The English Honors Program brings some of the most able and committed English majors together with their peers in small classes that encourage more challenging study and often provide more opportunity for each student to join actively in class discussions. The program has two stages:
1. Participation in English Honors Seminars
There is no formal application process, but there are requirements to start participating in honors seminars. You must:
- Be an English major who has completed three semesters of undergraduate work
- Achieve a minimum combined GPA of 3.33, both overall and in the English major
- Have taken at least three English literature courses, including ENGL 200 and ENGL 301 or 350 (preferably 301)
The ideal time to start English Honors is the beginning of your Junior year (though eligible Sophomores may enroll in seminars if they meet the requirements); the second semester of the Junior year is the latest you should start.
2. Graduating with English Honors
To receive Departmental Distinction (aka English Honors), by graduation you must have:
- Successfully completed three honors seminars
- Achieved a minimum combined GPA of 3.33 both overall and in the English major
- Successfully completed an honors thesis under the direction of a tenure-track English faculty member while enrolled in English 391 (Honors Independent Study: a one semester, 3-credit-hour course)
English Honors Courses are small, advanced-level seminars, usually no larger than eighteen students. They may be used to meet the LAS Advanced Hours requirement. You sign up for these through an email sent by the Undergraduate Office, who checks that you have met the requirements.
The English Honors Thesis is a scholarly and critical essay of 20-25 pages, written for English 391 over the course of one semester, in the fall or spring of senior year. The thesis will be evaluated by the thesis director and by two other faculty readers selected by the director and the student. Levels of distinction will be decided by the Honors Advising Committee, which will consider a student's overall GPA, record in honors seminars and English courses, and the recommendations of the readers of the honors thesis. Distinction is normally awarded for a GPA of at least 3.33, meritorious work in the honors seminars and English courses, and an honors thesis of merit (two out of three readers recommend Distinction). High Distinction is normally awarded for a GPA of at least 3.5, meritorious work in the honors seminars and English courses, and an honors thesis of superior merit (two out of three readers recommend High Distinction).
The semester before you write, you must find a tenure-track English faculty member to direct the thesis, develop a thesis proposal, and register for the thesis. For the registration form and advice on this process, see the below files.
For more information see this handout on The English Honors Program.
- Preparing for the Honors Thesis: Directors, Proposals, and Registration
- Sample Honors Thesis Proposals
- Writing Honors Thesis Spring 2024
- Fall 2024 Honors Thesis Registration Form
- Readers and Honors Thesis Evaluation Letters Spring 2024