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 Impactful Experience, a notation is made on the student’s transcript.

Dedicated Honors Courses

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 consult the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog.

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.

Once the semester begins, Honors will shift the honors students taking the course as “Honors Ready” into a “301” honors section. Students will still be in the same class, but creating a split honors section means SiS will recognize the course as a dedicated Honors course, so it will appear on your advisement report accordingly. Accordingly, Honors Ready courses behave like a dedicated honors course in terms of what Honors requirements that satisfy.

#splitSplit Section Dedicated Honors Courses

A sub-category 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 rest of the course will not be take exclusively at the honors level, instructors augment the course for the honors section.

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 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.

Graduate Courses

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-StudyIndependent Study Courses

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.

CapstoneCapstone Project Courses with an Honors Add-On

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.

HIEHonors Experiential Learning Opportunities (HELO)

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 Erin Maitland and receive her approval to move forward with their HELO prior to starting the activity.