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Honors Contracts

Honors student


An Honors contract is a mutual agreement between the Honors student and the faculty member on a project or activity that will allow a particular non-honors course to be custom designated as “Honors” on the student’s transcript. Contracts allow students to complete further exploration, research, and/or experience in a particular topic of course material. Students often use the projects they complete for an Honors contract as entries in WCU's annual Undergraduate Expo and NCUR, an annual national conference for undergraduate research. Honors Contracts are now submitted, reviewed, and approved via MyWCU. For students: Type "honors" into the search bar on the top left of your MyWCU webpage, then select "Manage Honors Contracts." For instructors: Type "honors" into the search bar on the top left of your MyWCU webpage, then select "Manage Honors Contracts." For more information on how to design, submit, revise, and manage your honors contracts watch the "How to" videos below.

Honors Contracts must be submitted by the student no later than Friday at 5pm of the fourth week of the semester (Friday of the second week for Summer sessions)

What is an Honors Contract? Note: As of Fall 2020, all newly admitted honors students must complete 27 hours of honors credit to graduate from Brinson Honors College.


How to Design Your Honors Contract


How to Submit Your Honors Contract



Yes, including internships and distance/online courses. Whether or not a particular course will work for an Honors contract is ultimately the instructor’s decision.

A student must be a member of The Brinson Honors College to take advantage of Honors contracts.

Students currently on probation in The Brinson Honors College (due to grades or lack of Honors progress) may complete Honors contract work during their probation semester in order to continue to make progress and improve their GPA and standing.

Students who were previous members but have been removed from the college due to grades or lack of Honors progress are ineligible for Honors contract work.

Honors credit is always attached to the credit hours for the course (for example, an Honors contract for a three-hour course would be for three credit hours).

The best contracts are of mutual interest to the student and faculty member. Ideally, Honors contracts should:

  • Involve a project or activity that takes one deeper into the course subject and results in an experience relevant to one’s preparation as a professional.
  • Engage the student in higher levels of thinking and performance (i.e. synthesis, creation, evaluation, analysis) over a sustained period of time or over the course of the entire semester for advanced courses (at the 200, 300, or 400 levels), or involve lower cognitive domains (i.e. recall, understanding, application) over a shorter amount of time for introductory courses (at the 100 or possibly 200 levels).
  • When possible, invite a student to participate in undergraduate research or begin a research agenda within a major.
  • Depending on the discipline, invite a student to work on a creative project beyond the regular scope of the course (in theatre, art, or creative writing for example).
  • If applicable, involve a particular service project relevant to the course and/or the student’s major.
  • If applicable, involve a student honing teaching/presentation skills through a presentation of out-of-class material to the class or an external group.
  • When possible, result in a presentation of creative work or research results at the Undergraduate Expo, a regional conference, or the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
  • Allow the faculty member an opportunity to try innovative or professionally interesting projects or activities that would be difficult to do for an entire class.
  • Be commensurate with the number of credits earned (e.g. a contract in a 4 credit hour course should be more involved than a contract in a 3 credit hour course).

Contracts most likely to present problems usually:

  • Are “busy work” (taking an extra quiz, for example).
  • Are of little or no interest to the student or faculty member.
  • Have no clear connection to the course content.
  • Have little or no tangible outcome.
  • Are described so vaguely that the outcome is confusing to the student (i.e., “student will do an extra paper” or “student will read extra material”).
  • Under no circumstance will a contract be approved for work already accomplished.
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