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The Program in Civic Foundations

The Program in Civic Foundations is a first-year course series with corresponding co-curricular activities that provides Honors Program students the opportunity to learn about the ideas that have shaped America’s civic space. By taking part in the Program, students will take three courses, earning an initial five credits that count towards University and Honors Program requirements. In earning these credits, students will be expected to enroll in the Program in Civic Foundations course sequence during the fall, winter, and spring terms of their first year.

>Students participating in the Program can expect this course sequence to be rigorous and intellectually demanding in covering the following content:

Fall term: an Honors section of Civics 101. This course, run in collaboration with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, will engage students in the concepts of community, identity, and systems of power that frame our current civic space.

Winter term: a special 1-credit Honors course focusing on Plato’s Republic that will introduce students to fundamental ideas about social structure, justice, and governance.

Spring term: an Honors section of English 103. This course, run in collaboration with the English Department, will instruct students on rhetoric through the lens of the texts that helped found the American republic.

In conjunction with the course sequence, students will be required to take part in co-curricular programming throughout the year in which they will engage with a civic institution to better understand an issue of their choosing. There will also be special opportunities to visit local institutions like the National Constitution Center, Museum of the American Revolution, and African-American Museum in Philadelphia, among others. These additional expectations will allow students to become immersed in the city of Philadelphia, network with professionals both inside and outside the University, and develop connections between their classroom experience and the realities of contemporary civil society.

If you are interested, please apply here for the Program in Civic Foundations.