Green Sheet Information

Green Sheet Proposal Submission Deadlines:

You must submit a completed Green Sheet proposal form to the L&S Honors Program no later than the sixth week of a fall/spring semester or the third week of an eight-week summer term.

  • For Spring 2024 courses: Friday, March 1, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.
  • For Summer 2024 courses (8-week session only): Friday, July 5, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.
  • For Fall 2024 courses: Friday, October 11, at 4:30 p.m.

We encourage discussing your plans with an Honors advisor and submitting your materials early.

What is a Green Sheet?

Occasionally, you may be eager to do more in-depth or applied work in a class for which no Honors component is available. In such situations, you may be able to collaborate with the instructor early in the semester to develop and propose your own unique Honors project for the course. Honors experiences should enrich your understanding and appreciation of the course content and facilitate stronger connections – with the instructor, with the discipline, with your personal interests, and with the local and/or global context.

You will submit a written description of the agreed-upon project plan as part of a “Green Sheet Proposal.” Proposals must be submitted to the L&S Honors Program for review by the advertised term deadline. When a Green Sheet is approved by the Honors Program, the “Honors Optional” designation is added to your enrollment for the course. The approved proposal serves as a contract between you, instructor, and Honors Program about how Honors credit will be earned.

Why the name “Green Sheet?” These proposals used to be submitted with a form that was printed on green paper!

Steps to Green Sheet a course:

  1. Review the eligibility criteria, project expectations, and Frequently Asked Green Sheet Questions (FAQ) below. We strongly encourage you to discuss your plans and any questions with an Honors Program advisor.
  2. In the first few weeks of the semester, discuss your interest in a Green Sheet project with the course instructor. Instructors are encouraged, but not required, to allow an eligible student to complete a Green Sheet project.
  3. Coordinate with your professor to determine the details of your project and prepare responses for the Green Sheet proposal form. We recommend typing out the answers in a document that your instructor can review before transferring your responses into the online form.
  4. Generate and save a Course Change Request in the MyUW Student Center to request that Honors be added to the course. You will upload a PDF of the Course Change Request as part of the Green Sheet proposal form. No signatures are required to submit the Course Change Request form. Please DO NOT send the form directly to the L&S Academic Deans.
  5. Before that semester’s Green Sheet Proposal deadline, complete the Green Sheet proposal form.


Before beginning a Green Sheet proposal, check that the following are true for you. Exceptions may be made for Honors in the Major students in majors with limited Honors course options.

  • You are currently declared as an L&S Honors student (Honors in the Liberal Arts or Honors in the Major).
  • You have previously completed an Honors course (Honors Only, Accelerated Honors, or Honors Optional) with a grade of B or better.
  • You are only submitting one Green Sheet Proposal for this term.
  • You have completed fewer than four previous Green Sheets.

    In order for a course to be eligible, the following must be true:

    • The course carries Letters & Science (LAS) credit.
    • The course is not being offered as Honors Optional or with an Honors Only or Accelerated Honors section this semester. There is also no equivalent Honors course being offered (e.g. Poli Sci 120 vs Poli Sci 182).
    • The course takes place during the fall or spring semester or is a summer course lasting at least 8 weeks.
    • The course is not an independent study, directed study, research credits, or an internship.
    • The course instructor agrees to allow a Green Sheet and approves your proposal.

    If you have questions about any of the above criteria, please contact

    Project expectations

    Green Sheets are an opportunity for you to think creatively about what, how, and why you learn. While the possibilities for Green Sheet projects are endless, Green Sheet proposals must meet the following standards to be eligible for approval:

    1. Distinct work. The proposed Green Sheet work must be separate from standard course requirements and graded assignments. The Honors Program will not, for example, approve a proposal to write a longer version of a paper assigned to all students in the course.
    2. Relevant topic. In the proposal, you must clearly articulate how the Green Sheet project is related to the content, themes, and/or learning outcomes of the course.
    3. Substantive product. The proposed Green Sheet work must involve meaningful academic engagement with the chosen topic(s) over the course of the semester and demonstrate depth appropriate for the level of the course. Your learning must yield at least one “product” that can be reviewed by the instructor. Keep in mind that Green Sheet projects do not add an additional credit to the course and should not create an undue burden on you or the instructor; do not attempt to write a novel or a thesis as a Green Sheet project. See the FAQ below for more guidance, such as lengths for research papers.
    4. Increased interaction. The experience of completing the Green Sheet should increase student-instructor interaction and must include opportunities for guidance and feedback from the instructor ahead of project completion. The Honors Program encourages projects that also foster meaningful connections with peers and/or communities outside of the classroom.

    Frequently Asked Green Sheet Questions

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    How much work do I need to do for a Green Sheet?

    Use the examples below to inform the scope of your Green Sheet project and the creation of one or more “products.” We encourage you to think about a combination of experiences and outcomes that would be rewarding for you and may allow you to develop skills that you wouldn’t otherwise focus on in the course.

