Construct Your Own Honors Course Approval Form

Because the Davidson Honors College is committed to student engagement in learning, we offer the opportunity for students to collaborate with faculty in developing their own Honors courses.  Any DHC student in good academic standing may make a regularly scheduled 3- or 4-credit course into an Honors course by approaching the faculty member teaching that course and asking them to grant one credit of independent study (HONR 192, 392, or 492) as a space to complete additional coursework. The faculty member must be willing to evaluate and grade the student’s independent study work, and the student must complete additional assignments (such as additional reading, writing, fieldwork, research, or community service) to earn the additional credit. Students are limited to a maximum of two “construct-your-own” Honors courses that count toward the eight Honors experiences required by the DHC for graduation as a University Scholar.

The independent study work can be used to develop ideas for a capstone Honors project or simply to enhance an existing course. Your faculty mentor will provide the discipline-specific criteria necessary for your work. Generally, it is a good idea to devise independent study coursework that will complement or supplement the material covered in a regular course. For example, a standard textbook can be supplemented with current research articles; a laboratory course can be complemented with readings on the history of the discipline; a research methods course can be supplemented by devising an actual research project.


·  The Construct Your Own Honors Course Approval Form should be completed by you with support and approval from the faculty mentor and will include a description of the proposed independent study project. The completed form should be submitted no later than the end of the third week of the semester (different deadlines for summer sessions).

·  The online form will ask for your information, your faculty member's information, and a 200-300-word description of the work you propose to add to the existing course to make it into an Honors course.  Be sure that the description includes learning objectives, specific assignments, and the requirements for completion. If you have a project title, please include it. The description should include any scheduled meetings and due dates for materials as discussed between mentor and student.

·  If the proposed faculty mentor for a Construct Your Own Honors Course is not a tenured or tenure-track faculty member at The University of Montana, then a department chair’s approval is required . The department chair’s approval certifies that the faculty member is appropriately qualified to supervise the proposed Honors independent study project. The DHC will request approval when nescessary, however it is your responsibility to speak to both the faculty mentor and department chair prior to submitting the form. 

·  When completing the form, select the appropriate HONR level to complement your existing course. For example, if your non-honors course is a 100 or 200 level, select the HONR 192 option, if the course is a 300 then the 392, and if a 400 level select the 492.

·  Once the Construct Your Own Honors Course Approval Form has been submitted a DHC staff member will email you with registration information.

·  The Honors independent study course must be taken for a traditional letter grade. The regular course grade will NOT be affected by the successful or unsuccessful completion of the independent study project.

· At the end of the semester the DHC will contact the faculty mentor to request the grade. The letter grade will them be recorded through CyberBear. If the independent study coursework has not been completed by the end of the semester, the faculty mentor should still submit an appropriate letter grade (either “I” incomplete or “N” in progress), to be followed by a final grade when the work is complete.

Davidson Honors College Learning Objectives:

  • Think critically. Identify, evaluate, and integrate available information and arguments; develop logical and reasonable positions across a wide range of issues.
  • Communicate. Express ideas and arguments through oral and written strategies; develop strong listening skills.
  • Collaborate. Contribute to, and lead if necessary, a diverse team in pursuit of a shared goal. 
  • Solve problems. Employ rigorous quantitative and/or qualitative analysis to identify informed solutions to complex challenges.
  • Design and execute an original project. From initiation to manifestation and public presentation.
  • Act ethically. Make decisions based on the University of Montana’s four guiding principles: innovation and creativity, openness, partnership, and impact.
  • Engage as a citizen. Strengthen commitment to meaningful service and community.
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