Honors Program in English


A group of honors students sit around a table talking


Thinking about graduate school application materials? Want to demonstrate your persistence, organizational skills and intellectual focus to future employers? Wishing you had a chance to work more closely with a professor whose work you admire? The distinctive Honors in English or Honors in Creative Writing Program might be what you’re looking for! 

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 an expert in that field.



Honors in English

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 3.50 GPA in English courses
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Copy of a strong English paper, graded and with the professor’s comments
  • Demonstrate strong academic record and have an area of interest that matches the expertise of available faculty

How to 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 (PDF). Physical copies of the application will be available on request from the English Department office. Please note the deadline indicated on the application! Accepted students will be notified no later than the end of spring break.

In the application, 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.)

All English majors who are interested in honors should discuss it with their advisors. Students are encouraged to meet in person with the honors program director, Professor Jennifer Green-Lewis.

Accepted English Honors Students

You must register for the Honors Seminar on Research Methods and Thesis Writing (ENGL 4040) in the fall and Honors Thesis (ENGL 4250W) the following spring. Courses may not be taken out of order, nor can they be taken together.

Honors candidates enroll in 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. Each semester in the honors program carries three credits and counts as an English major elective.

BA/MA Program and Honors

Note: The BA/MA program is separate from the honors program. However, admission to the honors program guarantees admission to the BA/MA program. 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 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. The program is designed for students considering future graduate study in creative writing and for those interested in a challenging culmination 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.

Application Requirements

  • Minimum 3.25 GPA

How to Apply

Interested students should apply directly to the director of creative writing the year before they plan to graduate, typically in the spring semester of their junior year.

Accepted Creative Writing Honors Students

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 thesis work, students will write a prefatory critical essay of up to 10 pages and enroll in Creative Writing Senior Thesis (ENGL 4220).

Past creative writing theses have included novels, poetry chapbooks, short story collections, linked essays and hybrid works.


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