Honors College Office of the Provost

Course Contracting for Faculty


An Honors College Course Contract allows students to earn Honors credit in a non-Honors course, by adding an extra learning component in addition to the work already expected from them.

Contracted courses ideally require something qualitatively different, rather than something quantitatively more. Physical Education (P.E.) and 1000-level pass/fail classes are not approved to be contracted.

In order to contract a course with a student, the course instructor must hold the PhD or appropriate terminal degree in his/her field or obtain permission from department head. If you have questions regarding this please contact the Honors College.

Not all courses should be contracted. Students are expected to enroll in Honors sections of courses when they are offered. The group experience that characterizes Honors College courses, is preferable to the contract approach especially in the first few years at Auburn.  However, in special circumstances, taking an Honors course may not be possible and contracting may be the only route to meet the student’s overall academic objectives.

Below you will find information on the course contracting process. As always if you have any questions please contact the Honors College.


Contracts are due by the 15th day of classes during the fall and spring semesters and the 10th day of classes summer semester.

Once students decide they want to contract a class, they should discuss the idea with the professor of the class and gain their permission to proceed with the process.  This step should take place during the first week of classes, if not the semester before.

A Workflow form will be generated by the students’ Honors College advisor (in AU Access), which will be routed to the professor and the department head.  Notification of a form in the Workflow Queue will be delivered to the professor by email.  Instructions for Workflow are at the bottom of this page.

There are two questions in the Workflow form, which will compose the contract.  The professor and the student should work together to develop answers to the questions.

Answer These Two Questions:

Work with your student to answer to the below questions. Answers to these questions will compose the contract you will submit online in the Workflow form.

Tip: As you and the student answer these questions we suggest creating an additional document in order to easily copy and paste into the Workflow form.

Describe the Honors component of the course, discussing the nature of the project, how this project constitutes "Honors," and the nature of a "consolidating experience.

Be as specific as possible in describing what you will do, and how this will create a stronger, more effective, and coherent experience. Include references to specific readings and/or methodologies where appropriate, lengths of required papers or reports, number and nature of presentations, etc. Research papers are typically 8-10 double spaced pages but certain other projects may include a shorter report.

How does the Honors component differ from normal course expectation?

A copy of the course syllabus may be submitted, if needed to illustrate. Address if the Honors component will be factored into the final grade in the course and, if so, what the grading expectations will be.

Suggested Components: 

  • Where the course calls for a research paper, an Honors paper might use primary sources, incorporate a substantial literature review that connects the topic to the broader issues in the field, include primary data derived from student research (oral histories or other interviews, statistical analysis, laboratory experimentation), etc. Honors research papers are typically 8-10 double-spaced pages.
  • Where additional readings or reports are indicated, it is best that these readings or reports be synthesized as part of a larger Honors component. For example, an essay involving a comparison/contrast of regularly assigned readings with the specially selected seminal readings would be appropriate.
  • The Honors component might include a substantial programming project or extended fieldwork or laboratory experience, concluding with a final report of at least 8-10 double- spaced pages, including a narrative part of at least 5-7 pages, outlining the experience and the conclusions reached or experience gained.
  • Where teaching one or more classes is indicated, it is best for the professor to provide guidance in organization and content to insure that the material enhances and supports the intention of the class. In this case, the written component would typically consist of a report of 5-7 pages on the topics covered in the lectures.
  • Where the course is a cross-listed undergraduate/graduate-level course (where the undergraduate and graduate courses are taught by a single instructor at a common time), the student may complete the graduate-level syllabus in order to meet the qualitative, culminating Honors experience that is expected when contracting a course.

WorkFlow Steps

  1. Once you have discussed how the Honors course contract will satisfy the Honors requirements with the student, they will then work with their Honors College advisor to submit a WorkFlow document. The WorkFlow will come to you as an email from “Auburn University WorkFlow.”
  2. Within the email you will find a link to the WorkFlow site, or you can locate the contract in WorkFlow in AU Access under the “Faculty/Advisor” tab, scroll down to the bottom right to “WorkFlow Queue.”
  3. Once in the WorkFlow Queue (WorkList) select the student's name who is completing an Honors course contract.
  4. First decide to approve or deny the contract request. If approved answer in detail the two questions listed under the contract. These are the two questions you and the students were encouraged together to answer.
  5. When ready to submit the contract, select “complete.” The "save and close" button will NOT submit the contract.
  6. From here the contract will be sent to the student for confirmation. Once the student confirms  the contract, the files will be sent to the department chair for the final approval. Once all approvals have been made you will then receive a confirmation email and a PDF of the contract.
  7. At the end of the semester you will receive another email from WorkFlow prompting you to login and verify that the student did or did not complete the contract. At this point the verified contract is automatically sent to the registrar's office and the contract is posted to the student's transcript.

Last modified: January 18, 2022