Commonwealth Honors College
Online Tools for the CHC Community

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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.



Final Thesis Submission of Documents to be Archived (abstract, manuscript, portfolio, reflections, etc.) 

For graduates in:

·      Spring 2023: May 23, 2023

·      Fall 2023 and Winter 2024: December 15, 2023



Submission and Registration of Honors Thesis Proposals and Honors Independent Study Proposals

·      Research proposals for Fall 2023: August 1, 2023

·     Research proposals for Spring 2024: December 15, 2023


Submission of Research Assistant Fellowship & Honors Research Grant Proposals

·     Proposals for Fall 2023 funding are due: August 1, 2023


Faculty Approvals of Honors Thesis Proposals and Independent Study Courses

·      Faculty should review proposals as soon as notified by PATHS. Please note that after November 13, 2023 an appeal is required for Fall 2023 enrollment.


Approvals are required from the Faculty Sponsor of the thesis or independent study AND the Honors Program Director of the department in which the course is registered. Once all faculty approvals are received, the proposal will be reviewed by the CHC Academic Standards Committee.

The Academic Standards Committee begins reviewing proposals concurrently with the start of the semester. If your proposal is awaiting ASC review at the start of the semester, your proposal will be reviewed with enough time to enroll you in the credits prior to the end of the add/drop period.


NOTE: Students cannot be registered for a course that requires permission for a course overload until permission is granted. Students should review the requirements before submission of a proposal.

For an honors thesis, information is available at


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.


Faculty Appeals

After the November 13, 2023 deadline for approval of Honors contract-course proposals on PATHS for the Fall 2023 semester, proposals will not be reviewed by the CHC Academic Standards Committee unless they are accompanied by a Faculty Appeal. This date is NOT a student submission deadline.

An 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. In the comments box, please

1. Explain the extenuating circumstances necessitating late registration,

2. Confirm that a semester's worth of work for the credits requested will indeed be completed on the project during Fall 2023.