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Oklahoma State University
The Honors College

Helping students fully realize their intellectual and personal potential.

Honors Course Information for Faculty

Honors courses are designed to help students develop both oral and written communication skills, gather and synthesize information, approach problems in new and complex ways, and enrich their critical thinking ability. Honors courses tend to be highly interactive, discussion-based classes that engage students in an active and supportive learning environment.

The designation of "honors" at OSU denotes a different kind of learning experience rather than a necessarily more difficult course in terms of grading expectations. Honors courses may cover more sophisticated material than that covered in the regular sections of the same course, more active student participation should be encouraged, and evaluation of the students' work (exams, reports, etc.) may be different. However, the grading standards at the end of the course should not be designed to force a normal or otherwise preconceived distribution of grades.

Honors courses are normally taught only by instructors holding tenured or tenure-track faculty appointments. Exceptions may be made at the recommendation of the department head and with approval of the Dean of the Honors College. Except in unusual circumstances with the advance approval of the dean of a college and notification of the Dean of the Honors College, honors sections are not taught by faculty members in their first year on the faculty at OSU.

The National Collegiate Honors Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to honors education, provides reference material for honors professionals and faculty. For common characteristics of honors courses across the country, click the "Honors Course Design" link below.

Honors Course Design

Sample NCHC Honors Course Syllabi

Sample OSU Honors Course Syllabi