Skip to Content

My Honors College

Honors Option (H-Option)

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 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. 
  • If a course is a 500/600 level course, designated as mixed undergraduate/graduate courses, 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), automatically count as Honors courses and no H-Option contract is required.  A student pursuing one of these courses should work with their Honors advisor to officially receive Honors credit for a graduate course completed with a grade of C or higher.
  • The H-Option is not available to freshmen and H-Options are not available for courses regularly offered by the Honors College, for 100-level courses, courses taught online, or for summer courses.
  • Faculty who supervise H-Options should be in a full-time teaching role.
  • A student will be limited to no more than three H-Option courses in his or her undergraduate career, and usually no more than one in a semester. In unusual circumstances, however, a student can petition to complete additional H-options by obtaining a waiver from the Honors College dean.  A student wishing to obtain a waiver should first discuss this option with his or her Honors College advisor.
  • 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.

H-Option Proposal Submission

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 Fall 2023 will open on August 7, 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.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.