Student studying in the Health Sciences Library.

Honors Contracts

An Honors Contract is a mechanism for adding an “honors dimension” to a course. The contract permits honors students to turn a regular University course into an Honors course by contracting with the instructor to complete extra work and receive honors credit. The contract involves an agreement between the honors student, a UB faculty member, and the University Honors College. All of the terms stated in the contract must be successfully completed by the agreed upon due date in order for the student to receive honors credit for the course.

The Honors Contract should add an academic dimension to the course by introducing new material or by allowing the student to go into greater depth in some aspect of the course other than what is normally required. It should be made clear on the Honors Contract how this work exceeds regular course requirements. Since the contract must be supervised by a faculty member, students should select faculty who have the time to oversee their projects to completion. Honors Contracts will not be accepted later than the end of the second week of the semester or the first week of a summer session.

Contract honors courses are any classroom based course at the 200 level or above for which the student contracts with the professor to complete an extra project above and beyond the regular course requirements; these courses cannot include research, thesis, or independent study courses.

Time Involved

Students should expect to spend approximately 30 additional hours of work during the semester or summer session to complete their honors contracts. Faculty should expect to add individual student supervision meetings and any necessary lab time to their current semester workload.

Ideas for Honors Contracts

When is the Contract Complete?

The contract is complete when the instructor is satisfied that the student has successfully completed all of the predetermined terms of the contract by the due date (remember the course grade has nothing to do with the contract). Students must submit a copy of their completed project (paper, videotape, etc.) to the University Honors College. An evaluation form is sent to the course instructor and must be signed by the instructor before being returned to the Honors Office. Only then is the contract complete.


The Honors Contract does not affect the student’s grade in the course. To receive honors credit for the course, honors students must complete the contracted course with a grade of “B” or better and satisfactorily complete the terms of the contract during the semester that credit is earned. The letter “H” will be added to the transcript indicating that this course was completed as an honors requirement. Students receiving an “I” in a course that they have contracted will not receive honors credit upon completion. Also, students receiving an “A” or “B” in a contracted course who have not completed the terms of their contract will not receive honors credit.

Instructors will not penalize students who do not complete the terms of their honors contracts; these students will receive the grade earned in the class. Faculty must inform the University Honors College of the status of the contracted work at the same time they report grades for the course. A form will be mailed to the instructor for this purpose near the end of the semester.

Last updated: October 14, 2019 10:04 am EST