University Honors (UH) courses are the underpinnings of the Honors College experience. Traditionally small class sizes maximize meaningful academic discourse, relationship building, and faculty-student interactions, these courses allow students to explore a diverse array of topics while often granting general education credit.

Students may also pursue a University Honors (UH) Independent Study in a  subject area chosen in consultation with an Honors College faculty member who will supervise the project. Often, self-directed studies lead to conference presentations, publications, and other experiences unique to the student’s interests.

Unsure of how to make University Honors (UH) work for you?  Contact an Honors College advisor.

Departmental Honors courses are offered throughout colleges across the University, feature the most outstanding and committed faculty, and are limited to only Honors College students. These courses have a broader and enhanced scope of the course content, experience, and assessment. This is typically achieved through at least two of the following: oral and written work demonstrating greater depth of thought; papers or a project that requires more analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of knowledge; higher-level readings; and/or in-depth discussions related to course content with the instructor. In addition to fulfilling Honors electives requirements, Departmental Honors courses may fulfill general education requirements or degree requirements.

Spring 2020 Departmental Honors Courses found here.

Students with an approved Honors by Contract proposal for the spring 2020 semester are encouraged to reach out to their faculty supervisor and work closely with them to ensure they are able to complete the Honors by Contract project/component by the end of the spring semester. The Honors College will reach out to faculty supervisors and students who have an approved Honors by Contract proposal via email and request submission of the HBC project grade and a copy of the final project no later than spring finals week (April 27 – May 1). Should you have questions or concerns regarding your Honors by Contract, please contact the Honors College by emailing

Honors College students may take a non-Honors departmental course at the 300 or 400 level with the Honors by Contract option.  A maximum of six (6) credit hours of Honors by Contract may be used to satisfy Honors Elective requirements; Honors by Contract may not be used to satisfy the UH Foundations requirement.

Students may not complete an Honors by Contract for slash-listed courses (400/500 level courses). Honors students are encouraged to request, through the department, permission to enroll in the 500-level course instead. Graduate level coursework will fulfill Honors Elective requirements.

Honors students interested in completing an Honors by Contract must contact the course’s instructor well in advance of the start of the semester. The course instructor and student will jointly work together to develop the proposal. If the student agrees to the proposal, the student will be responsible for completing the Honors by Contract application and routing it for approval.  In addition, students interested in proposing an Honors by Contract must attend one of the Honors by Contract information sessions offered by the Honors College. Failure to attend one of these mandatory sessions will result in the denial of an Honors by Contract application.

The approval process includes the course instructor, henceforth referred to as the faculty supervisor, department chair of the faculty supervisor, and the Honors College faculty and Dean. It is the responsibility of the student to begin the process of working with the faculty supervisor early as the Honors by Contract proposal development and approval process may take a good deal of time.

Honors by Contract allows Honors College students to earn honors credit while taking a non-Honors course, which is typically achieved through at least two of the following:

  1. Honors students’ oral and written work should demonstrate greater depth of thought.
  2. Honors students should submit additional papers or a project that require more analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of knowledge.
  3. Honors students should complete additional, higher-level readings.
  4. Honors students should attend additional meetings with the faculty supervisor to discuss course content in greater depth.

The additional components must be distinct from the existing course syllabus and must broaden and enhance the scope of the course content.

In order to earn Honors credit through Honors by Contract, the student must earn a grade of “B” or higher on the Honors by Contract component.

Once a student and the faculty supervisor have agreed to an Honors by Contract, the student must complete and submit the Honors by Contract Project Proposal form.  To apply for an Honors by Contract, students will utilize the link sent to them via Crimson email at the conclusion of their mandatory information session. The application will contain fields for the project proposal form and syllabus to be uploaded.

After submitting the application, an email will be sent to the faculty supervisor using his/her UA email address (which must be the one submitted on the application). Once the faculty supervisor approves the application, the faculty supervisor’s department chair will approve. Finally, the Honors College will receive notification and will make a decision on the application. If approved, the student and the faculty supervisor will receive email notification.

At the end of the semester, the faculty supervisor will receive notification to enter the grade of the Honors project only, rather than the course grade. Students will also receive email notification to submit a copy of their final project/presentation/paper to the Director of Student Services in Honors College. The student must receive a “B” or higher on the project and submit their final project for the class to receive Honors credit.

Honors by Contract is closed for Spring 2020. The next opportunity to submit an Honors by Contract application will be Summer 2020.

Honors College students have the opportunity to earn Honors credit through Independent Study. Students interested must do the following:

– Review the University Honors Independent Study Guide in its entirety. (Honors Independent Study Guide PDF)

– Connect with an Honors College faculty member whose background or area of expertise matches the topic/area you would like to further explore.

– Work with your selected Honors College faculty member to create a project proposal and submit the Honors College Independent Study as soon as possible.

– The Honors College Independent Study application must be submitted via the Academics tab in myBama no later than the first Friday of each new semester.

– Honors College Independent Study proposals may not replicate or duplicate an existing course taught at The University of Alabama.

– Students may earn between one and six credit hours of UH Independent Study credit (e.g. 1 credit hour = 45 contact hours).

Please note the following when crafting a proposal:

  • Oral and written work should demonstrate greater depth of thought.
  • Proposals should show evidence of analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of knowledge.
  • Honors students will attend required weekly or bi-weekly meetings with their Honors College faculty supervisor to discuss and review components of the University Honors Independent Study.
  • Proposals should be research-based and distinct from any existing course at The University of Alabama.

University Honors Independent Study proposals should exhibit the level of rigor and robustness expected for an Honors-level course and experience.

The Independent Study applications are closed for Spring 2020.

For any questions about the registration process, please email the Honors College at

Honors College students are encouraged to explore graduate courses in their major field.  The Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) is an option in some departments for talented and highly motivated students who want to earn a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years. Through AMP, students begin their graduate studies during their senior year. To learn more about AMP, read about it on the Graduate School’s website.