Frequently asked questions about Honors courses:

What does the “H” designation mean on the course listing?

  • Many departments offer courses designated as Honors, or “H courses.”
  • Most are open to all students, with the exception of “H” sections of CO 125, TRS 101 and AR 101, which are Honors-only.
  • “HP” courses (such as HP 101, HP 290 and Honors Capstone courses) are offered only in the Honors Program and are closed to non-Honors students.
  • Honors courses are capped at 20 (or sometimes even fewer) students.

Are Honors classes harder than normal ones?

  • Not usually. Honors classes are designed to challenge you in different ways from a traditional course. They do not usually require more work than normal classes (sometimes the workload can even be lighter), nor are they necessarily more difficult.
  • A few H courses are designed as accelerated courses (CH 151, for example, covers two semesters of ‘ordinary’ Chemistry material in one semester). These accelerated courses generally represent a somewhat higher workload than their slower-paced counterparts and are designed for students who are prepared for this level of challenge in their coursework.
  • Your advisor or a representative of the Honors Program can help you ascertain which courses are accelerated-Honors and which are simply Honors.

How is an Honors section of a course different from a traditional section?

  • They tend to be smaller, with more group discussion and one-on-one interaction with the instructor;
  • They offer more intensive content with regard to texts and learning techniques;
  • They encourage more independent learning on the part of the student;
  • They are more sophisticated in expectations, which typically means more focus on engaging with course content and less focus on gauging comprehension or preparedness;
  • They go beyond transmission of knowledge to focus on higher-level skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.
  • See “Guidelines for Instructors of ‘H’ Courses” for more information about the process of teaching and learning in an honors course.

How many Honors courses are available for me to take? 

  • Around 20 “H” courses are typically offered each semester in a variety of disciplines.
  • Honors students also have the option of turning a traditional course section into an Honors section by completing an H-option Contract in collaboration with the instructor and Honors Program director.

How many Honors courses do Honors Students need to take?

  • Requirements for Honors courses differ depending on year of matriculation to the Honors Program.
  • Please see our “Requirements” page for details specific to your class year.

Rev. 23.March.2016