Honors Courses & In-Course Honors
Wofford College provides opportunities for qualified students to broaden their educational experience through creative independent study in the area of their current coursework or major field. Two such programs are Honors Courses and In-Course Honors.
At the discretion of the faculty, a student may undertake a six-hour independent course of study in the senior year to graduate with honors in his or her major. Honors Courses are subject to the following regulations:
- Eligibility to undertake Honors Courses is restricted to students having a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 OR grades of 'B' or higher in all courses taken at Wofford during the preceding two semesters.
- The timeline and procedures are as follows:
- By the end of April, the student will submit a short letter of intent to the Department Chair, including the name of the instructor (Thesis Committee Chair), the topic and a short description of the project. The Department Chair will notify the Curriculum Committee by its final meeting of the academic year prior to the start of the course.
- In September, before the end of the drop/add period for the fall semester, the Chair of the Thesis Committee will verify that the student intends to remain in the course.
- By October at midterm (or at any point prior to this time if preferred by the Thesis Committee Chair), the student will submit a complete proposal to all Thesis Committee members, and the Thesis Committee chair will assign a midterm grade of H/P/U.
- In December, the Thesis Committee chair will assign a semester grade of H/P/U for the fall semester coursework.
- After the successful defense of the Honors Thesis, the student submits the thesis to the Thesis Committee Chair, who will assign a grade of H/P/U and forward the thesis to the Dean of the Library.
- An Honors Course may be undertaken only in the senior year and will carry six hours of credit over two semesters. Final grade options are H, P, U, WS, and WU. The Honors Course may count toward major requirements with the approval of the major adviser. When successfully completed, the course will be identified on the student’s transcript as an Honors Course.
- A student may be removed from an Honors Course at any time if in the judgment of the instructor and the major adviser the student’s work is not of sufficient merit to justify continuation.
- Each student completing an Honors Course shall prepare and submit to the instructor three copies of a written report describing the work done in the course. The student will then undergo a final oral examination by a committee of three faculty members, appointed by the major adviser, and including the course instructor (as chairman) and preferably one person from another discipline. The length of the examination generally shall not exceed one hour. The major adviser will retain one copy of the final report and submit one copy to the Curriculum Committee for review. The Curriculum Committee copy then will be deposited in the college archives.
- Students will graduate with “high honors” in their major when they earn a grade of “honors” in the Honors Course and achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.75 in the major. The distinction will be recognized in the commencement program, announced at commencement exercises, and noted on the student's transcript.
- Students will graduate with “honors” in their major when they earn a grade of “honors” in the Honors Course and achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.50 but less than 3.75 in the major. The distinction will be recognized in the commencement program, announced at commencement exercises, and noted on the student's transcript.
- A grade of “pass” in the Honors Course does not qualify students for graduation with honors in the major regardless of their grade-point average in the major.
In-Course Honors is a program intended to enrich and expand regular courses offered at Wofford through independent and supplemental study. Qualified students are permitted to participate in accordance with the following regulations:
- The student must have had at least one previous semester at Wofford and must have earned a 3.0 GPA or better, either cumulatively or in the last full semester completed at Wofford.
- A written request for In-Course Honors and a planned program of study must be presented to the course instructor before the end of the third week of the semester. Approval of the application and program of study must be obtained from the course instructor, the chair of the department in which the course is offered, and the Provost. A special form for this purpose is available at the Office of the Registrar.
- In-Course Honors work shall consist of an independent study portion under tutorial guidance and relating to the subject of the course in which it is undertaken. It should exhibit initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and sound methodology. In-Course Honors work will include a paper which analyzes or exhibits the results of the study, and culminates in an oral examination by a committee of three faculty members. The committee is appointed by the chair of the department in which the course is offered, includes the course instructor (as committee chair), and preferably one faculty member from another discipline. The length of the examination generally shall not exceed one hour.
- The student must also meet all of the requirements of the regular course, including the final examination. Credit may not be given for In-Course Honors unless the student earns a grade of at least 'B' for both the regular course requirements and In-Course Honors work. Upon the student’s satisfactory completion of In-Course Honors the instructor will report the final course grade with the suffix H added to the course number. The Registrar will identify the course on the student’s record as including In-Course Honors and award one semester hour of credit in addition to the regular course credit. The grade points for the additional hour, if earned, will be based on the grade awarded for the In-Course Honors work.
- No student may elect more than one In-Course Honors program per semester.
- No student shall be penalized for failure to undertake honors work. Failure to successfully complete In-Course Honors shall in no way affect the final grade assigned for regular course work.
- An individual faculty member may be unable to meet a student’s request for In-Course Honors, and the college is not obliged to provide this opportunity in every course. New faculty members are not eligible to give In-Course Honors. Interested students should consult the department chair for other possible arrangements.