An Honors Option (H-Option) is an opportunity for an Honors College student to be granted permission to receive Honors College elective credit for a course that is not being offered by the Honors College. H-Options are only granted in unusual circumstances, primarily when a student needs a particular Honors credit in a discipline that offers few Honors College courses.
Students must complete an application (see below) in order for a course they are enrolled in (undergraduate- or graduate-level) to be considered for an H-Option.
An H-Option is based on a written agreement between the student and professor and must be approved by the Honors College.
H-Option considerations for the student and the professor:
- H-Option work in courses that are at the 200-500 level must be distinguished in a substantive way from what usually would be expected in the normal, non-Honors, course. Simply assigning a greater quantity of work (for example, a longer term paper or extra reading) does not constitute H-Option work. A student, and his or her corresponding professor, must demonstrate how H-Option work will allow the student to engage more deeply with the subject matter and the professor.
- Courses at the 500/600 level can be considered for H-Option work, as long as the course is not regularly taught as an Honors course. Courses at the 500/600 level are designated as mixed undergraduate/graduate courses, and a student should complete the graduate-level requirements for the course to satisfy H-Option requirements. Graduate-level requirements should be clearly outlined in the course syllabus, per USC policy, and the student should provide a copy of the syllabus with the H-Option application.
- Graduate-level only courses (700 level and above or PHARM 600 level courses) may also count as Honors courses, as a senior privilege course as outlined in the USC Academic Bulletin or as a part of a USC accelerated graduate program.
- Faculty who supervise H-Options should be in a full-time teaching role.
Other Important H-Option Policies and Considerations
- The H-Option is not available to freshmen.
- H-Options are NOT available for the following courses:
- Courses regularly offered by the Honors College
- 100-level courses
- Any course taught online, at the undergraduate- or graduate-level
- Summer courses
- A student will be limited to no more than four H-Option courses in his or her Honors College career, and usually no more than one in a semester. This includes coursework at the undergraduate and graduate level, including courses taken as part of an accelerated graduate program (for example, pharmacy, law or medical school).
- In unusual circumstances, a student can petition to complete additional H-options by obtaining a waiver from the Honors College associate dean. A student wishing to obtain a waiver should first discuss this option with his or her Honors College advisor.
- H-options are typically counted for honors elective credit, NOT honors requirements such as honors English/Literature, Science, Analysis, etc.
- The application to request approval of the H-Option in a course must be submitted no later than 5 business days after the last date to add a course according to the USC academic calendar.
- A student should discuss the decision to pursue an H-Option with his or her Honors College advisor.
To submit an H-Option proposal application, you should first connect with your Honors advisor about pursuing an H-Option. Then, you should meet with the professor teaching the corresponding course to see if the professor is willing to oversee your H-Option work. The faculty member must complete the Faculty/Student H-Option Contract. Once the contract is completed, you will then upload the completed contract, the course syllabus, and fill out the information below to complete your submission.
The application to request approval of the H-Option in a course for Spring 2024 will open on November 13, 2023, and must be submitted no later than 5 business days after the last date to add a course according to the USC academic calendar.