L&S Honors Program

College of Letters & Science
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Honors Optional Courses (%)

What is an Honors Optional course?

Honors Optional courses are designated by a % in the Schedule of Classes. They are...

  • Open to both Honors and non-Honors students.
  • Regular courses with an optional Honors component.
  • Opportunities for students to enrich and enhance what they are learning in the course by way of a separate project or projects, as defined by the instructor.
  • Your responsibility! If your professor does not mention the Honors project in class or on the course syllabus, you must follow-up with him or her to learn what is expected of you.
  • Not automatic Honors courses, but rather count as general Honors credits. They will count towards the 24 total Honors credits needed to graduate with HLA, and they may also fulfill HM requirements, depending upon your department's curriculum.

Because Honors Optional courses are open to all students and do not automatically carry an Honors designation, it is up to you to opt into the Honors component of the course via Student Center. This can be done during initial enrollment by selecting the "Take for Honors" box. Likewise, you may do this anytime in the first 12 weeks of the semester by logging into your Student Center, selecting "Course Enrollment" and choosing the "Edit" tab to edit the class (please note that instructors may specify an earlier deadline than the 12th week).

Should you decide to drop the Honors designation and complete the course without completing the Honors project, you must make this change in your Student Center before the twelfth week of class. Simply log into your Student Center, select "Course Enrollment" and choose the "Edit" tab to edit the class and de-select the Honors designation.

Honors Optional projects, when they are offered in a course, are not required for Honors students. Your final grade will not be affected by your decision to complete or not complete the Honors project. If you do not make the appropriate declaration in your Student Center by the twelfth-week deadline, however (e.g., if you complete the Honors project but fail to check the "(%) Take for Honors" box in your Student Center, indicating your intent to complete it) you may receive a "Q" on your final grade report, indicating that your grade is in question. If this happens, you will need to complete extra paperwork to convert the "Q" to an actual letter grade. Directions for doing so can be found here.

Examples of Honors Optional courses

Please note that Honors Optional projects are designed by professors and therefore liable to change from year to year. While the descriptions below represent optional Honors projects from previous years and may be useful indicators of what to expect from an Honors Optional course, they may not accurately reflect the Honors Optional projects currently assigned by professors for these courses.

ATM OCN 100: Weather and Climate

Honors students are asked to attend a particular number of colloquia/presentations in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and write reflection journals linking the presented current research with course theory. Through doing this, students come to understand the importance and applications of what they are learning in class. Additionally, they benefit from networking with members of the department community.

History 358: The Old Regime and the French Revolution, 1685-1799

In place of the term paper assigned for the course, Honors students received a longer written assignment that required extra research and a deeper engagement with primary source material. Students met with the course professor and one another to present their research in a formal setting, granting them an opportunity to comment on their peers' work and presentation style while receiving immediate, yet reflective feedback on their own.