Guidelines for Creating an Honors Course That Meets Concurrently with a Non-Honors Course

These Guidelines have been endorsed by the University Undergraduate Curriculum Review Committee on April 30, 2007.

An Honors/non-Honors concurrent course is one in which Honors and non-Honors sections of the same course meet concurrently.

Good practice in such cases, as documented by the National Collegiate Honors Council and other sources as well as by the experience of the Dorman Honors College administration, covers two categories: (1) the honors materials taught and expectations of the honors students; and (2) the organization and conduct of the class.

  1. Honors materials taught and expectations of the honors students
    The opportunity for a student to expand his or her understanding and knowledge of a given subject beyond the regular course syllabus may be accomplished in many ways, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Investigating an area of the discipline not covered in depth in the regular course
  • Investigating how the student's major area(s) of interest connect with this discipline
  • Applying the information/expertise learned in the course in a creative way
  • Participating in an appropriate and relevant faculty-initiated research project
  • Devising and carrying out a clearly delimited original research project
  • Leading several class discussions on readings or other course-related topics
  • Monitoring and analyzing current events associated with the course topic
  • Performing a literature survey in a collateral area of the course
  1.  Organization and conduct of the class
    1. The Honors students in the Honors section should be given a separate syllabus or an addendum to the regular syllabus, stating the additional material to be covered and the methods to be used.
    2. Honors students may be asked to study and learn additional material independently, in which case they should be given explicit guidance in the syllabus about what they are to do or what extra material is to be learned.
    3. Different exams may be given to the Honors students; in this case the additional material to be covered in these Honors exams should be made clear to the students well before the exam.
    4. The Honors section of the course should be graded as a separate section, as any honors course would
    5. In keeping with policy for all honors courses, students should be given grades comparable to those they would receive for the same level of achievement in a non-Honors course.
    6. Honors College policy for all Honors courses is that no student receives Honors credit for a course if the final grade is below B.
    7. The Registrar’s policies do not allow a student to change from the Honors section to the non-Honors section, or the reverse, after the deadline for adding course