Teaching an Honors Course or Seminar

Guidelines for Teaching an Honors Seminar (HON course) or Departmental Honors Section

Proposal Submission Process

Honors seminars offer an excellent opportunity for faculty members to try out new ideas in teaching and research topics, to pilot a course that they may develop for their own department or program, and/or to work with a small group (not more than 25) of excellent, motivated students.

Professors interested in proposing a seminar for the Lewis Honors College or a departmental Honors section should submit a proposal via through our online form at https://goo.gl/jKg6hx.

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. For Spring 2019 courses, proposals received before April 23, 2018 will be considered first.  Only if additional courses are needed will applications for Spring 2019 be reviewed after that date.

Decisions about course offerings will be made in a timely manner and in coordination with the proposing faculty member. Decisions will be based on course need, diversity of offerings, and faculty availability to teach within certain resource restrictions (e.g. course meeting patterns, classroom availability, etc.).

Faculty proposing education abroad courses for Honors must also submit the appropriate materials to Education Abroad to build a new program in conjunction with the Honors course proposal.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • The completed form (available at: https://goo.gl/jKg6hx)
  • A copy of your latest curriculum vitae, which may be emailed to Lauren James at lauren.james@uky.edu.
  • Adjunct faculty members: please also email a brief description outlining your teaching experiences and provide at least two references who can speak to your teaching skills.

The online form will ask for:

  • The type of Honors course you are proposing   
  • Proposed Subtitle          
  • Course Prefix and Number         
  • Course Title      
  • Brief Course Description        

If approved, this course description will be used to advertise the course in the Honors Course Description document. The Fall 2018 Course Descriptions can be found here: www.uky.edu/honors/courses

Though only  brief course description is required at the proposal stage, most Honors courses incorporate one or more of the following elements.

  • Interdisciplinary content            
  • Use of primary materials             
  • Writing intensive
  • Independent research
  • Discussion intensive
  • Other clear features that aim to deeply develop critical/analytical skills

Any questions about course content can be directed to Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Czarena Crofcheck.

Upon approval, faculty will be contacted by the Staff Support for Student Services to arrange a meeting pattern for the course if the course is to be offered under an HON heading and to collect course details if the course is to be offered as a departmental honors section. HON sections are capped at 25 students, and the Honors College requests that departmental honors sections make every effort to keep those sections at lower capacities than the regular versions of those courses. Additionally, individual departments may opt to place controlled enrollment on departmental courses, or allow open seats to be filled by non-Honors students after Honors registration has passed.

For sample proposals, please contact Lauren James. 


Prior to being submitted, all proposals should be approved by the faculty member’s department chair. We recommend that you or your chair remain in contact with the dean of your college about your overall teaching responsibilities, and faculty should be aware of any additional approvals necessary through their home departments.

Syllabi and Course Evaluations

All professors offering courses through the Honors College, including seminars, are requested to submit their syllabi to the program office at the beginning of each semester and copies of their evaluations at the end of the semester. HON seminars at all levels are evaluated by students electronically at the end of term.