Honors Contract Overview
Purpose, Commitment, and Credit Hour Limit
The Honors Contract enables qualified students to engage in Honors work in courses not specifically designed as Honors courses. The student who enters into an Honors Contract with a faculty member will engage in work clearly beyond what is required for a regular undergraduate course.
Both students and faculty should carefully weigh the time and work commitment an Honors Contract entails. Faculty members are under no obligation to agree to an Honors Contract. However, all faculty are urged to cooperate with any student who has a desire to participate in the Honors Program. An Honors Contract does not free a student from any regular class work.
The Honors Contract course appears on your transcript with the notation that it was taken for Honors credit.
You must complete your Honors project by the end of the semester once you have submitted your Honors Contract application to the Honors Program office. Contact your Honors advisor immediately if you encounter any difficulties completing your contract.
Definition and Examples
The Honors Contract is an opportunity to add deeper, broader, or more creative course content to a non-honors class. Simply increasing the quantity of course work does not constitute an Honors Contract.
Honors Contracts may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- Completing an independent project that employs the research methods taught in the course
- Writing a research paper that expands upon a topic covered in the course or is related to the course
- Producing teaching materials, such as creating a test, new handouts, or a PowerPoint presentation for a course
- Researching a topic and teaching a class session to share your findings
- Designing and completing a special project, performance, or product
Procedures and Deadlines
Discuss your Honors Contract with your professor prior to the beginning of the semester or as soon as you receive a syllabus. Discussions with the professor and an Honors advisor are necessary for clarifying the appropriateness of a project. However, the ultimate responsibility for the design of the Honors Contract belongs to you, the scholar. Honors Contract forms are available in the Honors Center and on the Du Bois Scholars web page at loc.edu.
Once you and the faculty member agree on a project, complete the Honors Contract form, obtain the necessary signatures, and submit it to the Honors Program no later than the end of the third week of classes during fall or spring semesters. Early submissions are highly encouraged.
The Honors Program Committee will contact you to let you know if your Honors Contract is approved or needs revision. After the project/thesis is completed and the professor verifies its completion, the Honors Director will forward the verification to the Registrar’s office. “Above Class Taken for Honors Credit” will appear on your transcript below the title of the course as soon as the Registrar’s Office processes the list.
To receive Honors credit, you must receive a grade of “B” or better in the class for which you completed an Honors Contract. While the course may count toward your degree if you receive a grade lower than “B,” it will not count toward the Honors Notation.
Guidelines for Completion
Your description must include the specific topic for your project and a timetable for completion.
Collaborative Honors Contracts are allowed. However, you and your collaborators must identify a strategy that will enable your professor to grade the work of each member of your team separately at the end of the semester. The professor will then complete the Verification of Project Completion Form to submit to the Honors office.
Submit your completed project to your instructor for evaluation. Projects are NOT submitted to the Honors Director.