Addendum Process for Students

An addendum is an opportunity for honors students to complete a project for a non-honors course that will give you honors credit for that course. More importantly, it will give you an opportunity to work with a professor, practice critical thinking and communication skills, and conduct original research / creative work.

The addendum may take a variety of forms, including conventional research / creative papers, laboratory work, interviews with experts, a software application, creation of learning resources, performances, and more. The only limit is the mutual agreement of you and the instructor on the content and form.

Addendums are not simply extra work for a class. They should allow you to engage with the course topic more fully, either more broadly, deeply, or in a more complex fashion. The overall complexity of the addendum should be relative to the level of the class. That is, an addendum for a 300-level class would be more demanding than one for a 100-level class.

Addendums are not graded. They are evaluated as either completed or not completed. Addendums also do not affect your grade in the class. Once the addendum is completed, your transcript will include an annotation for the course.


Addendum Learning Outcomes

By completing an addendum, Honors students will:

  1. Conduct mentored / collaborative work with their instructors
  2. Explore the subject matter of the class in greater depth, breadth, or complexity
  3. Explore and practice research / creative skills
  4. Engage in independent, critical thinking


Addendum Secondary Outcomes

  • Students will earn honors credits toward completion of the program
  • Students may explore ideas and topics related to their thesis project
  • Completed addendums may be presented at academic conferences


Addendum Proposal Process

You meet with your professor in the first two weeks of the semester to discuss the possibility and ideas for the content of the addendum. Ideally, you bring several ideas to the instructor and together you decide on the scope, form, and content. Then you complete the addendum proposal form , sign and date it, send it to the instructor who also signs and dates and returns it to you. You save the form with the filename: lastnameaddendum.docx and email it to Remember to keep a copy for yourself!

The deadline for addendum proposals is always the 4th Friday of the semester.

The director and associate director will review the addendum proposal form and either approve it or ask you for revisions. Once the addendum has been approved, you will receive an email.

As part of the completion of the addendum, you are required to meet at least once during the semester with your instructor (ideally during office hours) to discuss your progress on the addendum. At the end of the semester, the instructor and you will receive an email link asking you each to assess the addendum. The instructor’s assessment will include the complete / not complete evaluation as well as a brief assessment survey. Your assessment will also be a brief assessment survey of your satisfaction with the addendum process, but not the addendum itself or the instructor.

Addendum FAQ 

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. Most instructors are happy to work with you to make the addendum work out.

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. Typically, students and their instructors choose the last week of the semester in order to have the work complete before final exams.

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.

PennWest California Honors Addendum Form - Print and complete