The Honors Tutorial (Year 3)

Honors tutorials are small enrollment (up to 12), 3-credit classes that offer an in-depth look at a specific topic or theme. These courses are proposed by faculty from across campus, and the tutorials offered change each semester. To get a sense of what that means, check out our current Tutorials below.

You also have the option of completing our Tutorial Alternative in place of taking a traditional Honors Tutorial course. Examples of typically approved Tutorial Alternatives include study abroad, internships, REUs, etc. Learn more about the Tutorial Alternative here.

Summer 2024 Tutorial

summer 2024 tutorial

HON 326 - Instructor Kathleen Ellis - AFTER FRANKENSTEIN From Oppenheimer to Artificial Intelligence: TuTh 9:00am-11:30pm- on Zoom from 05/07/24 to 06/13/24

A primary text in science fiction, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will provide the benchmark for assessing profound changes in technological development & transformative events from the Atomic Age to Artificial Intelligence in this six-week Zoom tutorial. Through readings, discussion, films, & a guest visit, the class will consider:

• Prometheus & the curse of Frankenstein

• What are the advantages & disadvantages of nuclear energy and weapons?

• Why were women called “computers” in their top-secret work during WWII?

• How can nuclear energy be used to curtail climate change?

• What is it about robots & robotics?

• What have we learned from the Superfund Clean-ups?

•. What’s artificial about intelligence?

• What happens when we stop shaping technology & technology starts shaping us?

The Tutorial Alternative
An Honors student poses in front of a scenic vista while traveling.
An Honors student gives a presentation at their internship.
Honors student shown overlooking a city in Croatia while studying abroad.


In some cases the tutorial requirement may be waived based on a Tutorial Alternative, which is defined as:

An academic or experiential learning opportunity involving small group interaction that is not available at the University of Maine and that is pre-approved by the Dean of the Honors College.

Tutorial Alternative opportunities should include some if not all of the following:

  • application of academic knowledge,
  • intellectual merit,
  • independent work,
  • a cultural experience,
  • and personal initiative.

Because the alternative is in lieu of a 3-credit course only proposals that indicate the student will spend a comparable amount of time (approximately 80 hours, which can include preparation time for the experience as well as the experience itself) will be approved.

Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, study abroad experiences, engineering cooperatives, congressional internships, participation in Semester By the Sea, cultural/language immersions, recognized summer REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).

For information about Study Abroad opportunities through the University of Maine, click here to visit the website of the Office of International Programs.

Special Course Substitutions: The following UMaine courses for students studying Nursing, Education, Child Development and Family Relations, or Kinesiology and Physical Education can be substituted as Honors Tutorial Alternatives. These course substitutions should help make it much more possible to graduate from the Honors College with these degrees. 

  • NUR 306 – Care of Adults II Clinical
  • NUR 419 – Introduction and Service to Global Health
  • EHD 400 – Field Observation (Activity)
  • CHF 496 – Field Experience in Human Development and Family Studies
  • KPE 427 – Internship

You will still need to submit the application, enroll in HON 349, and complete the requirements* for the course, as described below.

*We understand that there can be legal restrictions on photographs during these courses due to patient or student confidentiality, etc. In these circumstances, we are able to grant an exemption for the requirement of 6 photos. If this applies to you, please simply reach out to the course coordinators when you are enrolled in HON 349 to let them know.


Honors College students wishing to substitute an academic or experiential learning opportunity not available at the University of Maine in lieu of the  third-year tutorial must:

  1. Apply: Submit an application for a tutorial alternative at least one month before embarking on your experience.  Click here to submit your application for a tutorial alternative.  (Typically you will be notified of whether your proposal is approved within two weeks of submission.)
  2. Enroll: If approved, register to take HON 349 after you have returned by emailing HON 349 is a 0 credit, P/F course. HON 349 should be taken within two semesters of the end of experience on which the Tutorial Alternative is based. NOTE: HON 349 is a 0 credit course. Taking this course will not add any credits towards a student’s full-time load in consideration of Financial Aid awards that are dependent on this.
  3. HON 349 Course: Complete the HON 349 course which requires submission of the following assignments:
    • Evidence of successful completion of any coursework involved in the Tutorial Alternative opportunity, typically a transcript or certificate (if applicable)
    • At least six photographs representative of the experience, including pictures of the student, that are suitable for the Honors College website, and
    • Completion of ONE of the following options:
      • ESSAY – A three- to five-page, double-spaced, reflective essay, OR
      • VIDEO – A three to five-minute video reflecting on your experiences.

If you have any questions about the Tutorial Alternative or HON 349, please reach out to