Honors Contract 

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.  It is the philosophy of the Honors College 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.  In general, it is preferable for the contract to consist of “something different” rather than “something more.”  

Honors Contract Policy

Who is Eligible to Contract?

  • Only active members of the Honors College may contract a course for honors credit. 

  • Freshman may not contract a course for honors credit (exception for UofM Lambuth Campus and UM Global Students).

Which Courses Can Students Contract?

  • Students may request an Honors Contract for courses offered at the 2000 level or higher except for the types of courses listed below. 

  • Online courses may be contracted for honors credit as long as they meet the listed criteria.

  • Honors contracts may not be added to the following types of courses:
  • Full-time faculty members, including full-time instructors, may sponsor a contract.  Adjunct faculty or graduate teaching assistants may supervise honors contracts with approval from the department head and the Director of the Honors College.

Additional Contract Policy Information

  • Students will earn honors credit if they complete the Honor contract work satisfactorily and earn a grade of A or B in the course. If the course is graded plus/minus, a grade of “B-“is insufficient.

  • Once a student undertakes two contracts without successfully completing either, he or she is not eligible for further contracts.

Contract Approval Process


Step 1: Students discuss and finalize an idea for a project with the instructor of the course before submitting the online form.

Step 2: Students will submit the online Honors Contract form for approval from the course instructor and departmental chairperson or the departmental honors coordinator.

Step 3: At the end of the semester, the instructor confirms whether the student completes the terms of the Honors Contract.

Online Honors Contract Request Timeline

One Week Prior to First Day of Classes: Online Request Form Opens

Two Weeks After First Day of Classes: Online Request Form Closes

Criteria for Honors Contracts

The Honors Contract is a mechanism for adding an “honors dimension” in a 2000-level or higher course that is not offered in 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 for Honors Contract

  • 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 music, work of art, or design portfolio

Examples of Honors Contracts

Sample Honors Contracts

Online Submission Instructions

Step 1

Students should approach or contact the instructor to discuss and agree on the terms for the Honors Contract before submitting the online form. This should include the nature of the project and the way in which this project constitutes “Honors.” Students should be as specific as possible in describing what it is, they will do, including references to specific readings and/or methodologies where appropriate. Also, Specify timelines/deadlines for completion of the project. Students should not approach instructors who are teaching courses not eligible for an Honors Contract (see above criteria). 

Step 2

Following your discussion with the instructor, students will formalize the agreed upon terms for the Honors Contract by completing and submitting the online Honors Contract Form.

Instructors are not obligated to approve a contract and reasons for rejecting a contract include but not limited to the following:

  • The instructor does not want to add an Honors component to the course
  • The online form did not reflect the terms agreed upon between the instructor and the student
  • The student did not discuss the contract before submitting the online request form provided in the email

Submit Online Honors Contract Request Form:

  1. Click the button below, "Honors Contract Request" to begin the process.
  2. If prompted, log-in with your UofM credentials. Students who are not eligible to submit an Honors Contract will receive the message “You are not eligible to submit an Honors Contract.” Please see above for eligibility criteria.
  3. Select the course in the dropdown you would like to request for an Honors Contract. Only courses that are eligible for an Honors Contract will appear in the drop-down. Ineligible courses will not appear in the drop-down box. If a course in the drop-down box is in red and you are unable to select it, please email honors@memphis.edu.  

    Screen Shot Drop Down Menu
  4. Enter a brief description of the Honors component of the course. This should include the nature of the project and the way in which this project constitutes “Honors.” Be as specific as possible in describing what it is you will do, including references to specific readings and/or methodologies where appropriate. Specify timelines/deadlines for completion of the project. Click “Submit” to complete the request.

  5. After submitting the online form, you will receive an email confirming it has been submitted. Students will receive an email after the contract has been approved by the instructor and another email after the final approval by the department chair or departmental honors coordinator.

    Honors Contract Menu Screenshot

If your contract request is rejected: You will receive an email notification along with comments. Instructors may outright reject the Honors Contract request or ask a student to make changes to the contract description. If asked to make changes to the contract description, you will need to submit a new contract form with the changes (see step 1).

Please note: The student and the instructor will receive email notifications at each stage of the process.

Step 3

Complete the Honors Component as indicated in the terms of the contract. At the end of the semester, the instructor will confirm whether the student successfully completed the terms of the Honors contract.

After it is confirmed the student successfully completed the contract, it will be indicated on the student’s UofM transcript next to the course title with the word “Honors”, “Hnrs” or “H”. It usually takes approximately one month after grades are posted for transcripts to be updated. 

Please note: Students must make a “B” (3.0) or higher in the course to earn honors credit toward graduation requirements, even if the student successfully completes the contract.  

Submit Honors Contract Online Request Form

  • Click button below and enter your UofM username (the same you would use to log-in to the MyMemphis portal)
  • Students will have three weeks to submit the the online honors contract. The online form will open one week prior to the start of class and close two weeks after the first day of class.
  •  Instructors are able to approve contract requests after the deadline as long as the online form was submitted prior to the deadline. 
  • If a course in the drop-down box is in red and you are unable to select it, please email honors@memphis.edu. 
  • The form will show a student as "ineligible" to submit an online contract request for the following reasons:
    • All of the courses are NOT eligible to contract (see Honors Contract Policy above). Please confirm your classes are eligible. 
    • A student is a Freshman
    • A student is not an active member of the Honors College

Automated Confirmation Email

After submitting the request for an Honors Contract, students should receive an automated email confirming the request was successfully submitted. Please check your UofM email to make sure that you received the confirmation email. Be sure to check your junk/spam folder if you do not see it. 

If you did not receive the confirmation email, please try re-submitting the contract request. If you did not receive the confirmation email and the system is not allowing you to submit the request, please contact the Honors College at honors@memphis.edu

Submission Deadline

Summer 2024 Deadline: Monday, June 10

Honors Contract Form >


Please note: Students will see "You are not eligible to submit an Honors contract", if you attempt to access the form after the deadline.

Departmental Honors Coordinators 

Several academic departments/colleges have appointed Departmental Honors Coordinators to review and approve ALL honors contracts for courses within the academic unit. The departments with specified honors coordinators are listed below. The department chair has the option to forward the approval/decline email to honors coordinators to complete the approval process. 

College or Academic Department Honors Coordinator Coordinator Email
College  of Health Sciences Angie Johnson  kjhnsn53@memphis.edu 
Department of Anthropology Dr. Kenneth Latta kslatta@memphis.edu 
Department of English Dr. Cristina Cervone cmcrvone@memphis.edu 
Department of History Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian cdykes@memphis.edu 
Department of Mathematical Sciences Dr. Ben McCarty bmmcctr1@memphis.edu  
School of Nursing Dr. Joy Hoffman jehoffmn@memphis.edu 
Department of Psychology Dr. Deranda Lester dbrewer@memphis.edu 
College of Professional & Liberal Studies (University College) Dr. Joanne Gikas jgikas@memphis.edu
UofM Lambuth Campus Dr. Paul Mego paulmego@memphis.edu 
Department of Biological Sciences Dr. Jennifer Benford or Charles Plesofsky   jennifer.benford@memphis.edu | czplsfsk@memphis.edu