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.

Departmental Honors courses can be found by searching within the Academic Catalog.

Honors by Contract Policy 

What is Honors by Contract?

The Honors by Contract option provides students the opportunity to take a non-Honors departmental course at the 300 or 400 level, and through designing a complementary component/project for the course, students may receive Honors Elective credit.

The complementary component/project should explicitly address the Honors College student learning outcomes in support of the development of Honors students has critical and creative thinkers, ethical and reasoned citizens, and collaborative and inclusive leaders.

Who may apply to complete an Honors by Contract?

Honors College students who are in good standing within the Honors College.

A student in good standing in Honors College will meet or exceed the minimum GPA requirement and has made adequate progress in satisfying Honors College course requirements.

How to propose an Honors by Contract:

Honors students interested in completing an Honors by Contract must contact the course’s instructor well in advance of the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Honors students must complete a mandatory information module via Blackboard. To be added to the Honors by Contract Blackboard course, the student must email the Honors College Director of Student Services (Erin Jett, with their name, CWID and myBama username. Once they have completed the course, students will receive the necessary link to apply. This link will be sent to the student’s Crimson email address.

Failure to complete a mandatory Honors by Contract information session will result in the denial of an Honors by Contract application.

When is the Fall 2020 Honors by Contract deadline?

The Fall 2020 Honors by Contract deadline is Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. We will accept no late submissions.

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.