Frequently Asked Questions

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The Honors Program has prepared this list of Frequently Asked Questions for our students. If there is a question that you have, but it is not shown below, please contact our office.



If I am struggling in a class that I am taking where can I go to get help?

You can go to the Tutoring Center located at Manderino Library Suite 430. If the subject is math related go to the Math Lab located in Noss 115. If the subject is about writing go to the Writing Center located in Noss 110.

How do I find out who my advisor is?

Log onto VIP using your password information then select the Academic Info tab and on the left hand side of the page your advisor will be listed. Your advisor is typically a professor that is in the Department of your major.

How important is my advisor?

Very important! Your advisor will help you complete your schedule and help you choose classes that are a good fit for you. Some departments place a hold on your account to prevent you from scheduling if you do not meet with your advisor at least once that particular semester.

How can I view the holds on my account?

You can log into VIP and under the Academic Info tab there will be a Holds link on the left-hand side of the page listed under your Advisor’s name.

What is a Career Advisor? 

A Career Advisor talks about your interests, abilities, and values and how they can apply to the work force. There is a Career Advisor for each College: the College of Education and Human Services, College of Liberal Arts, and College of Science and Technology. Your career advisor can offer you useful advice and information about how to create a college resume, what types of jobs are available based on your major, ways to become involved in gaining experience in your area of study, and so much more.

How do I register for classes?

Log into your VIP account and select the Academic Info tab. Next, under Registration Tools select Add or Drop Classes. Select the term that you want and towards the bottom of the page there will be several boxes. Those boxes are for the CRN numbers of the classes that you want to add, fill in the information and click submit. Be sure when you are making your schedule, prior to the registration period, that you keep track of the CRN numbers for each class.

Where do I go if I want to add/drop a major or minor?

You can go to the Department and fill out a form for the major or minor you may want to add or drop. This service is also available online typing forms into the search box and selecting the appropriate form that you need.

How can I easily locate a Professor’s phone number or office number?

Go to Cal U’s homepage and at the left of the page select People Finder and fill out the appropriate information. There is a People Finder link at the very bottom of all Cal U webpages.

What if I have transfer credits or want to take a course at another university?

Prior to taking classes at another university, try to have the credits pre-approved through the Office of Articulation and Transfer Evaluation in Dixon Hall Room 218. If you are transferring credits into the University then you can seek assistance by contacting or visiting their office.

How can I find out about important events around campus such as cancellations and any other campus emergency?

You can sign up for Cal U Text Alert directly from Cal U’s home page under Quicklinks.

How do I know how much money, meals, or guest meals I have left on my CalCard?

To view your CalCard online go to Cal U’s homepage click Information at the top of the page then select current students followed by selecting CalCard Online. You can also add money to your card through this link.

What happens if I get sick or hurt on campus?

Services are available in the ground floor of Carter Hall seven days a week.

What do I do if I am sick and will not be able to attend classes for an extended period of time?

If you become sick for an extended period of time contact your professors and notify them of your situation. Each professor has his or her own policy regarding missing classes.

What do I do if I have to miss a class for a prior commitment?

If you have to miss a class or several classes for one day or a few days due to a prior commitment notify your professor(s). Typically professors are understanding of university related activities such as trips and volunteer activities. When notifying your professor, provide him or her with some documentation of the event that you may be participating in at least a week in advance.

Where can I go to print out a document I need for class?

As Honors Program students you can print in the Honors Program Lab located in Smith Hall next to the Honors Program classroom from 8-4 pm Monday-Friday. There is also printing services available in Manderino Library, Noss Hall at any one of the three ICF Labs located on the Second Floor, the Mac Lab located in the Natalie Student Center on the Second Floor behind Flatz, and there is also a computer lab available on the first floor of every residence hall but you are required to bring your own printer paper.

Where can I go to print out a document or project in color?

You can go to the Mac Lab located in the Natalie Student Center on the Second Floor to print any type of document, poster, or project in color. Manderino Library also has color printing services available.

What do I do if I want to schedule for a class that is already full?

Typically being an Honors student you do not run into any trouble with scheduling your classes since you have priority registration. If you find yourself closed out of a course, start by putting yourself on the wait list. You can also contact the instructor of the class to see if you can be added to the class since every instructor’s policy is different.

What is priority registration?

One of the benefits of being a student in the Honors Program is being able to participate in priority registration. Priority registration is when students have a week to register for all of their classes for the next semester a week earlier than all of the other students on campus. Honors Program students typically are eligible to start scheduling early morning on Tuesday of Priority Registration week.

Where can I go if I am having trouble with my computer?

U-Tech Services provide a free service to attempt to fix or discover any and all issues that you may have with your computer. Services are available on the second floor of Noss Hall in Room 219.

How important is it for me to keep track of all of my clubs, activities, and events that I participate in throughout my college experience?

Very important!!! Keep track of all of your activities, clubs, and any and all events that you participate in throughout your college years. OrgSync is a program that allows students to keep track of all of their activities on an Activities Transcript such as volunteer activities, leadership roles, and any clubs and organizations that you may belong to.


What should my addendum proposal look like?

Your proposal should describe in as much detail as possible the addendum you intend to complete.  The more thought you devote to your proposal, the easier it will be to complete the addendum.  We encourage you to discuss and develop your proposal in collaboration with your instructor.  The proposal should describe the nature / form of the project, how it coordinates with the course, a set of at least three milestones to chart your progress, and a date of completion.  The addendum form, available in the Honors area, has a description of the proposal.

