Honors in Practice

Honors in Practice (HIP) allows students to apply their academic knowledge beyond the walls of the classroom. HIP work therefore cannot be required for a course, with some guided exceptions (see Honors Excel, internships, and study abroad). Students upload most HIP work in the Honors Canvas Course, where they can also track their total Honors points and communicate with Honors staff (contact information for Departmental Honors Advisors is available on the Honors website). The Canvas course also offers modules that explain each type of HIP work and viewable examples of some outstanding Honors student HIP work.

Honors offers various pathways toward earning the recommended NINE Honors points for HIP, including the following (please note that students must also earn points in other areas of the Honors curriculum, so no student will earn the maximum number of points in each of the areas below):

  • Honors Book Labs: 1 point each (8 points maximum)

  • Honors Leadership Academy: 3 points (maximum)

  • Honors Student Leadership: 3 points, repeatable for 1.5 point (4.5 points maximum)

  • Honors Alumni Mentoring Programs: 3 points/year; 1.5 for half year or repeat (4.5 points maximum)

  • Honors Mentoring Agreements between students and faculty: 3 points/agreement (18 points maximum)

Please see the Honors in Practice Handbook to the right for more information. Students can also visit the University Honors Program Canvas course for details.

Honors Mentoring Agreements


An Honors Mentoring Agreement (HMA) is a formal agreement between a student, a mentor, the Departmental Honors Advisor, and the Honors Program to complete an Honors in Practice experience. Each agreement proposes—and then documents the student’s completion of—an academic or professional project that extends learning beyond regular coursework. Students earn 3 Honors points for every successfully proposed, completed, and approved project, and these projects typically require a minimum of 20 hours of work outside the classroom. The Honors Program regularly updates outstanding HMA examples by type of agreement, so that students, faculty mentors, and DHAs can use these examples as a model for their own collaborative work. 

Students take control of this part of the Honors curriculum, which allows them to identify meaningful real-world experiences and to articulate their personal and professional value. The best HMAs prepare students for the future and allow them to use what they know in concrete ways. Whether these agreements focus on the near future (capstone preparation, exploration of academic interests, study abroad) or a long-term plan (national fellowship applications, Honors Excel graduate courses, internships, professional research), they allow students to follow their intellectual passions and to make the most of USU’s many outstanding academic resources. 


    • HMAs are for Honors students only and are valid only if proposed and approved before the project begins and documented and approved upon completion.
    • At the beginning of the project, the mentor and DHA indicate project approval by reading the HMA Proposal and signing the form. Honors approval then follows upon submission and review of the signed proposal in the University Honors Program Canvas course.
    • All HMAs must result in a final product (poster, report, paper, PowerPoint, photo documentation, work log, etc.) and a two-page reflective essay about this Honors in Practice experience.
    • Students must complete the agreement by the stated deadline or communicate changes in timeline with the mentor, DHA, and University Honors Program.
    • Upon completion of the agreement, the mentor and DHA indicate approval of the final product and reflection by reading the HMA Completion documentation and signing the form. Honors approval and award of 3 Honors points then follows upon submission and review of the signed completion documentation in the University Honors Program Canvas course.
    • Honors Mentoring Agreements need not be connected to a course, but if they are, only upper-division courses are acceptable. The work for these agreements is not graded and does not affect the course grade, but students must pass any class associated with an HMA.


HMAs enrich an Honors student’s academic experience beyond normal coursework. Each Mentoring Agreement demands a minimum of 20 hours of work beyond required coursework. Students may complete more than one Mentoring Agreement for an extensive project, but each part of that longer project must be proposed, approved, and completed as its own agreement. The student and mentor must meet (outside of class, if the contract is connected to a course) at least twice per month (minimum six times per semester) to discuss the project. Students must keep a record of mentor meeting dates and include that information on their completion documentation form.