Did you know you can receive Honors credit for ANY course even if it's not offered as an Honors course?

What is an Honors Contract?

An Honors contract is an enhancement of a regular course that is arranged between the student and the course instructor. Honors contracts allow the student to receive Honors credit for a course that isn't already an Honors section.

With this contract opportunity, an Honors student and a faculty member agree in writing to a set of learning experiences to be accomplished in order to receive Honors credit for a course in which the student is enrolled. In developing a contract, the motivating force should be the student's interest in some aspect of the subject matter since they are committing to more intensive and advanced work than is required in a regular course. Faculty should recognize that contracts bring both an obligation to commit additional time to the student and the reward of closer intellectual relationships with high-achieving students.

Students are allowed to contract any course unless there is an Honors section of that course offered in the same term that the student desires a contract. For example, a student cannot contract MAE 271 (Statics) during the same term that Honors MAE 271 is offered. (There is one exception to this rule: students are allowed to contract EH301 in the same terms in which it is offered as an Honors section.) We strongly encourage students to use contracts primarily for courses at the 300+ level. Students should be aware that faculty always have the right to refuse contracts. 

Examples:

  • Biology course - Write 3-5 page essay on anything relating to cellular biology (topic must be approved by professor) and attend monthly meetings to discuss the paper and its contents.
  • English course - Produce either three extra flash-fiction pieces or submit another short-story of 'regular' length in final portfolio.
  • Engineering course - Research and give a presentation on hardware security primitives that use solid-state fundamentals.
  • Engineering course - Design and implementation of a 16-bit Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)
  • Math course - Perform the work associated with the graduate level of the class (MA 506). This includes additional, more in-depth material from the text and more challenging homework and exam problems, as detailed in the course syllabus.

Steps to Completing an Honors Contract

1. Register for the course in the usual way.

2. Approach the course instructor to seek approval to contract the course as soon as possible and ideally before the 10th day of class. Agree upon how you will engage with the course material in a more intensive way in order to "honorize" the course. Be aware that faculty always have the right to refuse to do a contract. 

3. Submit a Contract Proposal Form (due the 10th day of class, but it's recommended that you submit the form well before then) summarizing the work you will do.

4. Perform the work required of all students in the course, and in addition, complete the agreed-upon activities and/or assignments to fulfill the Honors contract.

5. Once you have received a grade for the course, submit the Credit Completion Form to receive Honors credit for the course. The instructor for the course will also confirm that the contract is complete.