Commonwealth Honors College
Online Tools for the CHC Community

Comments? Questions? Contact us.


CHC PATHS is an online tool for the Commonwealth Honors College community. A UMass NetID is required to log in.

Honors students must use CHC PATHS to set up the course contracts for an independent study honors (ISH) course, or an Honors Thesis (499Y/T/P) course. Faculty members and honors thesis committee members use CHC PATHS to review and authorize these contracts.

Information on deadlines for submission of Honors contract-course proposals on PATHS for the Fall 2020 semester

After the September 1 deadline for submission and completion of faculty approvals of Honors contract-course proposals on PATHS for the Fall 2020 semester, submissions will not be reviewed for approval by the CHC Academic Standards Committee unless they are accompanied by a Faculty Appeal. This appeal must be written in PATHS on the student's behalf by the student’s faculty sponsor (ISH) or committee chair (499T/P/Y). Click on the "Post Comment to Faculty Link" if comments have already been made or, if not, in the dialog box that will appear after the "approve" button has been clicked. Please put into the comments box the information requested below.

The Faculty Appeal must

  1. Specify the extenuating circumstances necessitating late registration
  2. Demonstrate that a semester's worth of work for the credits requested will indeed be completed on the project during Fall 2020

All proposal submissions must include a COVID-19 Impact Statement that describes how the particular circumstances of the Fall 2020 semester will be accommodated in the proposal. This information will be gathered as part of the semester plan for 499Y and ISH, and as part of the proposal for 499T/P. Students who previously submitted a proposal without this statement need to add it as a comment (see dashboard for details). More information is available once you log in.

The deadline for completion of faculty approvals of Honors contract-course proposals on PATHS is midnight on September 1, 2020. In addition, note that students cannot be registered for a course that requires permission for a course overload until that permission is granted.

This deadline is for all Honors contract-course proposals, including those for senior theses and independent study courses.

Faculty approvals are required from the supervisor of the thesis or independent study and the Honors Program Director of the department in which the course is registered.

Once all approvals are received, the contract-course proposal will be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee of the Commonwealth Honors College. Before submitting, please review the requirements for the information that must be included in the proposal.

For a senior thesis, information is available at and

Note that the second member of the committee for a thesis or project must be named in the proposal for the second semester of a 499 course.

For other independent study honors contract proposals, see the information available at Links are provided on that page to guidelines for writing the proposal and registration details.

UMass Guidelines on Undergraduate Researchers in Fall 2020

Undergraduate students returning in Fall 2020 should be aware that on-site laboratory and field work is subject to several conditions and limitations required to mitigate the health and safety risks of COVID-19. Research that can be conducted remotely is not subject to these limitations, and it is recommended that projects be adjusted to remote work if possible. Students planning to do research involving on-site laboratory or field work should be registered for academic credit (e.g., honors thesis, or an independent study course). These registrations will be placed on a wait list until students confirm with the instructor that their participation can be accommodated under an operating plan as required for all on-site laboratory and field work. These students will be accommodated as the space available in research laboratories and the availability of appropriate supervision permits. Priority will be given to graduating seniors who require the course to satisfy a graduation requirement, e.g., to complete an honors thesis.

Please refer to the Chancellor's UMass Fall 2020 Reopening Plan for guidelines on undergraduate research described under "2020 Reopening Plan: Research and Libraries" (page 17).