Contract Guidelines


  1. Honors Contracts might be constructed for any upper division course in which a student is enrolled. 
  2. Graduate courses may not be substituted for Honors course credit.  Contracts proposing to use a graduate level course to satisfy the Honors Program requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 
  3. Benchmarks for achieving “greater depth and rigor” will be determined by the course professor and must be clearly articulated by the student in the honors contract proposal.
  4. The student is required to attend at least one Honors Contract Mentoring session to receive mentorship on form and content of proposed contract.
  5. The student’s grade in the course in which s/he is enrolled remains independent of the honors course distinction. 
  6. Professors will judge student performance and will award honors course credit on a pass/fail basis at the end of the semester. 
  7. Successful contract proposals articulate a carefully chosen focus, substantial enough to explore in great depth over the course of one semester. 
  8. Professors complete mid-term progress reports (provided by the director) to evaluate student progress and recommend, if necessary, that students revise or, in extreme cases, discontinue their contracts. 
  9. Students complete a mid-term self-evaluation and have the opportunity to propose minor contract revisions to be approved by the instructor and the Honors Program Director. 
  10. All contracts must be completed in separate courses.  (You cannot complete 2 contracts with the same course)   

Keys to Successful Proposals

  1. Speak to your professors early (preferably the first week of the semester you are scheduled to take a course, or earlier if you are prepared to speak with the professor prior to Week 1) and begin to focus, narrow and deepen the scope of your research.  Successful contract proposals are well focused, with clear, well-stated objectives.
  2. Use the template provided to clearly articulate how you plan to achieve your desired outcomes. 
  3. Remember that outcomes describe what you hope to learn, and how you hope to learn it.
  4. Remember, students are required to attend at least one Honors Contract Mentor workshop to refine and sculpt your contract.  Read through examples of successful contracts provided on the website.
  5. Divide the project into a series of assessable outcomes, and then create a timeline using those outcomes to mark your progress.
  6. Before submitting a proposal complete an Honors Contract Proposal Rubric and revise your proposal one more time.