Honors Institute

Honors Institute in Critical Thinking

If you are interested in exploring the ways we think and then using those insights to make a meaningful difference in the world, Jewell has a unique honors program for you. As a complement to your chosen major, the Honors Institute in Critical Thinking delves deeply into critical reflection and application.

Successful Honors Institute students demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a drive to better their communities. We’re looking for applicants with those traits, not just good grades and test scores. That’s part of what makes this program exceptional. All students accepted for the program receive a financial award.

How to Apply

  1. Complete Jewell's regular admission application.
  2. Watch the video prompt below or visit flipgrid.com/williamjewellhonors.
  3. Submit your Honors Institute application video or written response in one of the following ways:
    • Record a 1-2 minute video at flipgrid.com/williamjewellhonors, using your cell phone or computer, about how you hope to make a difference in the world by using critical thinking in practical ways; or

    • Upload a prerecorded video to your own YouTube account, selecting “unlisted” instead of “public,” and email the link to Lydia Bunch, Honors Admission Counselor; or

    • Send a 1-page written response as an email attachment to Lydia Bunch.

Components of the Program

  • Coursework

    The emphasis the first two years is coursework—one class per semester—examining what it means to be a critical thinker in community and how that applies to disciplines outside your major. With the other Fellows in your class, you will practice critical reflection, even at the personal level, becoming aware of your own cognitive patterns and how to strengthen your reasoning skills.

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  • Practicum

    With guidance from a professor and working together with an off-campus partner organization, you will design and implement an issue-based, experiential project. The practicum project incorporates concepts of critical and creative thinking from the first two years of coursework and can be done in teams or individually.

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  • Capstone

    In the senior-year capstone you will examine the outcomes of your practicum project, conduct further research on the chosen topic, and then share your work through an academic presentation or paper—for example, at Jewell's annual Duke Colloquium. This product of your Honors Institute work becomes an achievement to highlight in job interviews or graduate school applications.

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