How do I satisfy my honors curriculum requirements?

There are several different ways honors students may satisfy their honors requirements. When a student earns honors credits or satisfies an honors requirement through an Honors Experiential Learning Opportunity, a notation is made on the student’s transcript.

Honors Signature Seminars seminars

Honors Signature Seminars are inquiry-based interdisciplinary courses that push the boundaries of any individual major on campus. HONR 3000-level Honors Signature Seminars are open to Honors students from any major at any level. Other than Honors status, there are no prerequisites. These are upper-level courses, but no disciplinary knowledge is required. These seminars can be used to satisfy Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) requirements. These courses are usually capped at 19 students.

Visit the Honors Signature Seminars page to learn more.

Dedicated Honors Courses dedicated

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 course credits. For the latest course information please search the catalog for Honors courses.

All dedicated honors courses have a 3xx section number (i.e. 301, 302, 303).

Honors Ready Courses honors-ready

An “Honors Ready” course starts as a standard section for a particular course when students first register. However, the course is designated as “Honors Ready” because the instructor will prepare an honors component, allowing the course to be taught as a mixed section of non-honors and honors students. The instructor should inform the students about the Honors Ready opportunity (which should also be noted in the syllabus), but students must also notify the instructor of their intention to complete the Honors Ready before the end of the add/drop period.

Split Section Dedicated Honors Courses split

A sub-category of dedicated honors course is an honors split section. In these cases, a course will run at it's regular undergraduate level, but a portion of the seats will be sectioned off specifically for honors students. Though the rest of the course will not be exclusively at the honors level, instructors augment the course with an Honors level component which elevates Honors student content.

To receive honors credit for these courses, students must be specifically enrolled in the honors section for that course. Like all dedicated honors courses, the honors split section will have a 3xx section number (i.e. 301, 302, 303).

Honors-By-Contracts contracts

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. All Honors-By-Contract add-ons must be approved by the Honors College. At most, two Honors-By-Contract can be used to satisfy the minimum H1 – H8 Honors Course Requirements. This can only be applied to the H5 and H6 requirement.

What's the Difference between Honors-by-Contract & Honors Ready?

  • Honors-by-Contract
    • Student and instructor agree upon an honors plan of enriched study
    • Honors-by-Contract is honors add-ons to 3000 / 4000 level non-honors courses
    • Add-ons must be project-based and approved by the Honors College via the Honors-by-Contract form
    • Honors-by Contract is a post-hoc modification of a non-honors course that is student initiated
  • Honors Ready
    • Instructor prepares an honors component for the course
    • May be offered at any level from 1000 to 4000
    • Instructor incorporates additional work
    • Honors Ready designation is scheduled in the Registrar’s Office prior to the semester’s start and is requested by the Department Chair

Graduate Courses grad

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 H6 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 independent-study

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 with an Honors Add-On capstone

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.

Students working on these add-on components must have prior approval from Associate Director, Rae Mansfield, email:

Honors Experiential Learning Opportunities (HELO) experiential

Honors Experiential Learning Opportunities (HELOs) are an alternate way for Honors students to satisfy some of their Honors Curriculum Requirements outside of the traditional classroom. HELOs are pre-approved, non-credit experience that is guided by either a faculty mentor, a director, or coordinator/liaison. This experience may include a number of opportunities provided by the Honors Office, or developing an honors add-on to another university sponsored experience, such as a Professional Co-Op or Study Abroad session. All Experiential Learning Opportunities must involve a reading, writing, and speaking component, as well as address at least one of the Honors College Student Learning Outcomes.

Students interested in completing a HELO must contact Julian Zabalbeascoa by email: and receive his approval to move forward with their HELO prior to starting the activity.

Dedicated Honors Study Abroad Programs abroad

In the Honors College, we believe that few things can so enrich and enlarge a student’s worldview and sense of themselves as study abroad. Our programs accomplish this by utilizing the host city as text, providing a framework with which to approach and understand these international experiences, and giving students necessary time for independent exploration.

The Honors College Study Abroad provides our honors students with the opportunity to study abroad, satisfy honors requirements, and earn college credit in our faculty-led one-, two- and three-week programs.

For more information on dedicated honors study abroad programs visit Honors Study Abroad.