4 students hanging out at the Illini Union outdoors on a warm day

James Scholar Honors Program

Challenge yourself to impact the future.

Honors Project Guidelines

When students choose to complete an Honors Project through a regular course, there is no set format students and instructors must follow. The expectation is that the project expands on the course information and allows the student to interact with the course material on a deeper level. Here are just a few of the projects students completed last semester:

  • Participate in 13 online conversations with Spanish-speaking students, with reflection paper
  • Volunteer for 10 hours at Campus Recreation Wellness event, with reflection paper
  • Explain and illustrate a psychological concept via an educational video
  • Prepare and deliver a 10-minute presentation to the class on how weather affects the student’s major
  • Complete and deliver a presentation on the Affordable Care Act
  • Formulate a research question that addresses the impact of exercise/physical activity on a disease and conduct a review of literature
  • Develop a public service announcement on a drug, including the history of the drug, historical and current uses, etc.
  • Complete 5 blog posts, in Spanish, reflecting on volunteer hours at a refugee center
  • Develop an article summary and presentation on a physics-based science article
  • Reading “Opening Skinner’s Box: great psychological experiments of the twentieth century,” with reflection paper

Honors Project topics and formats are developed based on student and instructor interests and course topics. All projects must be approved by the student, instructor and the College of AHS and subject to academic standards of professionalism. Projects are expected to require at least 15 additional hours of work above the normal work required for the course.


First 2 weeks of the semester:

  • Student will choose a course from their schedule in which they are interested in doing an Honors Project. The student is encouraged to choose a course that is of genuine interest and in which the student expects to do well.
  • Student will meet with the instructor to ask permission to complete an Honors Project in the course.
  • If the approval is given, the student and instructor should meet to discuss the specific activity for the project.
  • Student will complete an Honors Plan (link to Honors Plan)

Honors Plans must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the 4th Friday of each semester.

Throughout the semester:

  • To ensure the student has plenty of time to complete the Honors Project, the student and instructor should discuss the timeline of the Project well in advance. The project must be completed by the end of the semester.
  • The student and instructor should meet periodically throughout the semester to discuss the student’s progress.

End of the semester:

  • The instructor evaluates the project and determines if the work is sufficient to earn honors credit.
  • The instructor is the sole judge of whether honors credit is earned.
  • If the student has earned a B- or higher in the course and the project is sufficient for honors credit, the instructor will note the course grade is for honors credit via Web for Faculty on Enterprise.

Three-four weeks after the end of the semester:

  • The student will receive an email from the AHS Honors Program Coordinator stating whether all James Scholar requirements were met for the previous semester.
  • In June, students will receive notification if James Scholar status was earned for the previous academic year.

For questions, feel free to contact Dr. Tonya Pulley, AHS Honors Program Coordinator, or Dr. Gretchen Adams, AHS Honors Dean.