Contract a Course

Are you looking for a way to enhance your experience in your non-Honors courses, build relationships with your professors, and earn Honors credit at the same time? If so, Honors Contracting could be a great option for you!

Your Honors Contract could take many forms. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • presentation-media(business)
    Present on a topic not covered in class
  • school-book-apple(school-science)
    Design a demonstration for K-12 students
  • book-open-bookmarked-2(content)
    Host review sessions for classmates before exams
  • podium(office)
    Have an in-class debate in front of your peers
  • file-binary-search(coding)
    Complete a research paper connecting class content to your interests
  • network-world(network)
    Participate in a real-world application of your class material
  • group-chat(users)
    Meet with the professor and other students to discuss readings
  • paint-palette(design)
    Create artwork to communicate class concepts or material

Or you can design your own project in a different format than those listed above!

What is an Honors Contract?

Honors contracts allow Honors students enrolled in a non-Honors course to make an agreement with the instructor to complete extra work that allows the individual to more deeply explore the course material. The project should dive deeper into the curriculum, connect with a real-world situation, or involve a different method of going beyond what is in the syllabus.

How Does the Contract Process Work?

You, the student, should approach one of the professors of a non-Honors course you are taking that semester and explore the possibility of contracting their course for Honors credit. You can propose a project of your choosing, or your professor might have some ideas. You and your professor must both agree on the project before completing the contract form.

Once you and your professor have decided on the contract, you must fill out the contract form in MyRed. Click on the "Enrollment" tab to access the form, fill it out, and submit. The Honors Office will review the contract to approve its contents or request revisions. You will receive an email, usually within a week, at your UNL email address either approving the contract or requesting a revision.

What Should Be Included on the Contract Form?

There are five mandatory elements of the contract:

  1. State what the project will be.
  2. Give the scope of the project (how long, often, or frequent you will be working on it).
  3. Deadlines you have agreed upon (when you will have a topic approved, when you will have a draft to your professor, when everything is due).
  4. What, if any, use of generative AI is allowed in completion of this work.
  5. Opportunities for interaction with your instructor (how often you will meet/check in to collaborate on the project).

At a minimum, you must include a final deadline of no later than the week before finals. However, we would like you to also note intermittent deadlines such as draft deadlines and meeting times. Make sure to be as specific as possible with every part of the contract.

When are Contracts Due?

Contract proposals (submitted via the contract form on MyRed) are due using the following schedule:

Regular Fall/Spring Semester:

  1. Graduating Seniors: due by the third Friday of the semester
  2. All other students: due by the fifth Friday of the semester

Summer Sessions:

  1. All students: due by the first Friday of the session

You can begin submitting contracts for a course when the course officially starts. If you do not think you will be able to submit the contract on time, contact the Honors Office as soon as possible. Your contract project agreed upon between you and your professor will be due at the final deadline agreed upon, and must only be submitted to your professor, not the Honors office.

Finally, please remember that the goal of an Honors contract is to promote critical thinking and demonstrate synthesis beyond the class material. It is vital that the contract include interactions with your instructor in addition to opportunities for feedback. This should be a great way for you to further explore class material and make meaningful connections to your interests as a student! Have fun with it! Check out the examples below of students who have completed successful course contracts.

Business Writing Contract

Caroline explains her contract for BSAD-220, Business Writing.

Linear Algebra Contract

Hear Tate discuss his contract for MATH-314, Linear Algebra.

Issues in Aging Contract

Hear Karen discuss her contract for GERO-435, Issues in Aging.

Cultural Aspects of Food and Nutrition Contract

Hear Jarod discuss his contract for NUTR-253, Cultural Aspects of Food and Nutrition.