English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Honors in English

Strong English majors have the opportunity to take advanced seminars and to produce independent work leading to graduation with honors in English. Honors classes are small, typically limited to fifteen students, and offer ample opportunity for discussion. The topics in honors seminars (ENGH 400) change each semester, depending upon the interests and specialties of the faculty teaching them, but all emphasize close attention to textual analysis and the role of theoretical and critical approaches in literary interpretation. Students who elect the thesis option will have the opportunity to produce an independent writing project of their own design.

To Qualify for Graduation with Honors

Students must complete the honors course sequence and receive a 3.50 GPA in all courses counted toward the major and, separately, a minimum 3.50 GPA in their honors courses. Honors courses may simultaneously satisfy concentration and distribution requirements in the major.

Students may complete the honors course sequence (and submit work for evaluation by a faculty committee) in several different ways:

  • Take two sections of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar
  • Take one section of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar and ENGH 401: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar
  • Students in the creative writing concentration may take one section of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar and then write a creative honors thesis in ENGH 402: Honors Independent Study
  • Students in the nonfiction concentration may take ENGH 402: Honors Independent Study in conjunction with an advanced course in nonfiction writing, and then complete a nonfiction thesis as part of ENGH 401: Honors Thesis Writing Seminar

Who can take honors courses?

All English majors who have demonstrated a capacity for strong work in their English coursework are encouraged to apply to the honors program.

How do I apply?

Ask a faculty member familiar with your work in advanced English courses to submit a recommendation for you to the honors coordinator. (A student who wishes to write a creative thesis should also submit a recommendation from a member of the creative writing faculty who is willing to direct his/her thesis.) Fill out an application (available in the main English office, Robinson A487 or in the sidebar), submit with it a sample literary or cultural analysis written for an advanced English course (3-5 pages or longer). Those students in the Nonfiction Writing and Editing concentration may include a sample of their writing in another nonfiction genre in place of the literary or cultural analysis. Students in the creative writing concentration should submit an analytical paper written for an advanced English course (3-5 pages or longer) and a portfolio of creative work (10 pages).

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