Grade honors thesis or project seminars as you would any other course - in accordance with the expectations set forth in the syllabus, or, for the honors thesis or project individually contracted, as recorded in the contract form. The grade should accurately reflect the quality of the student's work, attendance and participation.

  • Honors thesis or project coursework graded “B” or higher in all components will count toward graduation credit and fulfillment of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) requirements.
  • Honors thesis or project coursework graded “D” to “B-” will count toward graduation credit but not fulfillment of CHC requirements.
  • Final grades awarded for the honors thesis or project coursework, as well as manuscript, will affect the CHC honors credentials awarded at graduation.  Please see Graduation with Honors for details.

In the event of extenuating circumstances, honors students should be given the same respect and consideration as other students, neither more nor less. Refer to the Undergraduate Registrar's Academic Regulations Handbook for standard policies.

Grade Submission Process

For individually contracted courses registered as "HONORS" 499Y/T/P:

  • For current or previous 3 semesters:  instructor forwards grade to CHC Roster Coordinator (RC); CHC RC submits/changes grades directly on SPIRE*
  • For semesters further back:  instructor or CHC RC submits/changes grades via “Change of Grade form to UG Registrar

For individually contracted courses registered as "DEPARTMENT X" 499Y/T/P" (e.g., HIST, ENGL, CMPSCI):

  • For current or previous 3 semesters:  instructor forwards grades to the Department Multi-instructor Roster Coordinator (DRC) for the department in which 499Y/T/P is registered; DRC submits/changes grades directly on SPIRE*
  • For semesters further back:  instructor or DRC submits/changes grades via “Change of Grade" form to UG Registrar (instructor may still need to notify DRC; consult your department's policy)

For seminars registered as either "HONORS" or "DEPARTMENT X" 499 (e.g., 499A/B, 499C/D, etc):

  • For current or previous 3 semesters: instructor has online access to SPIRE grade roster and submits grades
  • For semesters further back: instructor submits/changes grades via “Change of Grade” form to UG Registrar


*In extenuating circumstances, or by agreement with CHC RC or DRC, Instructor may bypass RC and use “Change of Grade” form to submit/change grades for 499Y/T/P for any semester.

Additional details regarding submitting grade changes online (INC, NR, Y, or '__' (blank) can be found at:  http://www.oit.umass.edu/support/spire/grade-change-instructors.

For further assistance, contact your department's Roster Coordinator or Administrative Assistant.

Honors Thesis or Project Grading Options

Grading options for the honors thesis or project may vary. Click on a link below for grading options appropriate for you and your students:

1st Semester of a Two-Semester Honors Thesis or Project Sequence

or

Single Semester Honors Thesis or Project (6 credit minimum)

Concurrent Honors Thesis or Project Pair (3 + 3 credit minimum)

Final Semester of a Honors Thesis or Project Sequence

Other Grading Issues

Some students may feel in jeopardy if they are earning less than our required grade minima for CHC honors with distinction.  To earn CHC honors credentials, students must earn the following minimum grades for both their honors thesis or project coursework and the final manuscript:

  • A- for honors with greater or greatest distinction
  • B+ for honors with distinction
  • B for honors

We encourage ongoing communication between you and your honors thesis or project students regarding their progress. If any of your students are in jeopardy please have a candid discussion with them as soon as possible, document your conversations in writing, and refer the student to a Commonwealth College advisor if necessary. 

Please be aware that Commonwealth Honors College students cannot be cleared for graduation until honors thesis or project "INC, NR, Y, or '__' grades have been converted to final grades on SPIRE.

Feel free to contact Diane Flaherty, gibson@econs.umass.edu, or Meredith Lind, 545-2049, if you have questions.

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