Do I have to create my own addendum project or does the instructor do it?

An addendum is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to work independently under the supervision of a faculty member.  It is your project.  You might think of it as practice for the sort of work that you will do for your thesis.  Ideally, you should go to your instructor with a proposal or at least an idea of what you would like to do.  He or she should be willing to work with you to create a project that will be beneficial to you and your instructor.

Some instructors might prefer to have you complete a specific assignment.  In these cases, you are welcome to complete the project he or she assigns or, in a professional manner, offer an alternative. 

What if the Director or Associate Director does not approve my addendum proposal?

If your proposal receives a "revise and resubmit," the director or associate director will typically offer some comments and request to meet with you to discuss the proposal.  It is not an indication of failure, rather it is a desire by the director or associate director to work with you more closely on the project to clarify its goals.

How long does my addendum have to be?

There is no length requirement for addendums, but it should require you to devote roughly a quarter to a third as much effort as the class typically requires.  Addendums can take many different forms depending on the subject of the course, the level of the course, and the discipline.  An addendum for a 300-level course would be more substantial than one for a 100 or 200-level course.  In the end, the addendum should demonstrate knowledge you have acquired beyond the basic outcomes and goals of the course.

What if my completed addendum turns out differently than my proposal?

You should keep your instructor updated on your progress so she or he will be aware of any changes.  Ultimately, your instructor is the one who evaluates your addendum and any changes should be discussed with her or him as soon as possible.

How many addendums can I do in a semester?

In order to reach twenty-four Honors credits by graduation, students should earn at least three Honors credits per semester.  That works out to one Honors course or addendum per semester.  We feel this is an ideal number because it allows you to focus your efforts.  Circumstances may arise which require a student to take more than one.  In these cases, we recommend you check with the director or associate director.  Students have taken two or three addendums per semester, but most find this very difficult.

When is my addendum due?

The deadline should be worked out with your instructor, as should be penalties if the deadline is not reached.

What if my professor won't allow me to do an addendum?

Some instructors prefer not to work with Honors students on addendums.  In these cases, the best course of action is to choose another course in which to do the addendum.


What can my Thesis topic be?

It’s really up to you!  Well, it’s up to you and your advisor.  The majority of Honors Theses will end up being something like a more elaborate research paper in the student’s major.  But this isn’t required.  One needn’t work in one’s major (even if most students do). And every semester there’s at least one student who completes an atypical Project.  Recent examples of this: art installation, dance performance, building and testing a laser, and conducting a tour of Fallingwater with an emphasis on environmental architecture.  Note that even in these atypical cases, a written portion engaging with the discipline’s literature is required.

We think of the Thesis Project as the student’s participation in an existing conversation in their chosen discipline.

How long will I be working on my Thesis Project?

HON 499 is offered in the Fall semester.  Students typically begin working in the Fall, and they present their completed Projects in the Spring.  Thus the Project lasts two-semesters.  Sometimes, a student will need to finish work in the Fall.  (This might be because of early graduation, student teaching in the following Spring, an internship the following Spring, etc.)  In these cases the student starts working on the Thesis prior to enrolling in HON 499.  See the UHP Director or Associate Director if you have questions about this.

How long does the Thesis need to be?

There’s no predetermined length for the Honors Thesis. It needs to be long enough to make a contribution to your discipline’s conversation. This is something you and your advisor should come to an agreement on. 

Who can be my Thesis Advisor?  Does it have to be my major advisor?

Any faculty member at Cal U can serve as your Thesis Advisor. Your major advisor does not have to be your Thesis Advisor.  You should feel confident that you’ll have a good working relationship with your Thesis Advisor.

Who can be my Second Reader?

Any faculty member at Cal U may serve as your Second Reader. Additionally, staff members and relevant experts from outside Cal U may also serve as your Second Reader.  Remember that they should be able to attend your presentation.  See the UHP Director or Associate Director if you have any questions about a possible Second Reader.

No one on the HAB works in my topic.  Who should I pick?

Any HAB member may serve on any Thesis Committee.  You might ask an HAB member you had for a course, or perhaps one who you met on an Honors trip.  You might ask a fellow student who might have had some interaction with HAB members.  See the UHP Director or Associate Director if you have any questions about a possible HAB member.

What is the Presentation like?

The Presentation is when you publicly present your work on your Thesis Project to your thesis committee, members of the HAB, the director and associate director, and other Honors students.  You are welcome to invite friends and family members as well.  You should have a final draft of your Thesis, which you’ve supplied in advance to your Committee.  Typically, a student will present the Project (often with a PowerPoint, but not necessarily so) for 20-25 minutes. Then the Committee will begin the question & answer part of the Presentation, which will often last for 20-30 minutes.  Others who attend your presentation may also ask questions. At the end, your Committee will meet (with the UHP Director and/or Associate Director) to discuss your Project and possible grades.  It is common for the Committee to request a final round of changes to the Thesis before assigning a final grade.

How do you arrive at my grade for my Thesis?

Your Committee will be told the following:  Students are supposed to be presenting a contribution to their disciplinary conversation, that is, inserting their own voices into the conversation.  “A” grades will be for Projects in which the student’s voice is most clearly present.  “B” grades will be for Projects in which this has been attempted, but which did not succeed as well as it might have.  “C” grades will be for Projects in which the student does not insert his or her voice into the disciplinary conversation.  (An example of a C-range Project would be a mere literature review rather than a literature review plus an analytic examination of the subject matter.)

Conference Trips

Frequently asked questions for conferences will be updated soon.