Honors Program in English

Undergraduate Honors Program


The English Department Honors Program is designed to provide exceptional students in the major with opportunities to study literature, literary theory and cultural criticism in a two-semester seminar format that culminates in a final honors thesis written in consultation with faculty advisors.

The program is particularly committed to developing thinking, writing and research skills for students wishing to pursue graduate work in English or other professional fields such as law or medicine. Students admitted into the Honors Program are also accepted into the department’s combined BA/MA program.



How to Apply

To enter the program, students must have an overall 3.00 GPA and a 3.25 GPA in English Department courses. Interested majors should discuss the Honors Program with their advisors and with the Director of the Honors Program. The application is available in the department office and should be completed by early March of the junior year. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to registration for the spring semester.

Interested majors should complete the application which will be emailed by the Honors Director over E-Major (the English major email list) early in the Spring Semester of the junior year. Students will be notified of acceptance prior to registration for the following Fall Semester


Program Requirements

Beginning in the first semester of their senior year, honors students take a sequence of two courses — English 4040 and 4250. Both seminars are writing-intensive. The first course assists students in formulating plans for the thesis. In the second course, students work directly with their advisors and finish their honors thesis by the end of the second semester of the senior year. Applicants should note that English 4040 and 4250 are designed to run consecutively. It is not possible to take these courses out of order.  

Students accepted into the Creative Writing and English major and the Honors Program may write a creative honors thesis.

Honors students who complete the two seminars with at least a B average, achieve a final GPA of at least 3.40 in the major and complete the senior thesis with a grade of A or A- will graduate with Honors in English.


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.