Honors Program in English

English Honors Program GW GWU Undergraduate

Thinking of graduate school, and want an opportunity to work more intensively on a longer research project? Want to demonstrate your persistence, organizational skills, and intellectual focus to future employers? Feeling the need to push yourself beyond writing yet another short end of term paper or exam? Wishing you had a chance to work more closely with a professor whose work you admire? Want to graduate from the English department with special Honors –a mark of distinction and accomplishment? Just love to read and write, and want to do more of it? The English Honors Program might be what you’re looking for!

All English majors who are interested in the Honors program should discuss it with their advisors, and are encouraged to meet in person with the Director of the Honors Program, Professor Green-Lewis.


What is the English Honors Program?

The program offers motivated seniors the opportunity to write a thesis of 60-75 pages on a subject of their own choosing, under the guidance of a faculty member who is expert in that field.

When can I apply?

The application is emailed each year in January to all juniors registered on the English major email list. You can also download the online application. Physical copies of the application will be available on request from the Department office. Please note the deadline! Accepted students will be notified no later than the end of spring break.

What does the application involve?

You will need to explain a little about what you think you’d like to write a thesis on. You’ll also need to identify at least one professor who is willing to supervise your thesis (acceptance into the program depends on faculty availability). An unofficial copy of your transcript is required. And you will be asked to include a copy of your strongest English paper, graded and with the professor’s comments.

What happens if I’m accepted?

Successful candidates enroll in the Honors seminar on research methods and thesis writing (ENG 4040), and begin drafting their project early in the fall of their senior year. They spend the spring completing the thesis, working individually with one faculty member (ENG 4250W). Each semester in the Honors program carries 3 credits and counts as an English major elective.

Anything else should I know about the application?

 *To be eligible for the Honors program, students must have a minimum 3.50 GPA in English Department courses

*Admitted students are required to take ENG 4040 in the fall, and ENG 4250W the following spring; courses may not be taken out of order, nor can they be taken together

*Admission to the Honors program depends both on academic record and the student’s having an area of interest that matches the expertise of available faculty

 * The BA/MA program is separate from the Honors program. However, admission to the English Honors program guarantees admission to the BA/MA program. English majors who would like to learn more about the BA/MA in English are invited to contact Professor DeWispelare. Please note that the BA/MA program requires you to take one graduate seminar per semester during your final year of the BA program.


Honors Program in Creative Writing

The Honors in Creative Writing program offers exceptionally motivated majors a yearlong opportunity to draft, revise, and complete a creative writing thesis under the mentorship of a two-person committee. Creative writing theses have included novels, poetry chapbooks, short story collections, linked essays, and hybrid works. Interested students should apply to the director of Creative Writing the year before they plan to graduate, typically in the spring semester of their junior year. Accepted students will be assigned an adviser and second reader, to whom they will propose a project and then together develop a writing schedule for the thesis year. In addition to their creative work, students will write a prefatory critical essay of up to 10 pages and enroll in ENGL 4220, the thesis seminar.

The Honors in Creative Writing program is designed for students considering future graduate study in creative writing and for students interested in a more culminating challenge to their creative writing coursework. The program also welcomes students looking for an intensive self-directed learning experience and students committed to imaginatively exploring a question, a story, and/or an aesthetic practice.


Honors Program Students - Class of 2020

Gabrielle Cascio Honors Program GW 2020 Class

Gabrielle Cascio

Gabrielle Cascio’s research focuses on the nexus of experimental biography forms, queer theory, and the life and writings of Virginia Woolf.

Gwen Umbach GW GWU English Department Honors Program Class 2020

Gwen Umbach

Gwen Umbach’s thesis focuses on representations of minority cultures and the intersection of identity categories in recent children’s literature.

Kendall Geisel Honors Program 2020 English GW GWU

Kendall Geisel

Kendall Geisel is writing on women walking in Charlotte Brontë’s fiction and its implications for female mobility in the nineteenth-century.

Tabind Syed Honors Program 2020 GW GWU English

Tabinda Syed

Tabinda Syed’s thesis focuses on female agency in contemporary Bollywood cinema from the 2000’s to the present.

Ryan Carroll

Ryan Carroll

Ryan Carroll is researching understandings of subjectivity and contradiction in the novels of Gabriel García Márquez and Virginia Woolf.

Sophie Rickless

Sophie Rickless

Sophie is studying English and Philosophy.

Talia Clement Honor Program class 2020 GW

Talia Clement

Talia Clement is researching how culture impacts the way individuals cope with trauma in the novels Jazz by Toni Morrison, Night By Elie Wiesel, and And the Mountains Echoed