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Honors Conversions

Honors courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines to allow you as much flexibility as possible in choosing courses that meet your interests and academic goals. We realize, however, that in a college with thousands of courses offered each term, there is no way we can offer an Honors component for every course that Honors students are interested in taking.  If you find a course that has no Honors component and does not meet Honors requirements by being an advanced election, you may choose to do a conversion project to receive Honors credit for the course.

Honor conversions have three central components:

  1. expansion or enrichment of  the current course curriculum,
  2. regular contact with the instructor for feedback, guidance, and discussion of your project,
  3. a culminating project or experience that pulls your semester’s work together.  The format of this culminating experience should be designed to fit your individual project, and may vary from one conversion to another.  Leading a class discussion, designing a study guide for your class, presenting your project in class, writing up your results in a final paper, reflection piece, or lab report, creating a multi-media presentation of your material, directing a dramatic performance, writing a musical, curating a display:  all of these (and more) are possible.

What Courses Can I Convert?

Most undergraduate courses are appropriate for a conversion project with a few exceptions:

  • Courses which have an Honors section (e.g. ANTHRCUL 101),
  • Courses that have an Honors equivalent (e.g. PHIL 202 has an Honors equivalent in PHIL 297),
  • Language acquisition courses (1st, 2nd, and 3rd semesters usually). Many very interesting projects have been completed in 4th-semester and 3rd- and 4th-year language reading courses, and even occasionally in lower-level courses. Discuss the possibilities with your instructor.
  • Mathematics, EECS, Statistics. Recently, a few conversions have been done in STAT 250, so check with your instructor if you have an idea for a conversion in that course.

How Do I Convert a Course to Honors?

Follow these four steps:

  1. Attend an information session in the Honors Office.

    During the first 10 days of the term, attend one information session about conversions. Time and place of each session will be announced on the Honors website and in This Week in Honors. Info sessions will include:
    1. A presentation about the goals and ideals for Honors conversions
    2. Examples of previous Honors conversions & brainstorming new ideas
    3. Information about the online application process for both you to use and to take to your instructor.

  2. Devise an appropriate project with your professor. 

    In the first week or two of the term, arrange a meeting with your instructor (office hours are a good time for this) to discuss a conversion project. A good conversion project should allow you to engage with the material being taught in the course at a greater depth and involve at least some independent work that results in an intellectual dialogue between you and your instructor. Honor conversions have three central components:
    1. expansion or enrichment of  the current course curriculum,
    2. regular contact with the instructor for feedback, guidance, and discussion of your project,
    3. a culminating project or experience that pulls your semester’s work together. The format of this culminating experience should be designed to fit your individual project, and may vary from one conversion to another. Leading a class discussion, designing a study guide for your class, presenting your project in class, writing up your results in a final paper, reflection piece, or lab report, creating a multi-media presentation of your material, directing a dramatic performance, writing a musical, curating a display: all of these (and more) are possible.

      Honors Advisors are available to help brainstorm possible projects.
       
  3. Complete the online application process.
    1. Fill out the online application: one for each course each semester
    2. Print out the form, take it to your instructor(s) and get their signatures. A note about counter-signatures: Typically, Honors conversions are supervised by an LSA faculty member. If a graduate student instructor will supervise your project, please have both the graduate student and the faculty member teaching the course sign your form.
    3. Turn the paperwork in no later than the term drop/add deadline.  You may turn the application in before that date, but late applications will not be accepted.
       
  4. Complete the project.

    Work with your instructor to complete your project over the course of the term. The exact due date for the project is up to you and your instructor to determine.  After the end of the term, your instructor will receive an email from the Honors Program office asking if you have completed the project successfully; we then pass that information on to the Office of the Registrar. It usually takes between four and six weeks for the Honors notation to post to your transcript.

An Honors conversion does not count toward your grade for the course, but you must earn at least a "C" to have the Honors designation put on your transcript.

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