VCU Honors College


Derek Austin

Honors students are some of the most ambitious students at VCU.

Derek Austin, bioinformatics

Non-honors to honors course contract

The Honors College faculty and staff are dedicated to developing a unique program of courses that challenges and stimulates students while encouraging open discussion and a great deal of individual responsibility.

However, under some circumstances, students in The Honors College may need to substitute a non-honors course and apply the credit toward honors elective requirements. When requesting honors credit for a non-honors course, you must work closely with the course instructor to coordinate and outline a detailed plan of study and demonstrate how you will incorporate advanced, honors-caliber work. The additional work associated with your project is not necessarily done in lieu of regular assignments. You and the instructor should determine and specify on the course contract what percentage of your final grade this honors caliber work will comprise.

If you are considering this option, you should schedule an appointment with your honors advisor to review the requirements for receiving honors credit. Once you have made arrangements to integrate advanced study, you must submit the non-honors to honors course contract [PDF], including the details of your plan and the signed approval of your instructor, to your honors advisor. Please note that hand-written course contracts are no longer acceptable — you must use the type-enabled Adobe Acrobat form online. If satisfactory, your advisor will sign the contract and submit it to the dean of The Honors College for final approval prior to the start of the course. The contract must be approved and signed prior to the first day of classes for the given semester.

No more than six of the total credit hours required for graduation with honors may be taken as contract courses. Please note that course contracts are not allowed for any of the core honors curriculum courses. In addition, because summer courses are considerably compressed due to time constraints, they are not eligible for the honors course contract option.