Professor teaching a class.

Contract Honors Coursework

  • Honors students can contract directly with one of their faculty instructors to complete extra work in a course and submit it as an Honors contract.
  • A final assessment from your faculty supervisor must be submitted to the Honors College.
  • Students will earn Honors experience credit for the contracted course as long as they pass the course.  However, please note that in order to receive a "H" designation on your transcript next to the course grade, you must earn a grade of "B" or higher.
  • Honors contracted courses must be at the 200 level and above.

Description of the Honors Contract

The Honors Contract permits students to turn a regular university course into an Honors course by contracting with the instructor to complete extra work. The contract involves an agreement among 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.

The contract project should add an academic dimension by introducing new material or by allowing the student to go into greater depth than normally required in some aspect of the course. Contracts may also be service-learning focused through student engagement in a service project and reflection related to the course content.  It should be made clear on the Contract for Honors Credit how this work exceeds regular course requirements.  Since a faculty member must supervise the contract, 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.

Time Involved

Students should expect to spend approximately 30 hours of work or service hours (including reflection) 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

  • An independent research project with lab work and demonstrable results.
  • Performing service hours related to the course topic along with meaningful reflection (service-learning).
  • Writing a major research paper (in addition to any course requirement).
  • Foreign language: prepare a translation of a new author or dramatist.
  • Music: prepare a lecture or recital about a musician you have come to admire.
  • Writing: prepare a portfolio of creative writing.
  • Any other exploratory, creative, wide-ranging, or experimental learning experience related to the content of the contracted course.

When is the Contract Complete?

The contract is complete when the instructor is satisfied with the student’s completed work per the terms of the contract by the due date. An evaluation form is sent to the course instructor at the end of the semester 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 satisfactorily complete the terms of the contract during the semester that credit is earned. Students receiving an “I” in a course that they have contracted will not receive honors credit upon completion. 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.

If you have any questions about this form, please contact the Honors College at 716-645-3020 or by email at honors@buffalo.edu.

Honors Contract

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Last updated: September 17, 2020 3:04 pm EST