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Departmental Honors & Contracts

Once Honors students enter upper-division coursework in their majors, they begin Departmental Honors. Unlike Honors in University Studies, in which students take classes reserved for Honors students only, Departmental Honors students take the regular upper-division courses required for their majors. These students then earn Honors credit by doing extra projects, or contracts, outside the regular coursework for their majors. Departmental Honors is a total of 15 credits, and each department/ major has slightly different requirements. View your Departmental Honors Advisor and an outline of your major's requirements by selecting your college from the following links. 


Departmental Honors requires students to do projects, or contracts, in addition to regular classwork. Here's some basics about doing contracts: 

  • In the first few weeks of classes, you will select a class to do a contract in and meet with the professor to agree on a project for you to work on. 
  • Go to the meeting with at least one idea for your project; then your professor can offer suggestions and revisions.
  • A contract should include a total of 20-30 hours of work for a 3 credit class. 
  • By the 4th week of classes, return the signed contract paperwork to the Office and begin working on your project. 
  • Meet at least twice a month with your instructor to discuss your contract. 
  • Nothing lower than a B grade is acceptable for a course that you are completing an Honors contract in. 
  • Honors contracts are not graded and will not influence your grade in the course. 
  • At the end of the semester, fill out a Contract Completion Record, where you report the work you did on the project) and turn it in with either your project, if it is something tangible, or a two-page reflection paper. 
  • Honors will send the contract form to your professor to have him or her sign off that you completed the contract.
  • Once all the paperwork has been submitted, Honors posts an H next to the course on your transcript.

Ideas to Consider for Contracts

  • Work in an apprentice-like role on your professor's research project
  • Additional reading, discussion, and synthesis on a topic of mutual interest to you and your instructor
  • Research a topic and write a research or policy paper
  • Service or leadership initiative or internship related to the course focus
  • Curriculum development projects
  • Come to the Office to view past contracts from past students in your field

Examples of Past Contracts