In-Course Honors Guidelines

An in-course honors project is an agreement between an honors student and a chosen instructor. The student completes an agreed-upon project within the context of a particular course and under the guidance of the instructor. Work performed must be above and beyond the requirements of the course. The size, scope and nature of the project are completely up to the instructor and the student. The project is an opportunity for the student to do more work, not the instructor (unless the instructor would like to).
In-course honors should be viewed as an agreement. It is the student’s responsibility to:
  • Initiate contact with the instructor to discuss an in-course honors project and obtain the instructor’s approval for supervising the in-course honors project.
  • Submit the In-Course Honors Project Application by the deadline and stay on task with project requirements
  • Communicate frequently with the instructor regarding project progress and challenges
  • Communicate changes regarding the project (canceled project, dropped course, etc.) to the instructor and to the Executive Director of the Honors College
  • Maintain your own copy of the In-Course Honors Project Application
In-course honors projects should provide a meaningful experience for the student, engaging in a one-on-one mentoring relationship with the instructor. Instructors are encouraged to:
  • Meet with the student periodically to guide and review the student’s progress toward completing the project
  • Challenge the student to approach the material from alternative perspectives and share relevant research, networks and other resources with the student
  • Provide opportunities for the student to develop research and practical skills
  • Facilitate connections between the course and other relevant professional or disciplinary interests the student may have
  • Where appropriate, involve the student in collaborative research or professional activities (co-authoring, co-producing, etc.)
  • Be creative in thinking about the type of project that will help the student to grow and develop in a particular field, while completing a project that will be beneficial to them as they prepare for graduate or professional schools and/or a career field
  • When practical, encourage students to complete projects that will benefit the CSU and broader communities
Honors projects may promote:
  • deeper exploration of a course topic
  • investigation of new or alternate ideas
  • connection of course content and field experiences
  • cultivation of multidisciplinary perspectives
  • skill development – critical thinking, performance, professional practice
  • figuring out how to use course content and principles to benefit the CSU and broader communities
  • enhanced classroom instruction (student may develop materials, presentations, or resources for the instructor to use in the course)
In-course honors projects may include, but are not limited to:
  • Developing a product or program that benefits or uplifts others
  • Writing a scholarly paper that expands upon a topic covered in the course
  • Developing teaching materials such as a test, handouts, or presentation
  • Gaining field experience – interview, site observation, field research
  • Conducting interpretive or creative writing within the context of the course
  • Researching a topic and presenting findings to the class
  • Giving a musical or theatrical performance or participating in a public debate
  • Any creative and worthwhile endeavor
Students involving human participants or animal subjects in their research projects are responsible for obtaining approval BEFORE beginning the project. If you are unsure if you need approval, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.
If a project is completed satisfactorily as indicated by the instructor at the end of the semester, the course will be designated as an honors course on the student’s official transcript by the addition of an HON suffix to the course number.
Student Steps to Complete an Honors Project

Contact the instructor to secure approval for the project and to discuss the requirements, including objectives and a timeline for completing the project. Keep in mind that in-course honors projects should be a collaborative activity and the instructor may not agree to supervise your project or may suggest changes or alternative projects. If the instructor does not wish to supervise your project, you are responsible for finding another course and instructor who will supervise a project for honors credit. Make sure to let instructors know that the project is an opportunity for the student to do more work, not the instructor (unless the instructor would like to).

Submit the In-Course Honors Project Application by the due date specified by the Honors College. You can find the application at Retain a copy of the application for your own records.

Your instructor will be contacted to confirm the information submitted on your application.

At the end of the semester, the Honors College will seek verification from your instructor regarding whether your project has been satisfactorily completed and the course will be designated as an honors course on the student’s official transcript by the addition of an HON suffix to the course number.
  Application Questions Guidance
  • Student contact information
  • Course information
    • Course number and section
    • Include accurate instructor contact information
  • Indicate if the project is for General Honors or Honors in the Major
  • Type of project (e.g. Program or Product, Summative Report, Oral Presentation, Performance, Thesis Research, etc.)
  • Describe the General Concept of the Project:
    • Treat this like the short title of a paper
    • The purpose is to provide a general idea of the subject of your work
  • Major Steps (indicate major steps in completing the project and provide a timeline for completion of each step)
  • Human or animal subjects research (if so, you are required to obtain the appropriate training and approval before you start your project. Work with your professor to contact the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research for appropriate approvals).