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Honors Option Guidelines

Honors Options allow faculty members to add requirements to non-Honors courses or sections. Honors Options can be added to any 1000-, 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level course. While Honors Options can be taken at any level, they are ideal for upper-level electives. The plan of study for Honors Options must enrich the student’s academic experience and include additional assignments and readings.

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, the faculty member and the student must complete an Honors Option Contract form provided by the Honors College. The contract must include the following information:

  • Description of the Honors course requirements that the student will complete;
  • Statement of how these requirements are qualitatively beyond the normal course requirements;
  • Course syllabus.

Students pursuing Honors Options will be graded on the same measures and with the same percentages as their classmates as outlined in the course syllabus. The additional work completed for the Honors Option will carry a separate grade determined by the faculty member at the end of the semester. Honors Options will be awarded to students who receive an A or B final course grade and an A or B on the additional assignments.

The contract must be submitted online at Submit an Honors Option Contract by the end of the first week of classes. The deadline for Spring 2023 is Monday, January 23, 2023. The process is outlined below:

  • Student initiates the process online Submit an Honors Option Contract using a (omit "my" from your email address) as login name and TRACKS password.
  • Student uploads the course syllabus and submits the request.
  • Course Instructor is notified via email to review the request.
  • If approved, Course Instructor enters the Honors Option contract requirements on the form.
  • Honors College reviews the request.
  • If approved by Honors College, the Registrar receives a notification.
  • At the end of the semester, Course Instructor is sent a request to complete the final report for Honors Option Contract.
  • If the student has successfully completed the Honors Option Contract requirements, the Registrar is notified to enter Honors Option annotation on the student's transcript.

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 Honors College.

Faculty Member’s Responsibility

  • 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.
  • The faculty member must assign appropriate grades for the student’s final course grade and the additional Honors coursework.
  • At the end of the semester, the faculty member must complete the Honors Option Final Report form indicating whether 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. Honors Option will be noted on the student’s transcript.
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