Creating an Honors Course

We love to talk to faculty members who are interested in teaching an Honors course! This page answers the most frequently asked questions on the topic; contact Jaclyn Chancey (Assistant Director for Curriculum, Assessment, & Planning) for more information.

Start With Your Department

Most approvals to offer an Honors version of an existing course, keeping the same course number, happen at the departmental level. Sometimes this simply requires department head approval, while other times it may require a faculty vote. Talk to your department head or undergraduate program director to find out how Honors is handled in your area.

If you are proposing a course that will need its own course number, you should follow the procedures for other new courses in your department, including approvals from your school or college C&C, GEOC, and/or the Senate. The curricula action request form used by GEOC and the Senate C&C will ask whether the course as a whole, or any sections of the course, will be taught as Honors.

Honors Program Approval is Usually Unnecessary

However, we like to know about new courses and can help you advertise to Honors students, so we encourage you to contact us about your plans. We can also help answer questions about the course proposal processes.

Honors Program and/or Honors Board approval is needed for proposals for new Honors first year seminars; new Honors Core courses; and courses you would like to offer under an Honors-sponsored UNIV number: 1995 (Special Topics), 3995 (Special Topics), or 3784 (Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar).

Scheduling an Honors Course

With the exception of UNIV courses, the Honors Program does not schedule Honors courses, instructors, or rooms. Departments should include Honors courses in their normal scheduling procedures by specifying “Honors grading basis” and “Honors reserve capacity” for each one.

Usually Honors classes will have 100% Honors reserve capacity, but some individual circumstances may warrant splitting the reserve capacity or leaving some seats unreserved. All Honors courses—even those that require instructor consent—should have Honors reserve capacities so that they show up in Honors course searches. The reserve capacity will not override the requirement for instructor consent.

Registration Guidelines for Honors General Education Courses

One of the fundamental principles of UConn’s general education curriculum is that it should be accessible to all students. If the Honors course has a non-Honors equivalent (which may or may not have the same course number), then it can be approved for a content area and still be restricted to Honors students.

If the Honors course does not have a non-Honors equivalent, it may be approved for a content area only if no more than 50% of seats are reserved for Honors students. (The remaining 50% of the seats should remain open to all students, including those in the Honors Program.) In the latter case, the course title and catalog description should indicate that it is an Honors course. All students enrolled in the course, regardless of whether they are in the Honors Program, will receive Honors credit if they earn a B- or above, so they should all be held to the same high level of expectations.