Honors Courses

Honors Courses offer an in-depth, hands-on and intellectually stimulating approach to study. Your College Honors Requirements describe the number and timing of Honors courses you’ll need to graduate with Honors. Please review the information below to learn about the different ways you can meet Honors course requirements. It is worth noting that a minimum of two Honors courses are required; however, students may choose to or may be required take more than this amount. Classes taken as an honors course must be at least 3 credits to count toward the requirement.

The University Honors Program additionally offers courses for specific purposes such as the First-Year Mentor Program (HON290), First-Year Honors Program Leader Training (HON302), and the Honors Project (HON490) which do not count toward the two-course minimum requirement.

Ways of Taking Honors Courses:

  1. As an Honors Section of a regular class
    • Honors sections are regular ISU classes that are designed and taught specifically for Honors students. Honors sections may be offered exclusively to Honors students, others may have reserved sections for recitation or laboratory work. With class sizes smaller than those of the standard sections, these sections build community and use collaborative groups to encourage you to engage more deeply into the course material.
    • You register for Honors Sections using the AccessPlus procedures for a regular class. Note that if you are unable to enroll in the Honors section of a course, you may work with the instructor to contract the course as Honors (see below).
    • To search for available Honors sections, visit the University Schedule of Classes, select the desired term, click on "Toggle Advanced Search,"  check "Show All Sections", and enter "Honors" in the title/keyword search.
  2. Contracting an Honors Component within a regular class
    • There are two types of Honors contracts: individual contracts and standing contracts. 
      • Individual contracts are one way that Honors students tailor their academic experience and create relationships with faculty members. Any course offered by the University may be converted to an Honors course by completing an individual Honors contract. To receive Honors credit, the student and instructor agree in advance on the Honors component to be added to the course. Once this has been agreed upon, the student should complete the Online Honors Credit Contract by the end of the class’s fourth week. To view examples of Honors contracts, click here.
      • Standing contracts are used for a regular course that has a pre-defined Honors component agreed upon by the course instructor. In Fall 2018, courses with standing contracts are: CHEM 167, 177 and BIOL 211. Students interested in taking one of these courses for Honors credit should contact the course instructor and/or visit Canvas to review the established requirements for the Honors component and complete the Online Honors Credit Contract by the end of the class’s fourth week.
    • When a regular course is taken for Honors credit, the Registrar’s Office is notified and the H designation is added to the course number on the student’s permanent record (this takes approximately two weeks to appear once grades are posted). This indicates that the Honors student did in fact have a special experience in the course and has taken some initiative in developing an individualized program.
  3. By successfully completing a graduate course
    • 500-level graduate courses are open to qualified undergraduates with at least a junior-level classification. A successfully completed graduate course is automatically accepted as an Honors course.
    • Students register for 500-level courses using the Access Plus procedures for a regular class.