An Honors contract is an agreement between a student and mentor to complete for Honors points an academic or professional project related to the student’s field that extends learning beyond regular coursework. This work can be associated with a research or creative project, an upper-division course (3000-level or above), a paid or unpaid internship, a grant/fellowship application, a community service project, study abroad, Honors Excel, or other approved work. For course-related contracts, students submit typed, signed proposals to Departmental Honors Advisors by the end of the second week and to Honors by the end of the third week of classes. All other contracts may be submitted at any time, provided they include a reasonable timeline to completion and a clear description of the final product; contracts are typically competed within 10-15 weeks. Once a contract is approved, the mentor oversees the student’s work and reports briefly on its completion at the end of the contract period.
• Contracts are for Honors students only and are valid only if approved by mentor, dept. Honors advisor, and Honors Program.
• Contracts need not be connected to a course, but if they are, only upper-division courses are acceptable. Contract work is not graded and does not affect the course grade, but students must earn at least a “B-” in any class associated with a contract.
• All contracts must yield a final product: a poster, report, syllabus, PowerPoint presentation, event, reflective essay, etc.
• “Incompletes” are not permitted; students must finish the Honors work within the contracted time period.
Contract work should enrich the student’s academic experience beyond normal coursework. Each contract should demand a minimum of 20 hours of work; students may complete more than one contract for an extensive project, but each part of that longer project must be proposed, approved, and completed as its own contract. The student and mentor must meet (outside of class, if the contract is connected to a course) at least twice per month (minimum six times per semester) to discuss the project. Students must keep a record of mentor meetings and report on those meetings at the end of the contract.
Click here to access a Box folder with examples of outstanding Honors contracts.