    • If the primary outcome of your Green Sheet is a research paper, the paper should be 8-10 double-spaced pages in length, not including headings or works cited.
    • If the primary outcome of your Green Sheet is a presentation to your class peers, the presentation should be at least 10 minutes in length and be accompanied by prepared materials (e.g. handouts, slides, script) that show depth of preparation.
    • If you will regularly attend relevant department colloquia or campus lectures (at least 6 hours of event time), you should produce written notes throughout the semester to discuss with your instructor and write a final reflection (minimum 3 double-spaced pages) that synthesizes your experiences and discusses how they related to and expanded upon your learning for the course.
    • If you produce a creative piece (e.g. oil painting, video, children’s book, digital map), it should be accompanied by a written explanation and reflection paper (minimum 3 double-spaced pages) that discusses the motivation for the piece, the choices involved in its creation, interpretation of relevant sources, and connections to course content or themes.

    As part of the review process, Honors Program staff will ask for more information or revisions if your proposed project seems to require either too much or too little compared to typical expectations for a Green Sheet. This process promotes greater equity for students completing Greens Sheets across courses and disciplines.

    What are some more ideas to help me get started?

    While some students choose to write a research paper for their Green Sheet project, the L&S Honors Program encourages other types of Green Sheet experiences. Consider these ideas to get started.

    • Participate in a departmental reading group on topics relevant to the course.
    • Interview a docent at the Chazen Museum of Art and produce your own work of art.
    • Write and record an imagined conversation between two scholars in the field (contemporary or historical) discussing a current question or topic.
    • Develop a lesson plan in consultation with the instructor and lead your class for a week, preparing activities and learning guides for your peers.
    • Meet with your professor every other week to discuss additional readings and events related to the course material.
    • Create an interactive website that showcases and contextualizes contributions of marginalized figures in the discipline.
    • Volunteer regularly with an established community organization, such as Madison International Partners, and write a series of short reflections that incorporate scholarly research about issues related to that organization’s work (e.g. immigration policy, language acquisition).

    Looking for more ideas and wondering how to put everything together? Review Green Sheet Proposal summaries and examples from previous semesters.

    Can a Green Sheet help me complete the 15 Automatic Honors credits needed for Honors in the Liberal Arts?

    No. When a Green Sheet is approved, the Honors Optional designation is added to your enrollment in the course. This type of Honors credit can count toward the 24 total Honors credits and toward Honors breadth, but not toward the 15 required Automatic Honors credits needed for HLA.

    Can I get breadth credit for a class with a Green Sheet?

    If the course is already affiliated with a breadth category, you will get the corresponding Honors breadth credit.

    Can I do a Green Sheet even though I have never taken an Honors course?

    Honors in the Liberal Arts students: You must have completed an Honors Only, Accelerated Honors, or Honors Optional course (with Honors Option selected) with a final grade of B or better to be eligible to do a Green Sheet.

    Honors in the Major students: As a default, you must have completed an Honors Only, Accelerated Honors, or Honors Optional course (with Honors Option selected) with a final grade of B or better to be eligible to do a Green Sheet. The Honors Program will consider exceptions if your major does not regularly offer Honors courses or if your degree requirements might otherwise necessitate using a Green Sheet for your first Honors experience. If this might be your situation, we encourage you to make an appointment with an Honors advisor to discuss options.

    All: Remember that Green Sheets are intended to be rare. You are expected to take advantage of available Honors coursework (Honors Only, Accelerated Honors, and/or Honors Optional) whenever feasible. Prior completion of at least one Honors course will also help you be more prepared to design and complete work appropriate for a Green Sheet.

    How many Green Sheets can I do?

    You can do a maximum of one Green Sheet per semester and no more than four Green Sheets during the course of their degree.

    If you are pursuing Honors in the Major for a major with limited Honors course offerings, you may be able to exceed these maximums in order to complete requirements. You should still make every effort to spread out required Honors coursework and avoid concurrent Green Sheets.

    What happens after I submit a proposal?

    1. The L&S Honors Program Advising Team will evaluate completed proposals for eligibility, completeness, and appropriateness of the described project. Proposals are typically reviewed within two weeks of the submission deadline.
    2. If the proposal does not fulfill the requirements and expectations for an Honors experience, or if clarification is needed, you will be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the proposal. If the revision is not received by the new deadline, the Green Sheet proposal will be automatically rejected.
    3. Upon approval of a Green Sheet proposal, the Honors Program will process the necessary paperwork to have the Honors designation added to the course and will send confirmation to you and the course instructor. The course will be recorded as an Honors Optional course on your transcript.

    How is a Green Sheet graded?

    Honors credit from a Green Sheet is earned on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis and should not factor into your final letter grade. Remember that engaging in the process and seeking guidance/feedback along the way is a critical aspect of the Green Sheet experience.

    Satisfactory completion:

    • When your instructor assigns you a final letter grade for the course, that serves as confirmation that the you completed the agreed-upon Green Sheet project in a satisfactory way and thus have completed that course “with Honors.”

    Unsatisfactory completion:

    • The Honors designation must be removed in order for you to receive your letter grade for the class. You can generate a Course Change Request to remove Honors from the course and submit that CCR to your college or school’s academic deans office (typically L&S Academic Deans’ Services), copying your instructor and the L&S Honors Program. Your instructor can also contact the L&S Honors Program for assistance.
    • A “Q” grade may be assigned as a temporary final grade if the Honors isn’t removed from your enrollment before final grades are submitted for that term.

    What happens if I can't finish my Green Sheet project?

    In the rare cases that a student cannot or does not successfully complete an approved Green Sheet project, the student must generate a new Course Change Request to remove Honors from the course and submit that CCR to your college or school’s academic deans office (typically L&S Academic Deans Services). Honors should be removed before the student receives a final letter grade.