Apply for Honors Course Funding

Proposals for Honors Course Funding for the 2021-2022 academic year are due at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 23, 2020.

View the funding application form. To submit your proposal or to ask questions about the application, please contact Associate Director Matt Kohlstedt at matt.kohlstedt@wisc.edu. Please submit proposals by email with a single PDF for each course proposal.

Each fall, the Honors Program invites departments to apply for funding to develop and offer Honors Only courses in the following academic year. Financial support from Honors is intended to allow departments to increase their total offerings of Honors courses without compromising their regular offerings. We award our Undergraduate Initiative (UIF) funds with two funding options:

  1. Departments may request short-term salary funding for Honors courses at the 33.3% lecturer rate. Under this option, a department agrees to offer a new or continuing Honors course taught by a regular faculty member (not a lecturer).
    • The funds can be used flexibly to meet departmental needs; for instance, they may allow the department to hire a lecturer to teach elsewhere in the curriculum. The intent of the funding is to allow the department to continue to offer a course that would otherwise have been taught by the faculty member, who will instead teach an Honors course.
    • In awarding this funding, we will give preference to departments that are committed to offering Honors courses in areas of high undergraduate demand and that fulfill the requirements and spirit of the Honors in the Liberal Arts degree.
  2. Departments may request funding for Honors discussion sections or labs of large lecture courses if those sections are led by the faculty member who is the instructor of the larger course. Under this option, departments are provided with in Supplies & Expense allocation of $1,200 for use by that faculty member.

Read the memo that was sent to Chairs, Associate Chairs, Department Administrators, and Undergraduate Advisors in Fall 2020.

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Why teach an Honors course?

The College of Letters & Science considers its strong Honors Program an asset. Honors courses provide the kind of high-impact instruction that is an integral and valued part of the L&S mission.

Read more about why you may wish to teach an Honors course.

Which courses are most desirable for the Honors Program?

All departments are welcome to apply for Honors funding. Courses with no or few prerequisites and are open to first-year students are most welcome, and we’re happy to talk to you about specific course profiles. Some course characteristics that are particularly desirable are:

  • Courses that carry science breadth but would appeal to non-science majors
  • Courses with humanities breadth that appeal to non-humanities majors
  • Social Science courses with content related to natural sciences, medicine, or legal studies

All students who are pursuing the Honors in the Liberal Arts track need Honors courses in different breadth areas, which means that any course at the intermediate/advanced level with breadth credit is also appealing. We welcome courses with an interdisciplinary profile.

What are the characteristics of an Honors course?

Honors courses are typically enriching, engaging, and rigorous enough to appeal to highly-motivated students. They should have relatively small enrollment caps (20-30 students) and provide an active learning environment. Funded Honors courses or sections should carry the “Honors only” enrollment designation and be restricted to Honors students.

Can I receive funding for the same course more than once?

Yes. To aid with longer-term curricular planning, Honors funding is renewable (by application) for subsequent years.

What is required for the application?

In addition to a completed proposal form, be sure to include the required syllabus, Chair’s or Associate Chair’s cover letter, information about the instructor and (if applicable) summary course evaluations as requested in the course proposal form. Failure to address these items has, in the past, resulted in proposals not being funded.

Please submit your application via email with a single PDF for each course proposal.

Does my department need a different cover letter for each course?

If your department is submitting more than one proposal, departmental chairs may use one cover letter that summarizes the requested information for all of the proposals.

What is the timeline for decisions?

The Faculty Honors Committee will review proposals and make award decisions at their December meeting. Departments will be notified of the award status of their Honors UIF proposals by late December.

Who can I contact with questions about Honors curricula, teaching Honors courses, etc.?

If you have any questions about Honors offerings, curricular balance, allocation of faculty, or the teaching of Honors courses, we’ll be delighted to talk to you. Please contact Associate Director Sara Stephenson (sara.stephenson@wisc.edu) or Faculty Director Sabine Gross (director@honors.ls.wisc.edu) to begin an email conversation or set up a meeting.