Honors courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines to allow you as much flexibility as possible in choosing courses that meet your interests and academic goals. We realize, however, that in a college with thousands of courses offered each term, there is no way we can offer an Honors component for every course that Honors students are interested in taking. So, if you find a course that has no honors component and does not meet honors requirements by being an advanced election, you may choose to do a conversion project to receive Honors credit for the course.
In general, most undergraduate courses are appropriate for a conversion project with a few exceptions. Courses which have an Honors section (e.g. ANTHRCUL 101), or an Honors equivalent (e.g. PHIL 202) may not be converted except in unusual circumstances. First, second, and third semester language courses generally may not be converted, although many very interesting projects have been completed in fourth-semester and third- and fourth-year language reading courses. Most introductory mathematics and statistics courses are not appropriate for conversion. If you have questions regarding the appropriateness of a course for conversion, you should see an advisor.
Follow these three steps:
In the first week or two of the term, you should arrange a meeting with your instructor (office hours are a good time for this) to discuss a conversion project. A good conversion project should allow you to engage with the material being taught in the course at a greater depth and involve at least some independent work that results in an intellectual dialogue between you and your instructor. Some possibilities for Honors conversions are:
- Investigating primary sources and documents
- Undertaking a project and presenting the results to the class
- Leading a study group for students in the class
- Completing a term paper on a topic that is more original and challenging than the typical topics in the course.
Honors Advisors are available to help brainstorm possible projects, and some specific examples of successful Honors conversions can be found on our Conversion Examples page.
In order for you to receive credit for your conversion, the Conversion Form must be turned in to the Honors Program Office, 1330 Mason Hall, by the deadline indicated on the Conversion form. (The deadline is usually the end of the 4th week of classes - see the PDF for exact dates.) Fill out the description of your project and have your instructor sign the form (give them the instructor letter when they do so). An Honors advisor must also sign off on the project; you may make an appointment at any time before the deadline to get this approval. Fill out your form carefully - errors in UMIDs, instructor e-mail addresses, course numbers, and cross-listed departments may result in no Honors designation appearing on your transcript.
A note about counter-signatures: Typically, Honors conversions a) must be supervised by an LSA faculty member, and b) cannot be approved for courses for which there is already an Honors section or Honors equivalent course (for example, Intro Philosophy, because there is an Honors Intro Philosophy). You may request an exception be made to either of these policies by filling out the necessary parts of the conversion form. If a graduate student instructor will supervise your project, please have both the graduate student and the faculty member teaching the course sign your form. If you wish to convert a course that already has an Honors component, please provide a statement as to why you are requesting this exception and have your supervising instructor sign the statement. Approval of these exceptions is at the discretion of the Associate Director of the Honors Program.
Work with your instructor to complete your project over the course of the term. The exact due date for the project is up to you and your instructor to determine. During exam week, your instructor will receive an e-mail from the Honors Program office asking if you have completed the project successfully, and then that information is passed on to the Office of the Registrar. It usually takes between four and six weeks for the Honors notation to post to your transcript.
An Honors conversion does not count toward your grade for the course. However, you must earn at least a "C" to have the Honors designation put on your transcript.
Conversion Form (Link to Forms page - select Conversion PDF.)