Honors Courses: A 12-Credit Opportunity

All Macaulay Honors students at Hunter are required to take a minimum of four honors courses in addition to the general Macaulay seminars. While there are often mixed reviews about the seminars themselves considering the fact that not all four topics appeal to every student, there is more positive reception to the honors designated courses available at Hunter.

Unlike the seminars, there are classes from a wide variety of departments that cater to the many different types of interests making up the Macaulay @ Hunter student body. The specific courses available depend on the semester and specifications of the departments themselves. These courses range from general requirements such as Principles of Biology, to interestingly specific courses such as Choreographing Genomics and Narratives of Adultery in 19th Century Literature. (For a full list, students should check with their advisors or on CUNYfirst under the Macaulay Honors College course attribute.) A personal favorite and recommendation is German Fairy Tales with Professor Aine Zimmerman. Usually a fall course, this class analyzes often well-known childhood stories through a mature lens: you’ll never be able to look at Beauty and the Beast in the same way ever again.

Students don’t just enjoy the course material. The Hunter professors who teach the classes are thorough and passionate about their fields. They often take care to remind students of the honors level of the classes while keeping them engaged with the course through the material and the right level of intellectual challenge. The knowledge that students are in an environment surrounded only by other honors students also often works to bolster diligence and camaraderie. “All the students are more focused and driven, and that uplifts the whole experience,” said Erin McDermott ’20.

Students should know they are not limited to the honors courses at their home campus to fulfill the 12-credit requirement. Madison Paredes ’20 travels to the Macaulay building every Wednesday to take Visions and Universes —Science Fiction with Professor Joseph Ugoretz.

“The class is a small group of students, so it allows [us] to be more open and honest about the books and readings,” she said. “I like Professor Ugoretz because he really enjoys teaching the class and always comes up with good discussion questions for us to expand upon.”

Sometimes, students consider those extra 12 credits as a hindrance when it comes to making schedules and getting other core requirements out of the way. However, the educational opportunity they provide is well worth the time spent fiddling with CUNYfirst. Students are allowed this chance to explore what Hunter and Macaulay have to offer both for their educations and social lives. Melissa Lent ’20 recognizes both opportunities in taking these classes.

“I believe Macaulay courses allow me to interact more with the Macaulay community, which I don’t get to do as much in my major courses,” she said. “They also allow me to explore specific topics that I never would have thought I was interested in.”

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