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Contracting for Honors in English Courses

Contracting for honors credit enables students to earn honors credit by incorporating an honors component within a regularly offered class. Students are encouraged to enroll in honors sections of lower division courses when these courses are regularly offered. In keeping with the philosophy of the Honors College, the English Department asserts that the group experience in an honors class is preferable to the contract approach at the lower division. However, for those courses in which an honors section is not offered, contracting is allowed when a particular course demonstrably meets the student's overall academic objectives. The honors contract is a written agreement made between an honors student and a professor; the agreement stipulates exactly what additional or different work a student must do in order to earn honors credit for a course. It is preferable for the contract to consist of "something different" rather than "something more." In general, the English Department follows the guidelines of the Helen Hardin Honors College with respect to contracting for Honors credit. 

Contract Request Deadline for students: two weeks after the start of classes (instructors can complete the form after the deadline as long as the student submitted it before the deadline)

magnifying glass iconWho is eligible to contract?

  • Active members of the Honors College (but not freshmen)
  • Students in the English Honors program (but not freshmen)

paper stack iconWhich courses can students contract? Which faculty members can sponsor a contract?

  • Courses offered at the 2000 level or higher except:
    • 1000-level courses
    • Courses already offered in honors sections (see course schedule for the semester)
    • Courses that carry less than 3.0 credit hours
    • Independent study/research, including ENGL 4995 and 4996 (which automatically count as honors)
    • Pass/fail courses
    • Graduate-level courses (automatically count as honors)
    • see below on instructor requirements
  • Full-time faculty members, including full-time professors of teaching, may sponsor a contract. Part-time instructors or graduate teaching assistants may only supervise honors contracts with approval from the Director of English Honors and the Director of the Honors College (for students in the Honors College) or the Director of English Honors and the Chairman of the English Department (for students in English Honors only). 

contract iconAdditional Contract Policy Information

  • Students will earn honors credit if they complete the Honors contract work satisfactorily and earn a grade of B or higher in the course. A grade of "B-" is insufficient.
  • Students who undertake two contracts without successfully completing either are no longer eligible for further contracts. 

Checklist IconContract Approval Process

  • Students discuss and finalize an idea for a project with the instructor of the course before submitting the online form.
  • Active members of the Honors College submit the online Honors Contract form for approval from the course instructor and Director of English Honors. Students enrolled in the English Honors Program only submit the fillable PDF form for approval from the course instructor, Director of English Honors, and Chairman of the English Department. 
  • At the end of the semester, the instructor confirms whether or not the student completed the terms of the Honors Contract.

timerOnline Honors Contract Request Timeline (for members of the Honors College)

One Week Prior to First Day of Classes: Online Request Form Opens
Two Weeks After First Day of Classes: Online Request Form Closes
Note: Instructors can still review (accept or reject) a request for an Honors Contract as long as the request was submitted prior to online form closure.

checklist iconCriteria for Honors Contracts

The Honors Contract is a mechanism for adding an "honors dimension" in a 2000-level or higher course that is not running an honors section. The Honors Contract should involve a project or activity that allows the student to go into greater depth than normally required in some aspect of the course. The contract is an agreement between the student and the instructor concerning the unique course requirements or projects that justify earning honors credit for the course. The Honors Contract can include a supplemental project designed to complement course work or a substitution for a course requirement. Honors contracts require both qualitatively and quantitatively more work from the student, such as additional reading, writing, researching, presenting, etc. (or combination) appropriate to the course. The Honors Contract must explicitly state the work the student will undertake to earn honors credit for the course. Contract projects must also produce a tangible final product—written, performed, or exhibited—that can be evaluated at the end of the semester.

ideas iconIdeas for Honors Contracts

  • Undertaking an additional, or more demanding research project
  • Expanding a paper for presentation or submission to a research forum (e.g., Student Research Forum) or undergraduate research journal (e.g., Quaesitum)
  • Conducting field work
  • Performing service hours related to a course topic along with meaningful reflection (service-learning)
  • Creating an original piece of writing

ideas iconContract Submission Instructions

Active Members of the Honors College:
Follow the instructions given by the Helen Hardin Honors College (follow the link and then scroll down).
Student instructions are here
Faculty instructions are here

Students Enrolled in English Honors Only:
The fillable PDF form is linked here.