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Note: This page is for faculty and staff. If you are a student looking for honors contract information, click here.

The Purpose of an Honors Contract

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.

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. For example, you may have the student do a project that covers material useful 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. See project examples below.

Some of the best contract projects build on the student's unique interests, however, instructors who supervise multiple honors contracts simultaneously may choose to standardized the project assignment. In any case, we are happy to answer any questions you have to facilitate the process; email or phone 319-335-1681.

Note that while contract projects are not graded, the student must earn a B- or better in the class for an honors contract to be valid.

How to Submit an Honors Contract Form

The student is responsible for submitting the Honors Contract Form in MyUI. Students are expected to discuss the project proposal and timeline for completion with the instructor prior to submission. Honors contracts are due the last business day of the month following the start of the semester.

Approval Path

Once the student submits their Honors Contract Form, the person listed as the primary instructor will receive an email to approve the form in Universal Workflow.

The instructor has the option to approve or void the contract. If it is voided, the student may resubmit a new honors contract for the class. Voided contracts are not reflected on student records.

Two weeks prior to the end of the semester, the primary instructor for the class will be prompted by email to confirm that the contract was completed satisfactorily. The student will not receive an honors designation if this form is not completed by the instructor. For assistance with workflow paths please contact the Office of the Registrar at


Students who are members of the University Honors Program who successfully compete an honors contract will see the course designated as "H" on their grade report. The "H" will appear (1) after the instructor has approved the final form confirming that the contract was completed satisfactorily and (2) the course grade is in final status.

Students who are not members of the University Honors Program who successfully complete an honors contract will see the course designated as "HC" on their grade report.

Options to consider for instructors who have frequent or repeat requests for honors contracts--

  1. Continue to contract with individual students for each to do an independent project as per the honors contract instructions above (an individualized approach)
  2. 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.
  3. The department may create an all-honors lab or discussion section, coded as Honors, for what is otherwise a standard class. Preferably the professor meets with the honors section.