are trained in Public Deliberation, which culminates in those students moderating a class discussion on a current social issue.
Several BIC and Honors Program, University Scholars, and Great Texts students have graduated from Baylor and attend graduate schools, law schools, medical schools, and have successful careers.
Below are profiles from BIC alumni that explain how the BIC and Honors Program and Majors work:
Response Capacity Coordinator for the Emergency Response Capacity Team (ERCT) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Master's in Public Health from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health
B.S. in Public Health, Minor in International Studies, Honors Program
"As a student at Baylor, I had so many contrasting passions, including public health, foreign policy, theology, and Latin American cultures. I often felt like having to choose one over the other. But the philosophy of BIC was one that encouraged me to live out all of my passions in a thoughtful and deliberate manner."
Researcher for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
B.S. in Biochemistry, BIC, Honors Program
"I can see that BIC has influenced the way I write, the way I do research and the way I present findings to my PI. Even when asked to look up something simple or when trying to write up a preliminary protocol, I am subconsciously putting the skills I learned through BIC to work. I am also very comfortable with public speaking and interviews and I do credit that to my time in BIC small group and to the amount I had to verbally present my ideas in class."