The Civilizations Sequence

From its inception, the Honors College has worked to cultivate students who “think hard about things that matter.”  Our Civilization (“Civ”) courses play a key role in that effort.  This year, we are pleased to offer you two pathways to complete first-year Civ: Civ-Classic and Civ-Flourish.   Both versions of Civ will cultivate your skills of critical inquiry and analysis, draw on many of the same extraordinary texts, and provide small, seminar style experiences.  Here’s some more information about each version of Civ:



Taught by faculty who are devoted to student development, self-discovery, and intellectual growth, over two semesters Civ-Classic will take you through some of the world’s most significant texts dating from antiquity up through the 16th-century.  In discussion-based, small seminars, you will study works such as the ancient Sumerian myth Inanna, the Tao Te Ching, Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, and the Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. You will explore what it means to be human across time and place — discovering differences among texts and cultures, while also finding common ground — as you hone your critical thinking skills and expand your understanding of the human experience.


In Civ-Flourish, you will read many of the same texts as in Civ-Classic, but you will do so through a more specific thematic lens. You will begin the Fall semester with a weekend trip to the UMaine camp at Bryant Pond (Sept 10-11), where you will explore the natural world and learn about one another.  Weekly classes will focus on understanding how your unique perspectives, experiences, values, skills, and strengths interact with others’ and how we can all use those qualities to serve our communities.  In the spring semester, you will apply your skills in one of a few different ways: investigating the role of the arts in culture and community; cooperating with community partners to conduct applied research; tackling underlying philosophical questions; or developing community leadership skills.  At the end of this year, you will have worked to understand yourself and what you can offer your community, developed research tools, and practiced new skills together with a team of your peers. Click here to learn more!


Note: once you have reviewed your choices, please complete the Civ Preference Form; the deadline for receipt of the form is 5.13.22; however, spots in Civ-Flourish are limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.