Frequently Asked Questions

I am already done with my basic program but didn’t take two of those courses as Honors. What should I do about POS requirement 1?

Note the footnote after that requirement: Accommodations will be made for transfer students and others who join the honors program after completion of the basic program on a case by case basis. We suggest those students propose to use another core course within their degree program taken as honors (or with an honors contract). The best proposed substitutions are at the 100-, 200- or 300- level (eg. AerE 161H, Phys 222H, EM 324H, etc.), and with at least one of your Requirement 1 courses being in STEM. Also remember that you can do an Honors Contract to add an H designator to a non-honors course, if the instructor is willing to work with you on that.

 

I am doing a minor, but I’m not sure if it’s breadth or depth. What do I do?

Some minors (for example: Military Science, Music Technology, Sustainability) include both STEM and non-STEM courses, so are not necessarily breadth or depth by definition. We allow students doing one of these minors to count the minor as one third of their pillar requirements (as any minor would), but it is up to the student to determine which third to use it for, based on the courses they are taking toward the minor only. For example, if a student were taking the sustainability minor, and took ANTHR 230 and Soc 345 to use only towards their minors, that student should propose to count the minor as meeting the Breadth pillar. Another student might take NREM 452, Biol 355 and Biol 471 for the same minor; if that student is counting those courses only towards the minor, the student would propose to count the minor as Depth. It would also be possible, with a mixed set of minor-only courses, to count the minor as one moderate Breadth, and one moderate Depth. The Military Science minor includes leadership courses, so that minor could contribute to the Community and Professional Development pillar as well as Breadth and/or Depth. In your POS proposal, include an addendum explaining and justifying your use of the minor. If you are not sure if your intended minor is in this grey area, just ask us.

 

Can I use the same type of moderate expression more than once?

Yes. For example, if you took two 200+ level non-STEM courses that you’re not applying to your degree, you could count each of them as moderate breadth. You do not need to have different types of expressions, but you do need to have different expressions. For instance, if you held various leadership positions in a student organization, that would likely only count as one moderate expression of Community and Professional Development, unless you could make a very strong case that these experiences were so differentiated in terms of your contribution and development, that they were two different expressions.

 

Does HON 290H count as a research project outside of my honors capstone (moderate expression of Depth or Breadth)?

It might. Some HON 290H projects are a light introduction to the research process or research lab environment. Others could be deeper and more meaningful, and in those cases they might make a reasonable moderate expression. Keep in mind that for those expressions, we require you to write a statement detailing your intellectual contribution to the project, and your skill development as a result. If you feel your HON 290H was substantive enough that you could write a compelling statement, then the committee will consider it in your POS (and can approve or not).

 

I did a summer REU program at another university. Can I use that as a research project outside of my honors capstone (moderate Depth)?

Yes. Use the information in the POS guidelines (beyond the first page) to provide the necessary documentation to the committee when you submit your POS.

 

I plan to do a summer REU program [or write a journal article, or any other planned expression that won’t be on your degree audit]. Can I put that on my POS, even though I don’t have any documentation yet?

Yes. In that case we will approve your POS provisionally, pending appropriate documentation. You will not be able to graduate with your honors degree until the required documentation is submitted satisfactorily.

 

I see the footnote that a second intense expression in one pillar can be substituted as a moderate expression in another pillar. But what if I do an intense and two moderate expressions in one pillar? Can either the one intense or the two moderates substitute for a moderate in another pillar?

No, that allowed substitution is only when you have two intense expressions in the same pillar.

 

Can I use AP credits in my POS?  

Yes, if they match one of the listed expressions. For instance, if you took AP History and were credited for Hist 222 and are not using it towards your degree, then you could count it as the moderate Breadth expression of a 200+ level SSH course not applied to your degree.

 

My POS was approved, but it’s not showing up in my Degree Audit. What gives?  

Aligning your POS to your degree audit will happen a few months before you are set to graduate. We do it this way because in the event that you do not complete all your Honors graduation requirements, then we would have to go in and move everything back. It’s easier to do this only once, at the end, when all your expressions and requirements are completed or in progress.

 

Does HON 302 count as an honors seminar?  

No, that is part of being an FHP leader. Being an FHP leader counts as a moderate expression of Community & Professional Development.

 

I submitted a POS as part of HON 121. Do I need to submit another one?  

Yes, the one you submitted for HON 121 was not forwarded to the COE Honors Program nor evaluated by our committee; it was just an assignment in that course to help you with your planning. If that POS you developed is your actual plan, you can submit the same to the COE Honors Program for evaluation.

 

I know that two credits of capstone 490H must apply to Honors only, and can’t be used towards my degree program. But I am completing a total of four credits of 490H. Can I use extra 490H credits as technical electives?  

This varies by program. Check with your academic adviser about this.

 

I am a Civil Engineering student, but I am doing my honors capstone with a professor in ABE. Do I still register for CE 490H?  

No, you register for a 490H with your mentor as the instructor of record, so unless they are potential instructor of record in CE, you’ll be registering for ABE 490H. If your mentor’s program does not have 490s, you can work with the University Honors Program to enroll in HON 490H, and they will work with your mentor to assign credit and grade.

 

I did a 3-week short course abroad. Where does this fit into my POS?  

The minimum study-abroad length for moderate expression of professional development is six weeks. Experiences abroad for less than that do not meet that requirement. You might, however, use any course credits from a shorter-term experience in your POS, if they meet the language of one of the expressions (for instance, if you took a 200-level intensive language class during that 3-week experience and are not using it towards your degree, then it would count as a moderate expression of Breadth).

 

Can I use my senior design project as my honors capstone project?  

No.  All engineering students are required to do a senior design (capstone) project, so completing this does not add honors character to your program.  Furthermore, your honors project will require at least 2 credits of 490H.  Some students, however,  decide to add 2 credits worth of independent work on top of their required senior design project, and use the additional element as their honors capstone.

Contact Us

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Engineering Honors Program

engrhonors@iastate.edu