Honors Program

For Faculty & Advisors

November 19 Student proposal deadline for all Spring 2019 Honors Contracts, Experiential Learning, Honors Upper Division in the Major, and Directed Studies.

Students experience the heart of Honors education through collaborative experiences with the academic community at Tennessee Tech.

We invite faculty and advisors to ask questions, offer support, visit the Honors Office, and suggest improvements. Please explore our website to find out more, and let us know if you can't find what you need. 

If you would like to teach an Honors course:

  • Consider Introduction to Honors (HON 1010): We welcome inquiries from permanent faculty who enjoy working with first-year students to create a welcoming, reflective, intellectual community during the first semester. Introduction to Honors is an interactive, one-credit-hour seminar that substitutes for the UNIV 1020: Connections course in many majors. 
  • Offer an Honors section of a course you teach in your department: If your chair is able to approve creation of a section for an Honors students (either in load or overload), enrollment is normally capped at 20 and is by permit only to ensure that all seats are available for Honors students.
  • Design an Honors ColloquiumEvery semester, the Honors Council reviews proposals for one-time, three-credit seminars (HON 4013) available only to Honors upperclassmen. These courses must be challenging yet accessible to students from a wide variety of disciplines, and must not duplicate existing or proposed courses. Honors Colloquium EDGE Grants require a separate application after the course is approved by Honors Council.
  • Propose a project for Honors Experiential Learning : Innovative and challenging mini-courses that involve hands-on learning or civic engagement may be proposed to Honors Council as Honors Special Topics. These courses may be more specifically disciplinary in their focus, or may be transdisciplinary. 
  • Help a student with a Directed Study: This student-initiated independent study (usually 3 cr hr) requires supervision by an academically qualified faculty member. The student's proposal, which is submitted to Honors the semester prior to the planned Directed Study, cannot duplicate existing course opportunities, and is subject to approval. If your department has a course code for individually mentored projects at a 4000-level, please see Honors Upper Division in the Major below.
  • Honors Upper Division in the Major refers to pre-approved Honors work in upper-division courses that serve as culminating experiences in the student's department: Students must initiate this process in cooperation with their department and Honors a semester in advance. 
  • The Honors Thesis Option is for that extraordinary student who is ready to commit a two-semester sequence toward original research involving at least two disciplines. The thesis may, with the cooperation of the home department, be linked to two required upper-division courses.
  • Can't teach a course, but willing to help out an Honors student? Through Honors Contracts , individual students may ask to meet with you during the semester prior to taking one of your regular courses in which an Honors section does not exist.

For further information, see the descriptions written for our current students under Honors Classes.

HONORS FACULTY LIAISONS There is a designated Honors Faculty Liaison in virtually every academic department at Tech. These professors can assist colleagues and students in their department who have questions about Honors. Some of the areas in which a faculty liaison may prove a useful resource:

  • Helping an Honors student find a research mentor
  • Proposing an Honors Colloquium
  • Creating criteria for Honors Upper Division in the Major
  • Offering an Honors section
  • Devising an Honors Contract appropriate to a student's interests
  • Working with a student who plans to study abroad, apply for a nationally competitive internship, or propose a self-designed civic engagement project in their field for Honors Experiential Learning credit

Honors is delighted to hear from faculty and advisors in all departments who want to help Honors Scholars achieve their goals as creative problem-solvers.


  • It's not just about Honors classes and Honors Contracts: Our staff works with individual student scheduling problems, and we are continually working to find new ways to support extraordinary achievement, study abroad, co-ops, research, and internships. Please refer any gifted and hardworking Honors students who believe they can't continue in Honors! Urge your first- or second-year Honors advisee to visit our Honors Graduate Assistant, Tatiana Tumminello, who offers practical and friendly advice in Farr 201C 20 hours per week. 
  • If you are advising an Honors upperclassman who needs help earning Honors credits in ways that suit their academic passions and career goals, please suggest an appointment with Dr. Barnes. The student should send three possible meeting times to ritabarnes@tntech.edu
  • Finally, another reminder to collaborate with your designated Honors Faculty Liaison--see the section above.