The Honors tutorial is a small course capped at 8 students that offers a look into a specific topic or theme. To get a sense of what that means, check out some of our Previous Tutorials.

You also have the option of completing our Tutorial Alternative rather than taking a traditional Honors Tutorial. See below for more details.

Honors tutorials will carry the course number (between 311 and 347) corresponding to the general education area(s) addressed by the course. A key to those correspondences can be found here.

Spring 2020 Tutorials

HON309: The Honors Read Tutorial

An opportunity through careful reading, analytic and synthetic writing, and extensive discussion, to select, from among texts nominated by the University community, the “Honors Read” for incoming students in the Honors College a year hence. The tutorial will include developing and refining criteria for the decision, analysis and reaction to the texts incorporating those criteria, and preparing a summative letter of transmittal to be included with the texts delivered to the incoming students.

Help choose the text that will introduce the class of 2024 to the Honors curriculum!

Meets Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 3:20pm
Taught by Dean François Amar

HON 333: The Statesperson

In this Tutorial, we will consider the role of a number of stateswomen and statesmen in the realms of foreign relations, diplomacy, and the development of national policy, noting examples across time and place, but with primary focus upon American statesmen and stateswomen.

This course was developed and co-taught with Colonel Margaret Martin in the history department of the United States Air Force Academy (Spring 2019). UMaine Honors students will be able to interact periodically with Colonel Martin and USAFA cadets, discussing the materials and exchanging ideas.

Meets Wednesdays 10:00am – 12:20pm
Taught by Dr. Mimi Killinger

HON 340: Horrible Imaginings – Brains and the Place of the Human

A mind is a terrifying thing to lose. But why?

In this tutorial, we will explore how different times and cultures conceive of the relationship between one’s brain and one’s humanity. What can we learn by studying neurological theories in conjunction with popular horror stories that depict people’s minds being pushed to the brink of that humanity?

Meets Tuesdays 12:30pm – 3:20pm
Taught by Dr. Caroline Bicks



HON 343: Queer Lives, Queer Culture – An Exploration of Identity, Humanity and Queerness in Western Culture and Society

  • In this course, students will explore:
    The word “Queer” as a means to describe the fluid construction of one’s own identity and culture
  • Appearance/Fashion as a statement of queer, non-binary, and/or nonconforming identity
  • Select Honors Civilizations texts through a queer lens
  • Historical subcultures that utilized contemporary queer language
  • Queer popular culture and media

Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00am – 12:15pm
Taught by Dr. Jennie Woodard

HON 338: Camden Conference

This course accompanies the Camden Conference held each spring. The topic changes yearly. The course prepares for the year’s topic with background readings and discussions. Students attend the conference and normally meet with conference participants. Subsequent meetings analyze the ideas presented during the conference. This year’s theme is “The Media Revolution: Changing the World.”

Meets select Saturdays, 9:00am – 4:00pm, and February 21-23, 2020 for the conference
Taught by Dr. Stefano Tijerina (Business), Dr. Amber Tierney (Sociology), and Dr. Sindhu Manjesh (Communication and Journalism)





The Tutorial Alternative

Submit your application for a Tutorial Alternative here!

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 away experiences, engineering cooperatives, congressional internships, participation in Semester at Sea, cultural/language immersions, recognized summer REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates).

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:

  • Register your intent to submit an alternative with the Honors College at least one month before embarking on that experience.  Click here to submit your application for a tutorial alternative online.  [Except in very rare circumstances, you will be notified whether your proposed tutorial alternative is approved within two weeks of submitting the form.]
  • If approved, register to take HON 349 when you have returned. HON 349 is a 0 credit, P/F course which requires submission/completion of the following documentation and assignments
    • if any coursework is involved in the alternative opportunity, a transcript indicating that you have passed all courses taken abroad,
    • at least six (preferably digital) photographs suitable for the Honors College’s web pages, including pictures of yourself, representative of your experience, and
    • a three-page reflective essay addressing a topic such as
      • How the culture in ______ is different from the culture (in the United States, in Maine, at the University of Maine, etc.)
      • Things that I couldn’t have learned at the University of Maine that I learned while participating in this experience.
      • How this experience enhanced my undergraduate education.
    • Present a ten- or fifteen-minute talk describing  your experiences at a study-abroad event (generally a Study Abroad Informational Meeting) during the first two semesters following your return to the University of Maine.  You should include stories about your six photographs, a description of the program in which you participated, the application process, the classes (if any) you took and how they differed from Maine classes, and you should discuss what it was like living in a different place, adjustments you made, challenges you faced, food, culture, news, and anything else you found interesting.

Timeline explanation: HON 349 should be taken and completed within two semesters of the end of experience on which the Tutorial Alternative is based.

For information about Study Abroad opportunities at the University of Maine, check out the Office of International Programs which is located on the Second Floor of Estabrooke Hall. 

HON 350: Functional Genomics

A tutorial alternative that is offered each year is Honors 350: Functional Genomics, a research-intensive course in a variety of laboratory and bioinformatics methods which takes place at the Mount Desert Biological Laboratory. 

This year the course will focus on Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease and will be offered January 10-18, 2020. Course enrollment is limited to 15 students. Room and board included. Contact for more information. Click here to apply!