Honors Contracts

Fall 2019 contract proposal forms are due September 20th.

The proposal form should be typed by the student, signed by the student and instructor, and then turned in to Honors College front desk located in the Honors Village.

Honors Contracts allow students to make individualized arrangements with instructors in order to earn Honors credit in non-honors courses.  Contracts are intended to provide students with a more engaging experience that allows them to work more closely with the instructor and explore course material in a more personally meaningful way. The development of an honors contract should be a collaborative effort between the student and instructor, but all contract proposals must be submitted to the Honors College for review and approval. Contracts are accepted within the first four weeks of the fall or spring semester.

Restrictions on the types of courses that can be contracted, instructors who are eligible to oversee contracts, and the total number of units that can be completed via contract may impact your ability to contract a particular course. Refer to our detailed Honors Contract Policies and review the information below before approaching an instructor about contract options.  Please note that the following courses cannot be contracted:  courses that are already being offered with an honors section or co-convened graduate section, Winter session courses, individual studies courses (ex: internship, directed research, preceptorship), 1st through 4th semester language courses (generally 101-202), College of Engineering major courses, and courses that offer regular honors options that are based on placement (ex: English composition, calculus).

Contract Proposal Instructions

  1. Go to the class intended for contract. Read the syllabus to gain an understanding of the coursework and whether it is a good fit for an Honors Contract.
  2. Ask the instructor (must be faculty, not a grad student or TA) if he/she would consider overseeing a contract for the course.
  3. Set up a meeting with the instructor to discuss and decide on the type of work to be completed for the contract. Come prepared with ideas! This is an opportunity for you to explore a topic of your interest in deeper way through a specific project in the class.
  4. Complete the contract form, which is available here during the first four weeks of the fall and spring semesters. The form will require you to outline the details of your contract experience, how your work will allow you to more deeply engage with course material, and how it will be differentiated from the non-honors experience. Both you and the instructor will sign and date the form.
  5. Submit the form to the Honors College. Forms are due to the front desk of Slonaker House by the fourth week of the semester.
  6. Wait for approval from the Honors College. Contracts are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and approval can take two to three weeks. Both student and instructor will receive an email regarding the status of the contract after it has been reviewed. There is an opportunity for revision if the contract is not accepted the first time.
  7. Maintain communication between student and instructor throughout the semester in order to ensure that the contract has been submitted and approved, and that expectations of the contract are being met. It is the student’s responsibility to remain in touch with the instructor regarding the proper completion of the process.

Guidelines for the Substance of the Honors Contract

The work assigned as a result of the contract should be qualitatively different in nature from the work already assigned in the class. The mere addition of readings or assignments is not sufficient. For example, the assigned work may rely on primary sources not formally introduced in the class, or focus more intensively on particular topics. We will not approve contracts in which students function as TAs or preceptors for honors credit. Please read these Sample Honors Contracts for detail and guidance if you have not submitted a contract before.

Contracts will be reviewed to see if they meet the above policies and are:

  1. Specific. Details of exactly what is to be done, such as required format if relevant, number of pages, amount of reading, number of meetings, specific topic or process for choosing a topic where relevant, expected completion date(s).
  2. Measurable. Criteria for evaluating any output such as papers or presentations, level of scholarship expected, etc.
  3. Relevant. Appropriate to the course and course level.
  4. Beneficial. Produce a benefit to the student in terms of developing depth or breadth of knowledge/skills not available to non-Honors students or application of knowledge/skills in ways not available to non-Honors students