Honors Contract

What is an Honors Contract?

The Honors Contract is an agreement between a professor, a department, the The Honors College and the student. The student agrees to complete ten to fifteen percent more work for a course that is non-honors in order for the course to count as an Honors course. The purpose of an Honors Contract is to permit a student who has a scheduling conflict, hour requirements, or other valid reasons, to take an enriched course to meet Honors requirements. The Honors Contract may be in the student's major, minor, or as elective. The course may not be contracted if it is offered as a current Honors course.

Students seeking the University Honors Graduate designation cannot participate in more than two Honors Contract courses during their undergraduate career at Appalachian.

All contracts must be written, signed, and turned in by the end of the first week of classes, and copies furnished to the The Honors College Director, the department chairperson, and the student's advisor. Students fill out the attached form (blank copies are available from the Honors Office and website). The form stipulates what work above and beyond the standard course requirements makes the course an Honors experience, and indicates the criteria upon which the student's performance of the work will be evaluated. Examples include:

  • Reading and writing assignments which extend qualitatively (and probably quantitatively as well) beyond regular course expectations.
  • Substantial faculty-student conference time outside the classroom.
  • Opportunities for in-class student presentation of research performed independently under the professor's guidance.
  • Library, laboratory, or computer work the faculty member considers Honors-level experience and which fosters greater student understanding of the course material.
  • Involvement in special events such as travel, lectures, performances, or other creative activity for which the student will give formal account to the instructor.

Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 before attempting a course with an Honors Contract (some departments may require a higher GPA). Contracts specify that the student must earn at least a B grade for the course to count for Honors credit (the student receives standard credit for grades of B- or below). 

Honors contracts must be in courses that are 3000 level or higher. Contracts cannot be done in courses being taught by teaching assistants, part-time faculty, or those listed as Staff, without the prior approval of the department chair and the The Honors College Director. Honors contracts are not usually allowed in courses where an Honors version of the course is offered by that department.