Note: This page is for faculty and staff. If you are a student looking for Honors Contract information, click here.
For students in the University Honors Program, the honors contract allows members to earn honors credit for a non-honors class. The credit can be applied towards the requirements to graduate with University Honors.
For students not in the University Honors Program, the honors contract can be used to earn credit towards Honors in the Major. A student must have a 3.30 UI cumulative g.p.a. to be able to access the form.
The Purpose of an Honors Contract
Work done for an honors contract should be qualitatively different in nature from that already assigned for the class. For example, honors contract work may rely on primary sources not formally introduced in the class or it may focus more intensively on particular topics. Honors contracts will ideally help both the student and instructor. You may have the student do a project that covers useful material for the entire class to know and then present it to the class, or the student may research a topic you wish to cover in a future offering of the course and discuss it with you.
Some of the best contract projects build on the student's unique interests. However, instructors who supervise multiple honors contracts simultaneously may choose to standardize the project assignment. (See also "options to consider" below.) In any case, we are happy to answer any questions you have to facilitate the process; email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 319-335-1681.
The opportunity to contract has historically been reserved for in-person classes. While remote-learning is now more common, online classes may also be contracted.
The only technical deadline for a student to finish the contract project is before they graduate from the University. They should complete the project according to your agreed upon terms. However, if issues do arise, you have the ability to report the project was satisfactory any time between the last two weeks of the contracted semester and the student's graduation date.
Note that contract projects cannot be graded as part of the course, only denoted as S/U. Additionally, the student must earn a B- or better in the class for an honors contract to be valid. P/N, S/U, S/F grading options are not available to Honor contract credit.
First, the student interested in completing a contract for your class should meet with you or email you to discuss the possibility of a contract. Ideally, this is the time to discuss ideas, scope, and requirements.
Next, the student will submit a Contract Proposal Form, which will outline what was discussed in your prior meeting. This form is approved by: the student, the Honors Program, and you the instructor*.
Lastly, two weeks prior to the end of the semester the Registrar's Office will send out a Confirmatory Workflow to your Workflow Inbox. This form inquires if the student satisfactorily completed the proposed project or not. This form is only seen by the instructor and the Registrar.
*note, the proposal and completion forms route according to how your course department has listed instructors for the course. If a course supervisor is present the form will route to the course supervisor. Otherwise, it will route to the course primary instructor.
Options to consider for instructors who have frequent or repeat requests for honors contracts:
- Continue to contract with individual students for each to do an independent project as per the honors contract instructions above (an individualized approach)
- Create a group assignment or a group experience for honors students, e.g. a psychology professor met outside of class with his group of honors students to discuss a book, a chapter at a time (a group approach that offers the benefit of extra contact with each other and the professor). Honors provided the space for them to meet in the Blank Honors Center.
- The department may create an all-honors lab or discussion section for what is otherwise a standard class and code the section or lab as Honors, thereby eliminating the need for a contract process. Preferably the professor meets with the honors section.