Honors College Benefits for Pre-Health and Science Students

With such a high number of our students enrolled in the sciences and with plans to pursue careers in health professions, the Honors College seeks to provide a variety of course work - in the sciences and the humanities - to enable students to have a very high caliber undergraduate education. In one sense, our goal for our science and pre-health students is the same as that for our other students: that they might come to love learning in a community in which the desire to know is connected with the love of God. To read more about our understanding of liberal education, click here.

In another sense, our goal for our science and pre-health is that they might become leaders in the academy and in a variety of medical-related fields. Above all, we invite students to think of an academic or professional career as a form of Christian service or, a vocatio, a religious calling. We also hope to foster in students a sense of the inter-connection between the parts of their education and an appreciation of how disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities can shed indispensable light on their work in the sciences. In addition, we seek to provide resources and guidance to students applying to medical schools and graduate programs in a variety of academic disciplines.

Honors College science and pre-health students will have opportunities for:

  • Advising and mentoring: The Honors College has two full-time faculty assigned to mentoring pre-health and science students. Jointly with the Pre-Health Office, Honors College students have access to a full-time academic advisor.

  • Participating in conferences: Students periodically travel to conferences exploring faith and learning at Baylor as well as programs sponsored by peer institutes and centers. Students also may apply for support to attend academic conferences where they will present their own scholarly work. We regularly have provided funding to send our undergraduates to deliver talks on their research. Honors College students often attend the annual Medical Ethics Conference at the University of Notre Dame, the Healthcare Coalition of Texas Physician/Trustee/CEO Conference and the Global Health & Innovation Conference.

  • Interacting with distinguished visiting lecturers: Selected lecturers, featuring both members of Baylor's faculty and other institutions, are invited to speak on campus. Students in the program have special access to visiting lecturers in small luncheon settings and in seminars. Past presentations by practicing doctors and scholars have addressed topics in the fields of AIDS research, cancer research, and medical ethics.

  • Research Talks: The purpose of Research Talks is to provide a forum for informal discussions with science professors. These talks are intended to: 1) excite students about participating in undergraduate research; 2) present a realistic picture of what research is, how one can get involved, and what life looks like as a researcher; and 3) introduce underclassmen to the Honors Program/University Scholars' thesis process.

  • Mentoring from established faculty in the sciences: Honors classes allow students to work closely with the best faculty in the sciences at Baylor and to pursue research in the form of a senior thesis with these faculty members.

A few of the unique courses open to Honors College students studying topics in pre-health/science:

  • Crossroads in Medicine: What does it mean to have the power to heal another individual? What ethical lines should not be crossed to save another human life? What would happen if humans could live forever? Medicine is a complicated profession in which science, philosophy, business, sociology, psychology and religion all intersect. Every day, the modern-day physician sits at a crossroads of possibilities trying to determine the best outcome for their patients and their practice. This course uses several literary texts as a context for discussion of the many issues and concerns that physicians must encounter as an aspect of their everyday responsibilities in research and patient care. Students have the opportunity to look at medicine from several different perspectives to see how it can be researched from multiple academic disciplines. Topical Areas of Interest: Premedical Studies; Medical Humanities; Business; Philosophy; Ethics; Religion

  • Experience of Illness: Students read several first-hand accounts of illness (both novels and memoirs) and use them as case studies to explore the emotional, psychological, and social consequences of disease for an individual. Then they learn about the diseases themselves from a scientific point of view. The professor introduces them to a framework for understanding pathophysiology, and they study the anatomy and physiology of the diseases represented in the case studies. The goal is to begin to think about disease in a holistic way that is informed by empathy and compassion as well as by rigorous science. Topical Areas of Interest: Pre-health care, Medical Humanities, Biology, Anthropology, Neuroscience/Psychology.

  • Trends in Healthcare: Medical Reform, Economic Impact, and Clinical Errors: Healthcare is in a state of rapid change. The American populace is focused on medical errors and the rising cost of care. The first aim of this course is to address the economic impact of healthcare in the United States and the various political options for reform. The second goal is to establish an understanding of the problem of medical errors and how the nature of our healthcare delivery system influences the solution. Topical Areas of Interest: Pre-healthcare, Business, Public Policy, Healthcare Economics, Political Science