In Honors Courses at MSU Billings, Students

  • Build communication skills through discussion as well as writing and/or presentations
  • Build research/inquiry skills through projects or reports
  • Consider the immediate and long-term consequences of ideas
  • Expand coursework into a broader social context

The Honors Program features three types of courses, HONR interdisciplinary seminars and research/inquiry courses, discipline-based courses designed to include honors objectives, and modules/contracts that include extra projects or assignments to earn honors credit. Honors students typically do not need to enroll in many extra courses. To complete an honors minor, we suggest enrolling in 4 general education courses, your discipline-based capstone, and picking up 2 more upper-division courses or contracts. 

Courses descriptions for current academic year

General Education Honors Courses

Honors Students should pick four of the following courses as part of their required general-education curriculum:

Communication and Information Literacy

HONR 194/HONR 205 Honors Inquiry & Research with professor Ambrin Masood

Fine Arts Credits

ARTZ 105 Visual Language Drawing with professor Jodi Lightner or professor Mark Earnhart

CRWR 240 Introduction to Creative Writing with selected English department professors


HSTA 200 Historian as Detective with any history faculty member

Humanities Credits

HONR 111/311 Perspectives and Understanding with professor Austin Bennett

(HONR 111/311 is required for the Honors Minor)

Cultural Diversity Credits

COMX 212 Intro to Intercultural Communication with professor Melinda Tilton

HTH 270 Global Health Issues with professor Suzette Nynas

MUSI 207 World Music with professor John Roberts (requires additional work)

Physical Sciences

CHMY 141 College Chemistry I with professor Matt Queen (requires additional work)

& CHMY 145 Chemistry Recitation with any chemistry faculty member

Elective Honors Courses

Honors elective courses are usually offered each year, but may not be offered each semester, check the course registration page, contact us at or visit us in COE 297 to discuss your upcoming course schedule!

COMX 341 Public Advocacy with professor Sue Balter-Reitz
Explores theoretical, rhetorical, and argument concepts central to the study of persuasion. Provides students the opportunity to create public advocacy campaigns.

EDU 397A Methods: K-8 Language Arts with professor Melanie Reaves
Provides strategies for integration of reading, writing, listening, viewing and visually representing, and speaking across the curriculum. Provides hands-on experiences with the writing process and forms of writing (including spelling and handwriting), evaluation of student writing, grammar teaching, and intervention for development of expressive effectiveness.

EDU 433 Reflective Practice Teaching Reading with professor Melanie Reaves
Introduces students to visual cueing systems in print and the reading and writing processes. Discusses approaches to teaching reading and writing, including the gradual release of responsibility model and the workshop model.

EDU 435 Reading Theories with professor Kari Dahl-Huff
Acquaints the student with a variety of theories of reading and writing instruction. Designed to extend the theoretical understanding of literacy development.

HONR 494 People and Politics with professor Ana Diaz
Examines a number of the main figures, texts, and ideas in the history of Western political thought and considers how the state is formed, what justifies it, and who should rule.

HSTA 494 History of Punk Rock with professor Joseph Bryan
Provides an opportunity for experimental study in an area of history.

HSTR 473 Gender, War, and Film, Europe 1648-1945 with professor Jenn Lynn
Focuses on gender, culture, and social change related to warfare and the memory of war in film, beginning with the religious wars through the upheavals of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars to the First and Second World Wars.

HSTR 487 Monsters in Modern Euro History with professor Jennifer Lynn
Introduces some of the major themes related to the historical construction and significance of monsters in European history from the sixteenth century to the present. The main focus will be on understanding the specific nature of a particular monster, the historical context in which it was created and its relation to larger social, political, and cultural questions.

HSTR 494 SM: National Parks American Context with professor Tom Rust
Examines the forces shaping and debates about democracy and how they relate to the national park ideal's history.

HSTR 494 Food, Power and Identity in Modern US History with professor Emily Arendt
Provides an opportunity for experimental study in an area of History

Internships, Independent Study, & Course Contracts

HONR 290/490 Internships (1-6 credits) Provides an opportunity for students to engage in field experience not offered in other courses. Contains a research component to be developed in conjunction with supervising faculty member.

HONR 298/498 Independent Study (1-3 credits) Provides an opportunity to receive credit for individualized or special experimental learning opportunities (including a senior thesis) at an upper-division level (3 independent study credits can be used towards the Honors Minor and designation)

Course Contracts (1-3 credits) Most classes can be converted to honors credit by meeting the honors objectives with a special project. Course contracts require permission from the instructor and honors program director. Completed projects are uploaded onto the assignments page of the Honors Hub in D2L at the end of each term.

Previous Honors Course Schedules