There are five distinct ways that honors students may earn honors credits. When a student earns honors credits, a notation is made on the student’s transcript.
Dedicated honors courses are courses that have been designed for and offered to honors students. These are enriched courses, often using a seminar format, that strengthen both critical thinking and communication skills. Their enrollment is most often between 15 – 25 honors students. The UMass Lowell Honors College puts a premium on dedicated honors courses, as the full Honors Curriculum requires a minimum of 18 honors credits. For the latest course information please consult the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog.
All dedicated honors courses have a 3xx section number (i.e. 301, 302, 303).
There are three kinds of dedicated honors courses:
Honors-By-Contracts are Honors add-ons to 3000/4000-level non-honors courses. Both the honors student and the course instructor agree upon an honors plan of enriched-study and sign a contract of understanding. At the conclusion of their Honors-by-Contract experience, the student must present the add-on component either in class or at the Honors College. All Honors-By-Contract add-ons must be approved by the Honors Director. At most, one Honors-By-Contract can be used to satisfy the minimum H1 – H8 Honors Course Requirements. This can only be applied to the H5 requirement.
Graduate Courses are courses with a course number of 5000 or higher, of course, and are mostly enrolled with students who are earning either a masters or doctoral degree. A graduate course can satisfy the H5 Honors Course Requirement. In some academic departments, a graduate course may also be used to satisfy the H7 requirement, but this must be done with the approval of the Honors College.
Independent Study Courses are one-on-one focused learning experiences. A single student works with and is guided by a single faculty mentor. This is normally the method used when a student pursues an Honors Thesis, but it can also be used when creating an Honors Project. Independent study courses satisfy either the H7 and/or the H8 Honors Course Requirement.
Capstone Project Courses are applied, culminating learning experiences required by some academic departments. Capstone projects vary across departments. They can be either a single course or a sequence of two courses and either be done individually or in a team setting. Honors students are permitted to link their Honors Project to a department’s required capstone courses. In so doing, an honors student will need to identify an Honors add-on to the standard capstone project. The Honors Project must be, in some way, differentiated from a non-honors capstone project. The honors student, the Honors Project Mentor, and the Honors Director must agree upon this add-on.