Contracting Courses for Honors Credit

Honors course contracts take a variety of forms, appropriate to individual course content and the discipline in which the course is taught. While we believe that faculty are in the best position to determine  the amount and level of work needed to meet the needs of an Honors contract, we are available to answer questions and help faculty through this process.

Contracting Process

The application for contracting a course for Honors credit can be found in your MyRED account. Prior to filling out the form, you should approach your course instructor about contracting the course for Honors credit. In some cases, the instructor will have already planned Honors contract requirements, or they may need time and a conversation with you to develop a project. Common examples of Honors contract projects can be found below.

In addition to identifying the scope, format, and details of the project, you and your instructor should discuss timelines and expectations for your interactions and for the project’s completion. It is important for you and your instructor to interact throughout the semester as discussion will not only provide the enriched experience a contract should provide, but also will ensure that you share an understanding of the quality of the final product. The project should be completed by the 12th week of the semester the course is offered.


Approach an instructor early in the semester to discuss contracting the course for Honors credit.  Applications are due by the start of the 6th week of the fall and spring semesters, and the 1st week of a summer session course. 


Prepare a project description that addresses how the contracted work will promote critical thinking and creativity, and demonstrate synthesis beyond the material presented in the class. Describe the nature and extent of interactions you will have with the instructor throughout the semester as you work on the contract. Clearly explain the format the contracted work will take, and a clear description of the professor’s expectation for a successful product.    


The contract approval form should be filled out and submitted by the 5th  Friday of the semester or the 1st Friday for summer session classes. The Honors Contract form can be found in MyRED. We strongly suggest you approach the professor early in the semester to provide you with sufficient time to work on the contract. 


After you submit the form, it will be routed to the Honors Program. If Honors approves the contract, it will then be forwarded to your instructor. You will receive a confirmation email if the contract is approved. If the Honors Program or the instructor does not approve the contract, you will be able to resubmit the form.  


The contracted work should be completed and submitted to the instructor by the 12th week of the semester or at a time agreed upon by you and the instructor. Please note that the instructor will be asked to submit an evaluation of the contracted work and will need time to evaluate your work.

Additional notes

Cancelling a contract: If you do not intend to fulfill the terms of this contract, return to this form in MyRed. You will be able to cancel the contract by completing the first part of the form again. The form for cancellation will be available by the 10th week of classes. 

Transcript notation: Contracts will be noted on your transcript 2- 3 weeks after you have submitted this form. The notation will read “Honors Course” under the course title on your transcript. If your contract has not posted by the 11th week of the semester, please contact the Honors Office (

Please see the Honors Program website for further information. If you have questions, please contact the main Honors Office

Sample Honors Contract Projects

These are examples to help faculty and students think about possible contracts.  The primary goal for a contract should be to promote critical thinking and creativity, and demonstrate synthesis beyond the material presented in the class. The contract must include interactions with the instructor as you work on the contract, as we feel these interactions are a key benefit of a contract.

  • Prepare a critical essay on a book selected by the instructor. Discuss your essay with the professor, have at least one draft reviewed by the instructor.
  • Become involved in the professor’s research.
  • Prepare a presentation for the class on a topic  that expands upon the course’s primary content. Discuss the topic and presentation with the instructor.
  • Design computer aids to classroom instruction, a website, an app, or similar related to the course content. Work closely with the professor during the development of the project.
  • Assist the instructor with an outreach project by working with them to design a presentation for local K-12 schools,  afterschool program, boy/girl scout troops, etc.
  • Arrange to attend a departmental colloquia or presentations by faculty or advanced graduate students and write an evaluative summary of the presentations, drawing connections to course materials. Disuss your essay with the course instructor.
  • Meet as a group with the professor for interesting debate and discussion on topics related to the course.
  • Under the guidance of the professor or graduate teaching assistant, expand the scope of laboratory assignment(s) associated with the course.
  • Prepare a creative project that reflects the nature of the class, drawing on skills from the fine or performing arts. Discuss your work with the instructor as it develops.
  • Prepare an in-depth critical term paper on a topic relevant to the course. Discuss the topic with the professor, and have at least one draft is reviewed by the instructor.