Three Ways to Earn Honors Credit

Honors Courses

Because all honors courses are housed within a department or division, they are designated by the departmental or divisional code. In the online course schedule, honors courses will be labeled "Honors" or "Hon," and the section letter will be "H." Examples include:

  • Honors: Composition—EN 1150 LCH
  • Hon: General Chemistry Lab—CH 2650 LBH.

(LC means "lecture," LB means "lab.")

Frequently honors courses will be smaller than their non-honors counterparts and will emphasize challenging content, in-depth exploration of topics, critical thinking, and problem solving. Core courses designed specifically for honors students fulfill Rockhurst's core curriculum.

Now and then a course will not be called honors, but the course number will end with an "H" (such as, SO1000H). Such a course will admit any student who applies and meets the pre-requisites for the course, but it has an "honors option" built into it for the honors students. Courses with built-in honors options are listed only after consultation with and approval by the Director and the Advisory Committee.

Honors Options

Honors options provide students the opportunity to design their own research or special projects. Those students who wish to pursue independent research may enter into contracts with individual instructors. Often, these option contracts are taken as elements of non-honors courses, but they may also be taken as independent studies. With either method, an honors option does earn the student honors credit. Honors options may earn "only honors credit" or a "grade and honors credit."

Ordinarily, option contracts, with appropriate signatures, are to be submitted to the Honors Director the semester before the work is to be done. If this is not feasible, option contracts must be completed no later than the end of the third full week of the semester in which the work is to be undertaken. Download and print* an honors option contract (84K, PDF file).

No honors credit will be given if students have not completed their contractual work by the time semester grades are reported to the registrar. Instructors should inform the Honors Director about the unsuccessful completion of the honors contract. There should be no penalty to the regular course grade in this circumstance.
To contract for an honors option, students must:

  • Contact the faculty member with whom they wish to work.
  • Discuss research ideas with the faculty-mentor.
  • Write a research plan.
  • Obtain the required signatures on the contract.
  • Return the contract form to the director.
  • Complete all of the above by the end of the third week of the semester in which the work is to be done.
  • Provide a copy of the completed project to the Honors Director.

The director of the Program will mail a copy of the contract to the registrar and each signatory. The original contract is placed on file in the Honors Office.

Honors Thesis

Honors Students may receive six hours of honors credit for completing a senior thesis, a substantial research project. At present, this option is available via a series of contracts for independent research with a faculty mentor, a faculty reader, and the Honors Director. These three faculties will serve as the student's thesis advisory committee. The interested honors student should discuss this option with the Honors Director in the student's junior year.