Teaching Honors

Teaching for the Honors College

Our mission in the Honors College is to foster academic excellence in a community of learners whose undergraduate education is enhanced through innovative teaching and learning, an engaging interdisciplinary curriculum, creative and critical inquiry with talented faculty, and diverse leadership and service opportunities. Thus, to deliver on the overarching promise of demonstrably enhanced learning experiences, faculty who teach honors-designated courses are encouraged to challenge themselves through their pedagogy by devising their own uniquely creative approaches to teaching and within their inspirational mentorship of students. The Honors College wants to provide opportunities for our students, of course, but we also foster the professional development of faculty who serve the college by teaching courses that serve our students. The college is centered on achieving academic distinction. We know that teaching honors can enrich not only your life but also the lives of all students with whom you work—not just those encountered in honors-designated courses. We believe the Honors College serves as an “incubator” for pedagogical exploration and innovation that enhances the quality of educational experiences across the University. Our relationship with those who teach for us is an engaged, collaborative partnership for the common good.

The Honors College needs faculty to teach Honors Seminars and honors-designated courses that constitute the required elements of the Honors Curriculum that our students must complete in order to graduate with University Honors through the Honors College. We do not have our own faculty. This fact helps inspire a community of collaboration and innovation across colleges and disciplines, which is basic to our mission.

Links to submit a proposal for a section of HON 480 are located below.

An overview of the information on this page can be downloaded here.

Departmental Honors Courses

Many departments at Marshall University offer Honors-designated courses that are signified by the addition of an “H” to the course number such as “ANT 201H,” which is one of a number of such courses provided for students in good standing as members in the Honors College. These courses are designed, staffed, and scheduled by the departments that offer them. The H-designated, departmental courses serve students in the Honors College well by meeting many General Education requirements. Such requirements include “Critical Thinking (Core I)” and “Social Science (Core II)” credits that a course such as ANT 201H fulfills.  These courses also provide general Honors credits beyond the core Honors Curriculum courses that include the seminars described below, for which the College continually seeks instructors from across the University to enrich the educational experience of our students. You can read more about the particulars of the 24-credit hour Honors Curriculum. Departments and their faculty who may be interested in developing Honors-designated courses should contact the Honors College to discuss the approval process.

Honors Seminars

We believe that it is important for faculty and their departments to know that all teaching credits, SCHs and FTEs, are credited to the faculty’s academic department and not to the Honors College. This has always been accepted practice and an agreement was formalized on 27 August 2019 with Academic Affairs and the Provost.

To learn about how to add General Education designations of Writing Intensive (WI) and/or Multicultural (MC) and International (INTL), please refer to the General Education Designations page.

HON 200

We encourage all faculty and staff at Marshall University who are interested in contributing to our mission at the College to consider teaching the Honors Second-Year Seminar (sections of HON 200), a 3-credit hour seminar purposefully positioned in a student’s second year of study at Marshall. The intention for this seminar is to engage with Honors students who have passed through their first-year, spotlight curricular and extra-curricular activities and are transitioning to more fully engage with their major departments. We look to enhance a sense of “cohort” among the Honors students at this point in their academic career and to help cultivate shared purpose as active members of the College who critically and self-reflectively engage with essential themes of Leadership, Ethics, and Civic Engagement through their work in this seminar. To help achieve our goals for this seminar, individual instructors are asked to design their own seminar from a foundational core set of elements and shared learning outcomes. The seminars are capped at 25 students and scheduled in Spring semesters only.

A review of prospective instructor credentials and experience is conducted by the College. Please reach out to us at honorscollege@marshall.edu with the subject “HON 200” to begin a conversation about your ideas and our expectations for this critical, transitional course in our curriculum, which helps prepare students for later work in their course of study in the College and their major(s) as well as their future lives and careers.

HON 480

We encourage all faculty interested in contributing to our mission at the College to submit proposals for upper-level Honors Seminars (sections of HON 480), which are at least 3-credit hours. These seminars are purposefully interdisciplinary in design and generally capped at 15 students. While we have expectations regarding the pedagogical approaches and alignment of individually tailored learning outcomes in seminars with those for the Honors College curriculum as a whole (as discussed in the Design Guide below), faculty may design highly original seminars (as seen in the Seminar Archives, for example). This is a hallmark course in our curriculum.


There is a thorough review of proposed seminars by the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee (HCCAP) at least one semester prior to the semester an approved seminar is offered.  Below you’ll find links to the Honors Seminar (HON 480) online proposal submission form and a guide for faculty to help think about their course as an Honors Seminar and prepare their proposals.

Due dates for HON 480 proposal submissions are published on the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee page.

There are four different possibilities for submissions as follows:

  1. If you have not taught a proposed seminar for the Honors College before, you’ll be submitting a New Proposal.
  2. If you have been teaching a particular seminar for the Honors College that has “timed out,” and you want to propose to teach this seminar again (in updated form), you’ll need to submit an Updated Proposal.  You’ll use the same form as for a new proposal but indicate that your submitting an updated proposal for a substantially reworked seminar. There is a check box for this at the top of the form. Updated proposals, as per the Honors College Policy Handbook, are required of faculty after teaching an approved Honors Seminar (HON 480) 3 times or after 3 years (a three-year period beginning with the first semester of offering), whichever comes first. Such re-submissions of updated proposals are an opportunity for both faculty and the Committee to consider how the course/approach may have changed (or need to change) as time has past. Note: It is also possible that faculty may want to substantially rework a seminar before the seminar would time out and would go this route.
  3. If you have been teaching a particular seminar for the Honors College that has not “timed out” as suggested above, you may submit the Repeat Application.
  4. If you are applying with the intent to be considered for an as yet undefined semester and will not be pursuing approval at this time, no problem. We can review your proposal, provide feedback, and work with you and your department to determine when you might offer the seminar. Simply use the Yes/No slider where the approval upload is located in the application to indicate that “YES” you are “applying to be considered in the future” and you will not need to provide approval at the time of submission. Note that we’ll need to have approval from your department chair or supervisor before eventually scheduling the course. OR, if you’d just like to discuss some ideas with us, let’s start a conversation: honorscollege@marshall.edu.

For faculty who apply with the intent to offer their seminar in the next semester (following review and approval by the HCCAP), you will be expected to provide supervisorial approval with your application. So, for example, if you want to teach in Spring, you would normally apply just prior to or early in the Fall semester (prior to the HCCAP deadline) preceding the semester that you would offer the seminar.

New or Updated Proposals:

Repeat Applications: For faculty who are repeating a course (one of two additional times within a three year period permitted by policy before a updated proposal is required), you will need to submit the following Application for Repeat of an Honors Seminar form, which is shorter than that for a new or updated proposal.

To learn about how to add General Education designations of Writing Intensive and/or Multicultural and International, please refer to the General Education Designations page.