400-Level Colloquia Course Requirements

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Col·lo·qui·um [kəˈlōkwēəm], plural - colloquia: An academic conference or seminar. From Latin, late 16th century, denoting a conversation or dialogue. Colloqui - 'to converse' ; col - 'together' + loqui 'to talk.'

Clark Honors College colloquia are like a special treat that you get to reward yourself with for making it through your first two years. You should not enroll in colloquia until you have completed the 200-level research course in either Arts & Letters or Social Science. For most students, this means waiting to take colloquia until the beginning of your third year. 

Award-winning faculty from across UO apply each year, and undergo a competitive review process, to teach these courses on topics that are near and dear to their hearts. Where else can you find a course on "Emerson and Einstein, Interdisciplinary Artist Activists: An Inquiry into Genius," or "Algebra and Number Theory - A Historical-Cultural Exploration"? 

Most upper division classes you take will likely be in your major, and will likely be with other students also majoring in that field. Honors college colloquia are very special because they bring together students from a wide variety of majors. When students from architecture, human physiology, English, anthropology, education, and economics come together for rigorous study and close discussion, something magical happens. Clark Honors College graduates say that colloquia were one of the greatest highlights of their college experience. 

You must complete five colloquia: one in each of the following three categories, and two elective colloquia in subject areas of your choosing. 

HC 421H: Arts & Letters » 
HC 431H: Social Science » 
HC 441H: Science » 

In addition to regular courses, you may substitute four independent study credits of thesis-related research in place of one elective colloquium. Colloquia are also available through CHC study abroad programs. Travel the world and satisfy a couple of graduation requirements? Sounds like a plan! 

Colloquia Courses

Satisfying Your Global Perspectives and US: Difference, Inequality and Agency Requirement

The University of Oregon requires all students to complete two multicultural courses prior to graduation, one in each of two categories. In order to make your life easier, many colloquia can also satisfy this requirement. If you have questions about how this requirement applies to you, we recommend that you meet with your advisor. 

HC 434H: Global Perspectives colloquia 

HC 444H: US: Difference, Inequality and Agency colloquia 

HC 434H and HC 444H sections are both also given subject area designations—HC 421H: Arts & Letters, HC 431H: Social Science, or HC 441H: Science.  Please see the colloquium course descriptions on the CHC website to find out how each cultural literacy colloquium offered is cross-listed with one of the three subject areas available. Students can also satisfy the cultural literacy/multicultural requirement with other UO courses.  

Independent Thesis Research 

One elective colloquium may be replaced by four or more credits of independent research related to your thesis. These research credits may be taken in a single term or spread out over multiple terms. Once at least four credits have been accumulated, they can take the place of a single elective colloquium. 

Most departments offer thesis research credits under the course number “403” (e.g., CIS 403, HIST 403). If your department does not offer a 403 course number, HC 403H credits can be supervised by any faculty member on campus. All 403 classes are independent study credits that require permission of the instructor to enroll. Please contact the Academic Thesis and Programs Manager Miriam Jordan regarding enrollment in HC 403H credits and the relevant department for enrollment in 403 credits outside the honors college.  

If you complete your thesis credits under a 403 course number, they will automatically appear on your degree guide and apply towards the colloquium requirement. If your major department or primary advisor asks you to take the credits under a different course number such as 401 or 406, you may complete a short petition verifying that these credits were for thesis-related research to have them apply towards an elective colloquium requirement. You may mix credits with different course numbers and from different departments to reach 4 credits.  

Research credits of any course number and under any subject code may be taken for a grade or may be taken P/NP, depending on your and your advisor’s preferences and the requirements of the home department. 

Course Substitutions for Study Abroad 

If you are interested in studying abroad but are concerned about fulfilling all of your course requirements and graduating on time, then the CHC's course substitution process may be able to help. Under the CHC’s new study abroad course substitution policy, you can substitute any four-credit (minimum) study abroad course for one elective colloquium without going through the CHC’s petition process! You just need to notify CHC of the substitution that you would like to make. See additional guidelines and instructions below. 

All CHC students who study abroad with a non-CHC program (no matter the length of time spent abroad) are guaranteed one CHC elective colloquium substitution without a petition to the CHC’s Undergraduate Studies Committee (CHC students are guaranteed only one study abroad course substitution, no matter how many times they study abroad). A study abroad course is guaranteed to substitute for an elective CHC colloquium without an Undergraduate Studies Committee petition only if it is: 

  • A minimum of 4.0 credits on the UO transcript (regardless of amount of time spent abroad) 
  • Liberal arts/research orientation: no language instruction classes 
  • Not fulfilling any requirements for the student’s majors or minors 

Once a student has received one guaranteed study abroad course substitution, they must petition the CHC for any additional study abroad course substitutions (including for a second course substitution, if the student has been abroad for two or more consecutive terms). In addition, any student who wishes to have a study abroad course substitute for any of the subject-area colloquia (HC 421, HC 431, HC 441)—including students who have not yet received a guaranteed course substitution for study abroad—must petition the CHC’s Undergraduate Studies Committee upon their return. Study abroad courses not eligible for a guaranteed study abroad course substitution can be considered for colloquium substitutions only if they follow the CHC colloquium model: 

  • Upper-division (300- and 400-level) course credit noted on the transcript 
  • A minimum of 4.0 credits on the UO transcript (regardless of time spent abroad) 
  • Small class size 
  • Discussion-based 
  • Liberal arts/research orientation: no language instruction classes 
  • Substantial reading and writing assigned and completed. Benchmark: 10- to 15-page final paper 
  • Not fulfilling any requirements for the student’s majors or minors 

If you anticipate that you will need to petition the honors college for a study abroad colloquium substitution, make sure that you save everything related to the class that you’ve taken abroad, including course descriptions, syllabi, writing assignments, digital projects, and exams. If you are in situation where you have to hand-write your work (or you’re not assured of having access to your work after the course ends), make a photocopy, take a photograph, or write out two copies of your assignments (one copy to turn in, and one copy to bring home). The more documentation you can provide from your courses, the stronger your petition will be. 

Other Course Substitutions 

In very rare circumstances, students may petition the honors college to request colloquium credit for coursework taken at UO outside of the CHC. Such petitions are rarely approved and require extraordinarily special circumstances.