Credit By Contract

What is Honors Credit by Contract?

An Honors Contract is a mechanism for adding an “honors dimension” to a course that is not currently an honors class. The contract project should add an academic dimension to the course by introducing new material or by allowing the student to go into greater depth than normally required of the course. A member of the faculty must supervise the contract.

How are Honors Contracts related to grades?

The Honors Contract will not affect the student’s grade in the class. To receive honors credit, however, the students must receive a grade of A or B in the course, in addition to completing the contract. The advising faculty member must verify that the student has met all of the requirements set forth in the original contract proposal, prior to the final exam week for that semester.

Who is eligible for Credit by Contract?

To qualify for “Honors Credit by Contract,” an Honors student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enroll in the university prior to fall 2014
  2. Complete a minimum of 7 Honors units
  3. Maintain "active" status with the Honors College (see policy regarding Active Status and Probation)

How many contracts are possible in a semester?

Only One Honors Contract is permitted in any given semester. Additional requests are reviewed on a case by case basis.


How much work should an Honors Contract involve?

The Honors Contract project should be one that can be finished with 20 to 25 hours of work. In addition, the contract should explain how the student plans to present their project to their peers either at Common Day of Learning or a local, regional, or national conference. If a student is invited to participate in a professor’s research project in a way that will involve substantially greater amounts of time, a separate course for honors credit—such as Honors Directed/Supervised Research—is appropriate in place of an Honors Contract. Students are required to submit a Credit by Contract Proposal, and Final Project Approval form and project to receive honors credits.

Examples of Honors Contract projects include:

  • Class presentations of research undertaken for the Honors Contract project
  • Limited participation in faculty research followed by a summary report (oral or written)
  • Original computer program or project
  • Report on a biography of a famous person in the academic field
  • Review of additional readings (articles, books) related to course subject matter
  • Original musical composition, sculpture, theatrical script, or other work of art
  • Additional laboratory experiments or mathematical problems, followed by a written report
  • Research paper (8–12 pages) based on interviews or library resources on a topic related to the course
  • Review of work of a foreign language author (written in that language)
  • Enrolling in a 500-level course for your undergraduate degree program, in which you are graded by the same standards as graduate students


Application check list:

  1. Obtain the Honors Contract forms from the Honors College office, or download a request for Honors Credit by Contract (PDF).
  2. Meet with the course faculty member and agree to the terms of the contract.
  3. Develop contract proposal, and submit to course faculty member for review.
  4. Submit the Credit by Contract Proposal Form and course syllabus to the Honors College office by the second week of the semester that the contract will apply.
  5. Complete work under the guidance and mentorship of course faculty member.

Honors Contract work must be completed prior to finals week at the end of the semester in which the course is taken. For senior students, all work must be completed one month prior to graduation date.

Final credit check list:

  1. Obtain course faculty member’s signature on Final Project Approval Form (see page 3).
  2. Submit a copy of the completed Credit by Contract project and Final Project Approval form to the Honors College office. All projects must be submitted by the end of (prior to finals) the semester in which the work was completed. Contracts submitted after the above due dates will not be reviewed or approved. The work is reviewed by the dean of the Honors College, and completion is noted on the student’s Honors records.

Note: An “incomplete” Honors Contract is permitted ONLY in those instances in which the student receives a grade of “I” at the time the course grade is submitted. The Honors Contract then must be completed at or before the time the professor changes the “I” grade by submitting a Change-of-Grade form to One Stop: Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center.