In This Section

Honors by Special Arrangement


What is Honors by Special Arrangement?

Honors courses are for students who have the motivation and the intellectual curiosity to go beyond the standard curriculum. While Coastal has many courses reserved for Honors students, it is impossible to offer every single course with an honors-only section, especially in upper-level courses within the major. The Honors by Special Arrangement (HbSA) course is a way to offer students the opportunity to receive the Honors experience while being enrolled as a part of a regular course.

With HbSA, an Honors student, in consultation with the professor, takes a regular course and modifies the requirements and expectations for a distinct Honors experience. Faculty members should discuss with their department chair whether they should accept students for an HbSA course. The creation of an HbSA section depends on the agreement of both the instructor and the Chair of the department.

How does an HbSA course differ from a regular course?

The HbSA course should replace or modify existing course assignments with those that involve written activities, reading, oral presentations or projects that help a student acquire a deeper understanding of or involvement with the material. An HBSA course will often involve covering topics in greater depth, with more advanced analysis, more creativity, or more synthesis, often with the use of primary research and sources. Ideally, it includes presentation of the work by the student. We encourage faculty and students to be creative and flexible in thinking about the possibilities for an HbSA course!

The changes in the content should include at least 20% of the course. While this may result in some increase in the quantity of work, this should not be the primary focus of the changes in the syllabus. Rather, the changes should aim at increasing the character and level of the work by the Honors student.

How to create an HbSA section:

  • The creation of an HbSA course can either be planned in advance by the department, or it can be initiated by a request from a student. In the latter case, the instructor and the student will discuss and agree on the alternate assignments or activities that they will be doing in the course to make it an Honors course.
  • Create (or modify) an Honors version of the course syllabus where the alternate Honors work is highlighted in yellow. The syllabus should be specific as to how the Honors material is graded and fits into the overall course grade.
  • Using the online submission form below, upload the syllabus and enter the requested information. The system will notify both your chair and the Honors Office of the request.
  • Upon approval, the Honors Office will send the request for the change in section to the Registrar’s office.
  • If using Moodle for the course, make a Faculty Course Request that the H section be cross-listed with the normal section, unless you want the Moodle pages to remain separate.

Resources: