Honors options

Honors options

Guidelines for instructors and students

The following are guidelines to assist the instructor and student in the development of a productive honors option. If you wish to discuss any aspect of the honors option, please contact the Honors Coordinator at our campus.

Students and faculty members should review this page before submitting. The usual deadline is three weeks into the semester, but the instructor and coordinator may approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Instructor guidelines

  • In an honors option, the honors course project should not be an add-on to all the routine assignments, but should be done as an alternative to some or all of the assignments. The project should also fit within the content and intent of the course syllabus.
  • The honors option course should go more deeply into methodology, structure, and theory; attack more sophisticated questions; and satisfy more rigorous standards than is generally expected.
  • Simply increasing the volume of work required does not constitute an honors option. The character and quality of the work should be augmented, but the time required for the honors project should remain commensurate with the number of credits for a comparable honors course.
  • A successful honors option experience will include planned regular meetings between the instructor and the student in review, discuss and revise as the project develops. Whenever possible, specific deadlines should be identified.
  • Faculty should feel free to stipulate clarifications, modifications, or alternatives to student proposals and to reject proposals that reflect no serious preliminary thought about projects worthy of honors treatment.
  • The grade should reflect all of the student's work in the course, including work done in common with other students as well as work done in the honors mode. Completion of the honors portion of the course cannot be deferred without deferring the grade in this course. This rule applies whether or not a student continues in the honors program throughout the semester.

Student guidelines

  • The honors option form should be completed by the student after consultation with the instructor
  • All relevant information (including student PSU email) must be provided.
  • The form must be approved by the student and instructor.
  • Student and instructor approval is demonstrated by the instructor forwarding the form result, with a copy to the student, to the honors coordinator by no later than 5:00 pm on the semester deadline. Any extensions to this deadline must have approval of the instructor and honors coordinator.
  • In order to receive honors credits for the course, you must present the results of your work in the form of a poster at the Student Research and Creativity Conference on Thursday, November 17 in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center. Students presenting posters are required to send an abstract and an electronic copy of their poster to Ms. Nancy Lucas by no later than 5:00 pm one week prior to the presentation date. Failure to submit and present your poster will result in the removal of the honors designation from your transcript.
  • The filing of an honors option represents a commitment by both student and instructor to see the project through. The course may not revert to non-honors status without the permission of the instructor. The Office of Academic Affairs must receive written notification immediately of such a change, but no later than the end of the sixth week of the semester.