Honors Option (H-Option)
An honors option contract is an agreement between an Honors Program student and a professor that allows the student to turn a standard course into an honors course.
Appropriate Use of Honors Option
Since most honors courses are lower-division, honors options should be pursued primarily in the upper-division. There are exceptions to this rule. Honors options should not be used to avoid a regular honors course, or because an honors course is full or conflicts with the student’s schedule. While most honors options will be in courses related to the student’s major or minor, they can be appropriate in other courses where the student can demonstrate genuine interest and commitment.
Approaching a Professor about an H-Option
Step 1: Approach Instructor and Develop H-Option Plan
You must first approach your instructor BEFORE submitting and H-Option contract for credit with the Honors Program. Instructors are not obligated to grant request for honors options. Together with your instructor, you will develop a plan to determine what would add depth of knowledge, practice, or leadership to the course. The nature of work undertaken for H-Option credit may vary according to the academic interest of you and your instructor. Listed below are some suggestions:
- Delivering a lecture to class on an issue raised by the course readings
- Writing a paper that involves extensive library, laboratory, or field research
- Collaborating with a professor on a research project
- Preparing an annotated bibliography or literature review of material relevant to the course or your senior thesis
- Creating a website, video presentation, or work of art related to the course or senior thesis
Step 2: Write an H-Option Proposal
Describe the nature of the H-Option assignment in a paragraph that details the planned work and justifies its consideration for Honors credit. This proposal must be in PDF format and described in or attached to the H-Option application form. Please include the following points in the proposal:
- How often you and your faculty will meet to review and/or evaluate your progress
- Brief description of the topic/subject/theme to be covered and the size/scope of the project
- What medium you will use (writing, website, video, creative piece)
- The results of the project- Will you produce a paper, a presentation, a video, a published article, a report on the research, etc.
- Your goals/aims for the project- How do you see it impacting your work in the course?
Step 3: Complete and Submit the Certification of H-Option Completion Form
- Type all information (besides signatures) into the fillable PDF form prior to printing.
- If the paragraph detailing your proposal will not fit in the textbox, feel free to type "see attached" and print your proposal separately.
- Print the contract.
- Sign it.
- Have your professor check the box to indicate whether you are to present your project at the Honors Research Showcase at the end of the semester.
- Secure your professor's signature. Original signatures are required on the form.
- Submit the form to the Honors Office by the due date.
NOTE: The Honors Program reserves the right to ask for further details or to reject the proposal.
Students who attempt but fail to complete two H-option contracts will not be allowed to enter into any further H-Option contracts.
Procedural Information & Deadlines
Honors options contracts are submitted to the Honors Office (1303 Student Union Annex).
The honors option submission deadline is the 14th day of the semester (7th day for Term classes). Check the weekly Honors email for specific deadline information each semester.