Students in the University Honors Program must complete nine hours (three courses) of upper-division Honors courses in their major field of study.
Failure to complete a petition will result in the loss of the Honors scholarship for that semester or the following semester.
Petitioning means that a student must complete an extra project for their class in order for it to be classified as an Honors course, and the student and professor must agree—in writing—as to what type of project would constitute Honors credit. Also, the student’s project must be at least “B” quality work for the student to receive Honors credit.
The project should involve some type of creative problem solving or higher-order critical thinking on the part of the Honors student (i.e., application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation). Normally, the project should involve writing as well as a speaking component, meaning some type of paper as well as an oral presentation. Lengths of papers should range somewhere between 5-10 pages, and topics may be either research-based or creative in nature. The written component should be an independent project and not simply extra pages added to an existing paper that the rest of the class is already doing.
Ideally, the petition project should, in some way, contribute to the student’s Senior Honors Thesis, which is normally less than one year away for the student. Any type of preliminary research toward the thesis would certainly be most beneficial to the Honors student.
The petition form serves as a binding contract, so the student should not sign it until he or she has discussed the project with the professor and department chair. Also, the petition form must be completed and turned in to the Honors office within 10 days after the first day of class; furthermore, the project must be completed no later than one week prior to the last day of class.
Potential Honors Petitions include:
- Attendance and/or participation at a local or regional lecture or conference
- Assistance in course instruction (tutoring, researching, guest lecturing and/or designing visual aides or PowerPoint presentations)
- Participation in a field trip related to course content
- Completion of essay examinations rather than objective tests (i.e., multiple choice)
- Contribution to a research project in which a professor is currently involved
- Compilation of an annotated bibliography of primary or secondary sources
- Comprehension of assigned reading not normally given at the undergraduate level