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Honors Program

english department

The English Department's Honors Program is designed principally for undergraduates who, while pursuing the English Major, would like to undertake an extended writing project during their senior year. Students who plan to pursue graduate work in English should seriously consider participating in this program.

In order to be considered for admission into the English Department Honors Program, an applicant to the program normally will have a 3.6 grade point average (in English courses, excluding core) at the end of the first semester of the junior year. Normally an applicant will have completed at least three EN courses, at least one of which should be Studies in Poetry or Studies in Narrative. Students interested in writing a thesis--especially on the critical track--are encouraged to consider taking one of our courses noted as emphasizing Theories and Methods of Interpretation (TAMI), either prior to applying or in their senior year. Students in the class of 2016 who plan to write a critical thesis are strongly encouraged to take an Advanced Topic Seminar in the junior year, or at latest, in the fall of senior year. Beginning with the class of 2017, an Advanced Topic Seminar in the junior year will be required of all students planning to write a critical thesis.

The Program offers two options for a written project in senior year: a CRITICAL HONORS THESIS, or a CREATIVE HONORS PROJECT (see GUIDELINES). In both cases, it is the responsibility of the student to seek out a qualified faculty member who will agree to supervise the project. The earlier in junior year that students set about this task, the better their chances of engaging a thesis advisor. It is especially important that students who plan to study off campus during the second semester should make arrangements for an advisor during the fall semester of their junior year. Normally, thesis advising is done only by full-time faculty of the English department.

Successful completion of the thesis is the primary requirement of English Department honors.

Students in the Program enroll in ENGL6600.01 both semesters senior year. This is a graded course and may count for up to two of the five unspecified electives required for the major. The grade for the first semester normally will be "J" (which designates the first semester grade of a two-semester course graded only at the end of the second semester) or a conventional letter grade. The grade awarded at the end of the second semester is agreed upon by readers of the written project. The project director will be the first reader; the director of the Honors Program will choose the second reader. A grade of at least A- from each reader is required for Honors designation. If readers disagree regarding whether the project should be awarded Honors, a third reader is asked to resolve the matter.

Students in the Program will meet frequently as a group to discuss common concerns; they may also be invited to attend special lectures and events.

Members of the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program may, if they wish, fulfill their honors requirements through the English Department. Those students must go through the regular English Honors application and thesis evaluation process, however.

For application instructions and the application form, consult the Honors Program Guidelines.

Upcoming Deadlines

Senior Theses due: Thursday, April 9th by 5:00 p.m.
Application for 2015-2016 honors theses deadline: Thursday, April 23, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.
Honors Tea: Monday, May 4, 2015