The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Changes made to Individually Contracted Honors Thesis Procedures

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While we await the official announcement about how the University will be operating in the 2021 spring semester, Commonwealth Honors College is preparing for the possibility of further remote courses taking place. As a result, we have made changes to the Individually Contracted Honors Thesis (499Y/T/P) and Honors Independent Study (ISH) procedures, and we want to provide you with updated information, including deadline modifications.

The 499Y/T/P or ISH courses affected are those in which students will be performing their research or projects in person and on campus, and are approved (or will be approved) to work in a lab (or other space on campus) because they are included in their faculty sponsor’s lab/studio Research and Libraries Operating Plan (RLOP). Additionally, in order for a student to be included in an RLOP, the course associated with this research must also be designated as “face-to-face.” Please contact your faculty sponsor as soon as possible to ask about your status in their spring semester RLOP.

If you are planning to take a face-to-face 499Y/T/P or ISH course that requires approval and registration through the Honors College, the deadline for submission of face-to-face 499Y/T/P and ISH proposals to PATHS is November 15

  • Please note that students who are submitting face-to-face proposals on PATHS by November 15 will be able to upload additional material (such as another draft of the literature review in a 499T/P proposal) after the review process begins. The reviewers will take the earlier submission date into account.

If you are planning to take a remote 499Y/T/P or ISH course through the Honors College, the deadline for submission of remote 499Y/T/P and ISH proposals to PATHS is December 10.

We encourage you to discuss spring planning with your faculty/thesis sponsor ASAP to ensure that your uploaded proposal has already been reviewed and revised as needed. This will help move your proposal through the PATHS system with minimum delay.

Please do not hesitate to contact an Honors advisor at if you have further questions.