Honors Options

Honors Options

Honors options are required of all students in the Honors program after the first semester, and will be discussed in detail at Honors program meetings early each semester.

In an Honors option project, a student works with a faculty member on a project that will replace part of the regular requirements of a course in which the honors student is enrolled. This results in that course being labeled an Honors course for that student.

Examples of Honors options

  • A research project on an area covered by the course.
  • A video or multi-media project on a particular theme.
  • A special experience designed to reinforce aspects of the course.
  • A project to be submitted to the annual Academic Festival.
  • A service-learning project.
  • Use your imagination to create something new!

An honors option project gives you an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on an important and intellectually interesting topic. The honors option work is recognized by an “H” designation on your academic transcript for that course.


These guidelines are intended to help you develop a productive honors option. Please put serious thought into developing your project. Be as specific as possible in describing the work.

  1. The honors work should be supervised by faculty members teaching at Penn State Mont Alto.
  2. The honors work should not be an add-on to the routine assignments, but should be a modification of, or an alternative to, some part of the syllabus. It should be fun and interesting for you!
  3. In honors work the character and quality of the work should be augmented, but the time required for the honors option should not create a significantly greater amount of work for you than for your peers.
  4. Honors work should go more deeply into methodology, structure, and theory. It should attack more sophisticated questions and satisfy more rigorous standards than is generally expected in the same course without the honors option.
  5. A successful honors option experience will include planned regular meetings between you and your instructor for review, discussion, and revision as the project develops. Specific deadlines should be identified clearly in the honors option plan.
  6. Describe clearly on the form how this work will be evaluated. Make sure this topic has been discussed in specific terms during the negotiation phase of the planning and before the plan is completed.
  7. The honors option work becomes part of the graded work for the course. It will be included in your overall grade for the course.

If you or your instructors wish to discuss any aspect of the Honors Option, please contact the Honors program co-coordinators.

Timeline for Honors option submission

Two weeks before the end of the previous semester:

Decide which of next semester’s classes you would like to do your Honors option for. Discuss this with the instructor for the course.

By the end of the previous semester:

Submit the preliminary proposal form.

In the first week of the semester in which you will do the Honors option:

Discuss the details of your project with the instructor of the class.

By the end of the second week of the semester:

Submit the formal Honors option proposal form. When you do, your instructor will get an email to approve it. If the instructor approves, it will come to the Honors coordinators and be submitted to the registrar. If the instructor does not approve, it will come back to you for revisions.

By the end of the third week of the semester:

Complete any revisions needed for your proposal, resubmit it, and get formal approval. Honors options that are not formally approved by the end of the third week of classes may be rejected entirely, which could lead to your removal from the Honors program.