The Blount curriculum comprises a total of eight courses (20 hours: 6 three–hour seminars and 2 one–hour convocation lectures) taken over the course of the student’s time at the university. Through our partnership with UA’s Honors College, all students admitted to Blount automatically receive admission to the Honors College and completion of the Blount curriculum entirely satisfies Honors College course
requirements. In addition, BUI 101 satisfies 3 hours of the University common core requirement in humanities (HU), and BUI 102 satisfies 3 hours of the University common core requirement in social and behavioral sciences (SB). Finally, the Program’s senior capstone seminar, Worldviews, satisfies the University’s common core writing (W) requirement.
- First Year: 2 Foundations Seminars (BUI 101 & 102 – 6 hours) + 2 Convocations (BUI 100 x2 – 2
hours) = 4 credit hours per semester
- Sophomore/Junior: 3 Thematic Seminars over the two years (BUI 301 or 399 x3 – 9 hours)
- Senior: 1 Worldviews Capstone Seminar (BUI 401 – 3 hours)
The First Year
First–year Foundations courses are held in classrooms that are actually inside the Blount Living Learning Center (the Blount dorm). Needless to say, “my dorm is all the way across campus” won’t fly if you’re late to class. BUI 101 and BUI 102 are small seminars (capped at 15) in which students examine and interrogate readings drawn from domains as diverse as philosophy, science, literature, political theory, and theology. Weekly short essays and periodic longer papers help students develop their writing and analytic skills. While the Foundations readings change every year, some perennial favorites include:
- Plato’s Republic and The Apology
- St. Augustine’s Confessions
- DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk
- Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own
- Darwin’s “On the Tendency of Species”
- Anzaldúa’s Borderlands
- E.O. Wilson’s “The Serpent”
In Convocation (BUI 100), the entire Blount first–year cohort gathers for an hour each week to hear
lecturers speak on a remarkably diverse range of topics drawn from their research and professional
Can these Blount classes count for something more than just the minor?
Say no more. The full Blount curriculum satisfies all requirements for the Honors College. In addition, BUI 101 satisfies 3 hours of the University common core requirement in humanities (HU), and BUI 102 satisfies 3 hours of the University common core requirement in social and behavioral sciences (SB). Not to mention the benefits of learning the invaluable reading, writing, and discussion skills for which Blount students are renowned.
Sophomore and Junior Years
Over the course of the next two years, students take three thematic seminars in whatever distribution
best fits their schedules. BUI 301 seminars are capped at 12 students and are held in Blount’s academic houses, Oliver–Barnard Hall and Tuomey Hall. Seminars change from semester to semester and year to year, but, whatever their particular focus, all proceed under the aegis of the inquiry at the heart of the program: investigating conceptions of culture, nature, and the individual. Blountees can count one study abroad course for 301 credit. Blount also offers a variety of internships that can be used to satisfy 301 requirements. You can view the database of past thematic seminars and the list of internships to get an idea of their topics.
Are all of the thematic seminars just reading old, dead philosophers?
Who told you that’s all we do? We in Blount try to take a holistic approach to our courses. Want to study Cuba during the Cold War from a former CIA agent? Want to study how architecture affects your day to day life? Want to deconstruct how television has a psychological grip on culture? We’ve got it in spades.
During senior year, students take Blount’s Worldviews (BUI 401). Over the course of the semester, each class member develops, with help and feedback from their peers, a critical or creative project that
explores some aspect of the idea of a worldview. They read a selection of critical and artistic texts that
engage the concept of a worldview in order to gain exposure to analytic frameworks that will assist
them in developing their projects. Sections of the course are capped at 12 students and, like the 301
seminars, are held in either Oliver–Barnard Hall or Tuomey Hall. You can see a list of student’s
worldview projects here.
Blount is proud to offer students the opportunity to satisfy the English core requirements within the program. Blountees can take EN 104 (traditionally in their first year) to satisfy one or both general education English courses required for their degree. As stated in the official course description, “[EN 104] covers rhetorical strategies, critical reading and thinking skills, composing processes, sentence-level conventions, reflection skills, as well as university-level research and source usage techniques.”