Honors Foundations are the underpinnings of the Honors College experience. Traditionally limited to 15 seats to 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 core credit. After the first 6 hours, Honors Foundations count as Honors Electives.

Students may also pursue an Independent Study in a subject area chosen in consultation with a qualified 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. Students can receive credit in a plethora of ways either in one single semester or over the course of many semesters.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors courses are offered throughout colleges across the university and feature the most outstanding and committed faculty and are limited to only Honors College students. Departmental Honors courses are smaller than their non-honors counterparts and are traditionally offered as options to substitute for general education courses that fulfill core requirements.

Honors by Contract

The Honors by Contract option provides up to 6 hours of Honors credit for Honors College students taking a departmental course at the 300 or 400 level.  Honors by Contract courses satisfy Honors elective requirements, but not Honors Foundation courses (UH-designated courses). In order to earn Honors credit, the student must collaborate with the course’s instructor (who must know of the student’s intention prior to the student completing the Honors by Contract application) to create an additional assignment or learning element to raise the course to Honors level work and make at least a B on the additional project. The additional work should not be just an extension of the class assignments. Rather, the extra project must be distinct from course syllabus, broaden and must enrich the scope of the course content.

Once a student has an Honors by Contract project designed, in a course for which the student is already registered, and has the approval of the course instructor, the student should go to the Honors College website, go to the Academics Tab, go to Honors Credit, and click on “Honors by Contract.” This links to the Honors by Contract application. The attached project description must include the following:

  • Student Name
  • Supervisor Name
  • Course Number and Title
  • One Paragraph Description of the Project
  • Expected Learning Outcomes
  • Project Timeline
  • Anticipated Number of Hours to Complete the Project

After submitting the application, an email will be sent to the supervisor using his/her UA email address (which must be the one submitted on the application). Once the supervisor “accepts” the application, the Honors registrar receives notification for final approval. Once the registrar approves, the student and the supervisor will receive email notification. At the end of the semester, the supervisor will receive notification to enter the grade of the Honors project only, rather than the course grade. The student must receive a “B” or higher on the project for the class to count as “Honors.”

The deadline to sign up for Honors by Contract for spring 2018 is January 31, 2018! No exceptions or extensions can be granted.

Independent Study

UH 400, Independent Study, is a course for which the student does all work independently. There are no class meetings; students work independently on their projects with occasional meetings with their supervisors. To complete an independent study, a student must select an instructor with whom to work; most students select someone in their major. Students who wish to take UH 400 must first satisfy a three (3) credit prerequisite of Honors Foundation courses at the 100, 200, or 300 level. 

In order to complete an Independent Study, a student must:

  • Get approval from an instructor with whom the student will work. Then, design a project, e.g., research paper, dance choreography, short story, etc. For three hours of credit, students must do 145 hours of work during the semester, which is equivalent to the amount of work expected in any three hour course.
  • Once the project is designed and the supervisor selected, the student should go to the Academic Tab on the Honors College website, select Courses, and then click on the Independent Study link. Follow the instructions and the example in order to format the application correctly. Click here for Honors Independent Study Proposal
  • After submitting an application, an email will be sent to the supervisor with a link to the online system. This is sent to an instructor’s UA email address, so that address must be included in the application.
  • After a supervisor accepts the application, the Honors College registrar receives it for final approval. Once the registrar accepts it, a student receives an override to register for UH 400, and both the student and supervisor are notified by email

To register for an Independent Study, which requires an “override,” a student must do the following:

  • Go to mybama student tab, “add or drop courses” link.
  • Jot down the CRN of the course you will be adding.
  • Enter it in one of the boxes at the very bottom of the page labeled “CRN”.
  • Submit the changes.
  • The course credits default to 1 upon submission of changes. The number 1 is a link that the student can change and submit again.
  • If this change is not made before leaving the drop/add page the credit will remain at 1.
  • If the student forgets to change the number of credits before leaving the page s/he can drop the course and register for it again. This will activate the numbered link once more. This will work only during the registration cycle.
  • Credits cannot be changed by the student after close of registration.

The deadline to sign up for an independent study for spring semester is January 11, 2018.

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

Graduate Coursework

All graduate level coursework counts towards the Honors College requirements, and 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, click here to read about it in the Graduate Catalog.