The Russell Sage College Honors Program offers highly-motivated students an innovative, rigorous, and participatory educational experience. The program challenges women to be engaged contributors and leaders within the academic community. A member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the RSC Honors Program is designed to:

  • Enrich any course of study at Sage.
  • Deliver Honors coursework in a variety of pedagogical modes to foster intellectual and creative risk-taking, the examination of diverse knowledge, and trans-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving and research.
  • Provide Honors-related academic advising from the Honors director, faculty, and Associate Dean of Academic Advising.
  • Promote women’s engaged scholarship and leadership on local and global levels through conference participation, service-learning, and study abroad.
  • Deepen the intellectual community at RSC through Honors-sponsored lectures, colloquia, and other events.

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RSC Honors Program


  • Honors students receive priority enrollment in Honors Seminars. Non-Honors students who wish to enroll in an Honors course must carry a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 and with the permission of the Honors Director.
  • Students receive a customized Honors sash for graduation.
  • In recognition of our institution’s founder and her commitment to the advancement of women’s education, Honors graduates receive the following distinction on their transcripts: “Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage Scholar.”


  • 15 credits of Honors Coursework / 12 credits for transfer students. Honors coursework includes Founder’s Seminar, Honors Seminars, Oxford-Style Tutorials, study abroad, or program-based Honors projects. Students are highly encouraged to take additional Honors coursework to enhance their Honors experience.
  • Presentation of research or creative work at a regional, national, or international conference or appropriate community venue.
  • Demonstration of “engaged scholarship” through participation, leadership, and service. Can include active participation and leadership in Honors Societies, student governance, service-learning, and events that promote the cultural and intellectual enrichment of the local community.
  • Maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.4.

Courses: Fall 2016

ENG 266-01: Heaven and Hell

An interdisciplinary study of concepts of heaven and hell, and angels and devils in the history of ideas, this course examines a wide variety of literary, religious and philosophical traditions, including Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist, as they relate to the concepts of heaven and hell.
Tuesday, Friday 8:00AM – 9:20AM with Prof. David Salomon

HST 248-01: Big History

“Where did I come from? Where am I going?” Can there be any more fundamental questions? Our course Big History: From the Big Bang to Artificial Intelligence” attempts to answer those very questions with a multi-disciplinary approach to the core questions of existence, from the creation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago, to the origins of life here on Earth perhaps ten billion years later to the emergence of the first humans, culminating eventually in humanity’s more recent effort to build first civilization itself then the creation of the globalized planet of the early 21st century to the challenges of a human computer synthesis some have projected for the future.
Monday/Thursday, 8:00AM – 9:20AM with Prof. Steven Leibo

PACE/PHI/POL 248-01: Topic: Science, Technology and the Law

This course covers various aspects of science philosophy and explores the policy making challenges we face from the explosion of scientific and technological advances. Weekend format: Fri, Oct 21 6-9 PM; Sat, Oct 22 9am-5:30pm; Sun Oct 23 9am-5:30pm; Fri, Nov 11 6-9 PM; Sat, Nov 12 9am-5:30pm; Sun Nov 13 9am-5:30pm.
Meets selected weekends (see above) with Prof. Pam Katz

Oxford-Style Tutorials: Fall 2016

SCI 348-01: Cosmic Black Holes

Cosmic “black holes” are regions of space with unique gravitational and optical properties. Through guided and self-directed study of the topic, students will separate fact from fiction and begin to understand these strange objects and the scientific and mathematical principles used to detect them, describe them, and explain their existence.
Wednesdays, 8:00AM – 10:50AM with Professor Frank Vozzo

HST/SOC 348-01: Socialism

In the United States, “socialism” is not currently a subject for polite conversation, and, as both a philosophic outlook and a historic social movement, it is largely ignored, marginalized, berated, or demonized. Yet, in most of the world, it continues to be, as it has been for the last century and a half, a vital ideology and an important presence in the political sphere. Indeed, even in the US, from the late 19th century to the post World War II period, then again in the 60s and early 70s, socialism has been a significant factor in the country’s cultural and political life. Now, some argue that in the chaotic wake the capitalist crash of 2008, interest in socialism is again on the rise. This Oxford-Style Tutorial, through readings and discussions determined jointly by the instructor and the students, will probe the complex of meanings and realities of socialism over the last two hundred years of world history.
Tuesdays, 8:30AM – 10:50AM with Professor Andor Skotnes

MUS 348-01: It’s a Grand Night for Singing: The Musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein

The 1940s and ’50s are often considered the golden age of American musical theater. Two creators who shaped this era were the songwriting duo Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. From “The Sound of Music” to “The King and I” and “Oklahoma!” the compositional genius of Rodgers and Hammerstein indelibly changed the face of the American Musical Theater genre. This OST course will explore the musicals, both successes and lesser-known, of Rodgers and Hammerstein through a variety of methods including the music Rogers composed, the use of Hammerstein’s lyrics, the construction of the shows, and their contributions to theatrical history. We will explore this musical theatre world using Frederick Nolan’s The Sound of Their Music, Ethan Mordden’s Rodgers and Hammerstein and The Richard Rodgers Reader by Geoffrey Block.
Wednesday, 11:00AM – 12:20PM with Professor Michael Musial


Dr. Tonya Moutray
Honors Director, Russell Sage College