How to Propose an Honors Contract

If you’re not taking an honors class this semester, you might want to think about doing an honors contract. In an honors contract, a student does an extra project in a non-honors class for honors credit. The project should take about 15-45 hours to do and isn’t for a grade.  It won’t affect your final grade, and you can drop it at any time. You get the number of honors credits corresponding to the credits for the class. Students are not required to do an honors contract in any given semester, but it’s a great option as you work toward completing an Honors Program certificate. It’s also a wonderful way to achieve your personal goals and delve into topics that interest you: you get to come up with your project in consultation with your professor. 

Honors contract proposals are due by the end of the third week of the semester. This semester, they are due on Friday, January 29. The project itself is normally due at the end of the semester.  

The project can be a paper, a presentation, a hands-on project, a service project, a normal type of project for the subject matter, or something unique and creative. If you decide to write a paper, a standard length would be 5 – 8 pages. You will need to get your professor’s approval. Sometimes a professor has an idea for a project. You can also do a group project with other honors students in the class. 

You’ll then fill out a form, which is available both on Honors Path under Contracted Courses and in the Honors Program Canvas shell in the Strive module. The form will ask which “column” the project corresponds to. “Strive” would be traditional coursework, “contribute” would be a service project, “explore” would be something relating to culture, and “participate” would connect to the Ferris or Honors community in some way. You can always use “strive” as a default. In normal years, your professor would sign the proposal, but now, we have professors email us to say they approve. You’ll submit the form by January 29. 

You should assume it will be approved and start working on it. A student committee approves honors contracts and usually responds by the middle of the semester. If they have any questions, I’ll share them. Normally, they wouldn’t reject a proposal, but would simply ask students to tweak it. 

At the end of the semester, you will submit your project directly to your professor and also upload it to the Honors Program Canvas shell if possible. Your professor will email me to say whether the project was completed successfully. If you decide to drop the project, it doesn’t affect your grade in the class. 

You can find more information on honors contracts in our Canvas shell in Strive, including a recording of a Lunch and Learn, which you can watch as a cultural event. I’ll be doing another Lunch and Learn on January 14 at 11 AM. You can sign up here.

You can also find information here: 

Let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to brainstorm ideas! You can reach me at or 231-591-2216.