What is an Honors Contract?

An Honors Contract is a vehicle for adding an honors focus to an upper level course.

The contract enhances the student’s experience by introducing new material or by allowing the student to go into greater depth in some aspect of course content. The additional work should be significant enough to justify honors credit for the course, but it should be manageable and reasonable both for the student and the instructor.What courses can be used for Upper Level Honors?

If the department has Upper Level Departmental Honors options in place, the student should consider those options. For Individualized Upper Level Honors, any 3000 or 4000 course–typically in the major, minor, or a related field–can be an Upper Level Honors course as long as a contract is signed by the student, the instructor, and the Honors College director.How are Contracts related to course grades?

The Honors Contract does not affect the student’s grade in the course. To receive honors credit for the course, the student must complete the contract satisfactorily. If a student does not complete the work specified in the contract, he or she does not receive honors credit, but the course grade is not affected.What are some kinds of Honors projects?

The Honors Contract should enhance the coursework in a way that is appropriate for the discipline.

Some examples are:

  • Class presentations of research undertaken for the project
  • Original works of art presented with commentary
  • Additional laboratory experiments, mathematical problems, or development of computer programs, followed by written commentary
  • Review of a work by a foreign language author (read in the original)
  • Research paper on a mutually agreed upon topic (usually no more than 8-10 pages).

Who supervises and grades the contract?

The faculty member of the contracted class acts as supervisor of the project.What are the procedures and deadlines?

To initiate an Honors Contact:

  1. The student must either be a current honors student or must apply and be accepted to Upper Level Honors.
  2. The student obtains a contract form and instruction sheet from the Honors College Office.
  3. The student and professor meet, preferably during the first few weeks of the semester, agree on a project, and sign the contract.
  4. The student then returns the signed contract to the Honors College Office, keeping a copy for her/his file. The contract must be approved and signed by the Executive Director of the Honors College.
  5. The deadline for submitting approved contracts to the Honors Program Office is the fourth week of a long semester and the second week of a summer term.

How are Honors Contract results/grades reported?

At the end of the semester, the faculty member must notify the Honors College office that the student has successfully completed the Honors Contract. The Honors Office notifies the Registrar to add the “honors” notation to the course if the contract has been successfully completed.