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Honors College

Honors Option Guidelines

Honors options allow faculty members to add requirements to non-Honors courses or sections. Honors options can be added to any 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level course with the exception of courses that have designated Honors sections. While Honors options can be taken at the 2000-level, they are ideal for upper-level electives. The plan of study for Honors options must enrich the student’s academic experience and may include additional or substituted assignments and readings that replace the normal course requirements.

Following the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) guidelines, Honors courses should emphasize research and creative scholarship (“learning in depth”), which involve “highly focused, often discipline-oriented learning experiences,” including but not limited to “an emphasis on research writing in the humanities and social sciences, including data analysis in the social sciences, and on experimentation, measurement, data analysis, and interpretation in the natural sciences.” 


The Honors College student seeking to add an Honors option to a non-Honors course must first consult the faculty member teaching the course. If the faculty member is willing and able to create an Honors option, he/she and the student must complete and sign an Honors Option Contract form provided by the Honors College. The contract must include the following information:

  1. A description of the Honors course requirements that the student will complete
  2. A statement of how these requirements are qualitatively beyond the normal course requirements
  3. A statement of how the additional requirements will be factored into the final grade for the course
  4. A course syllabus

The contract must be submitted to and approved by Dr. Lisa Perdigao, Assistant Vice President, Honors College. For Spring 2020, the deadline for submitting Honors Option contract forms is Monday, February 3, 2020.

The student will be notified of the approval or denial of the contract within two weeks of the submission of the contract. If a proposal is not approved, the student and faculty member may revise the proposal addressing the issues identified in the notification form. Only one revision is allowed, and revised proposals must be submitted to and approved by Dr. Perdigao.

Faculty Member’s Responsibility

  1. The faculty member must approve an appropriate plan of Honors study with the student and meet with the student at least twice during the semester to discuss the student’s progress toward the requirements.
  2. The faculty member must assign appropriate grades to the student’s work, consistent with both the general requirements for the course and the additional coursework.
  3. At the end of the semester, the faculty member must complete the Honors Option Final Report form indicating whether or not the student completed the required work and submit it to the Honors College within one week of the deadline for final grades. The Honors College will then notify the Office of the Registrar of the completion of the Honors option and an “H” will be added to the section number on the student’s transcript.