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 the following ways:

  • A student may take two sections of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar
  • Take one section of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar and ENGH 401: Honors Seminar
  • A student may take one section of ENGH 400: Honors Seminar and one ENGH 401 Honors Thesis Writing Seminar.
  • BA students with a concentration in Creative Writing may apply to the Honors Coordinator and ENGH 495 instructor for permission to use ENGH 495 as a substitute for ENGH 401.

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?

Fill out an application and, submit with it a sample literary or cultural analysis written for an advanced English course (3-5 pages or longer) by email to helhibri@gmu.edu. 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 (approximately 10 pages). 

How do I register for ENGH 401: Honors Thesis Seminar?

ENGH 401 is offered every Spring, and so registration happens in the Fall. Registration requires permission of the Honors Coordinator, so plan ahead. 

-To register for 401, students must first submit to their faculty advisor a proposal, consisting of a 100-200-word description of the project, and a preliminary bibliography of at least eight sources (scholarly articles, book chapters, monographs) that they expect to consult in support of their thesis. 

-The attached form should be completed and emailed to the Honors Coordinator, who will then clear you for registration.