Honors students in good standing may earn Honors credit in non-honors courses by completing and fulfilling an Honors Option contract. This agreement identifies a project above regular course requirements that a student will complete under a faculty member's supervision.
Appropriate projects may take many forms, from laboratory or field work not required of regular students to additional research presented in various formats and/or fora, including papers, web pages, or oral presentations. They may add a deeper theoretical understanding of a subject, encourage a more extensive exploration of topics, or require the practical application of theoretical concepts.
While Honors Option credit often involves extra activities, the intent is not simply to multiply work assignments. The true value of the Honors Option is the opportunity to produce work that is higher in quality and more deeply analytical than regular courses typically require, the invitation to enter new territories and to explore terrain that lies off the safer less challenging paths laid out for most students.
Because Honors Option courses presuppose an introduction to the University Honors Program, Honors Option contracts are typically restricted to students who have completed HONS 1990 and have successfully completed at least twelve credit hours in the program’s specially designated Honors classes.
An honors option contract is a mechanism for adding an honors dimension to a course or section which is not already an honors course. The contract is an agreement between the individual student and the professor in the class for which honors credit is desired. This agreement identifies a project that the student will complete under the faculty member's supervision. Although the honors contract does not affect the student's grade in the course, in order to receive honors credit for the course the student must earn a grade of "A" or "B" in the course in addition to completing the contract project. Up to 9 hours of honors contract credit may be used to fulfill the requirements for the general Honors diploma. Honors contracts are frequently used for students who have already met core course requirements.
The Policy & Procedures
The following policies and procedures govern applications for credit through Honors Option:
- Students should consult faculty members early, usually before the semester in which they enroll, to begin planning an appropriate project.
- Students must complete and submit an Honors Option Contract to the Honors Office no later than the end of the second week of the semester in which they are enrolled.
- All contracts must be approved by the Honors Office.
- At the end of the semester, the Honors office will send faculty members a Verification of Honors Option Work. This form must be signed and returned before Honors credit will be awarded.
- Students must submit to the Honors Office a copy of the work completed in fulfillment of the Honors Option.
- Students must earn at least a grade of “B” in the course as well as satisfy the entire Honors Option contract.
- Students may earn a maximum of nine hours of credit toward Honors certification through Honors Option contract.
Honors Option contracts are available in the Honors House or may be downloaded here. Completed forms must be returned to the Honors Program office. The following sample contracts are offered to students and faculty who are interested in developing Honors Option projects.