This minor is designed for students who wish to prepare for an intensive undergraduate research experience. The program of study, designed in close consultation with both the student’s major and SCHC advisors, will provide a richer understanding of the logic, conduct, and context of inquiry in related disciplinary arenas.
Application. Interested students must complete an application and qualify for the minor. Applications can be submitted any time after completion of the first year. Normally, students will be expected to have at least a 3.30 grade point average. Applications will be evaluated on overall merit by the Minor in Inquiry Oversight Committee. Applications may be obtained from the South Carolina Honors College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and online on the Honors College Web site.
Opportunity to Participate in the Honors College. The Minor in Inquiry is open to all qualified undergraduates, in and outside the Honors College. All students in the minor will be given priority access to minor-eligible courses offered in the Honors College. They will also be given priority consideration for the SCHC Undergraduate Research Assistantships. Finally, non-honors students in the minor will be given the opportunity to undertake a senior honors thesis or project. Non-honors students admitted to the minor will be assigned the appropriate Honors College advisor who will work with the student and the student’s major advisor to plan the most suitable program.
Requirements. Eighteen credit hours are required to satisfy the minor, distributed over three levels. At least half of the credits must be in the Honors College. Each student must take at least one of the appropriate Level I, “Fundamentals,” courses. These courses introduce some fundamental problems of inquiry confronting those working within related disciplines (for example, the natural sciences). In addition, a student must take at least three courses from Level II. Level II courses must be taken outside of the student’s major discipline. These courses, chosen in close consultation with the student’s advisors, are intended to broaden and deepen the student’s understanding of the nature and problems of inquiry introduced in the Fundamentals course, as well as explore new areas affecting the conduct and context of inquiry in the student’s area of interest. In some cases a student may elect to take a second Level I course. The final two courses may be selected either from among advanced research courses (400 level and above) in the student’s major discipline including the senior thesis/project–Level III courses–or from additional Level II courses. Disciplinary courses counted toward the minor must be approved by both the student’s major and honors advisors and cannot count toward major credit. Alternatively, the student may elect to take additional Level II courses.
Level I Courses-one course required
Each student must select the appropriate course from the following list:
Level II Courses-three courses required
The following courses address fundamental issues in the logic, context, and conduct of inquiry in certain broad areas of research. Students must select at least three of these courses with the advice and approval of their major and minor advisors; the courses are expected to reflect the area of the student’s research interests. These courses must be outside the student’s particular major. The student may substitute a second Level I course for one of these three.
Level III Courses
At Level III of the minor, students will have the option of using up to 6 credit hours of advanced research courses (400-level and above) from their major discipline, including Senior Thesis/Project, toward the minor. If they elect to do so, these courses can count toward their major requirements. Students may also choose to complete their minor by taking additional contextual Level II courses, while taking advanced research courses in their discipline as part of their major program. Minor-eligible, advanced research courses must be approved by both the honors and major advisors. Examples might include:
For further information contact: Dean, South Carolina Honors College, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, or the USC Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Additional information may also be found on the Web site of the South Carolina Honors College: http://schc.sc.edu/.