Teaching an Honors Course

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

Proposal Submission Process

Honors courses 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.

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. For Spring 2020 courses, proposals will be reviewed starting March 18, 2019. Proposals received before April 9, 2019 will be considered first, proposals received after this date will be reviewed only if additional courses are needed. 

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.


The Honors Course Proposal Form (LINKED HERE) will request the following information:

  • Department and instructor details, including the name and email address of your department’s chair and business manager.
  • Course details, including title, prefix, credits
  • Course Description, which will be used to advertise your course in the Honors Course Description handout.  Previous course descriptions can be found here: www.uky.edu/honors/courses. If you have taught this course for Honors previously, and there have been no changes to the description, please enter "same as previous."
  • Guiding Questions, which are closely aligned with the Student Learning Outcomes for the course. These questions can demonstrate the styles of deep thinking that will be required in your course and will be used to advertise your course in the Honors Course Descriptions handout. Most Honors courses incorporate one or more of the following elements: interdisciplinary content; use of primary materials; intensive writing; independent research; significant discussion and other clear features that aim to deeply develop critical/analytical skills. If you have taught this course for Honors previously, and there have been no changes to these questions, please enter "same as previous."
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Recent TCE for the proposed or a similar course

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

Honors Course Proposal Form


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.

Upon approval, faculty will be contacted by Honors to arrange a meeting pattern for the course if the course is to be offered under an HON heading and to collect course details for departmental honors section that are created by the faculty's department. 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 the Honors registration window has closed.

Syllabi and Course Evaluations

All professors offering courses through the Honors College, including seminars, are requested to submit their syllabi to Honors 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. Templates for HON syllabi are available on the Honors Faculty Sharepoint. 

Contract Details

By agreeing to teach an Honors course, faculty also agree to the following:

  • In accordance with GR VII, all faculty teaching an honors course are automatically a part of the Honors Faculty. By accepting this teaching assignment, you are also accepting a position on the Honors Faculty. The Honors Faculty are required to meet once a year and will be asked to vote on important Honors College issues.
  • All faculty teaching HON courses and departmental honors courses are expected to adhere to Title IV in the same way they would for a course in their own college. 
  • Honors Faculty will be encouraged to interact with honors students at various Honors programs and events. 
    • For courses that have Honors and non-Honors students, all students are expected to fulfill the full obligations of the Honors course; all will receive honors notation for that class on their transcript.
    • If you would like to teach this course again in the future, please make sure to submit an Honors Course Proposal Form. The form has abbreviated sections for returning courses. It is imperative that we have knowledge of all the departmental courses that would like to have an Honors section during the initial selection process. We also need to collect updated CVs and TCEs from the instructors every semester.