A student may qualify for departmental honors in English by fulfilling the following special requirements in addition to the regular requirements for the English major:

  1. Earn a 3.5 grade-point average.
  2. Complete two consecutive semesters (6 credits), normally in the senior year, of 50:350:495,496 Honors Program in English (or any other appropriate English Department subject code, e.g. 352, 354, 570, 615, 989), under the supervision of a faculty sponsor.
  3. At the end of the second semester, make a presentation of his or her work to English Department faculty and students.


Each Spring semester, students who are eligible for the English honors program (meet the minimum GPA and have completed between 70 and 100 hours toward their degree) will be notified of their eligibility and invited to apply. Those students who decide to pursue the English honors program work with a faculty advisor during the course of two semesters, a preparatory semester and a project semester. A student who wants to pursue the Honors program in English will complete a one-page “Honors Declaration” form that identifies the area of study, proposed project, and faculty advisor as well as a one-page proposal that outlines what they hope to accomplish in the during preparatory semester and the project semester. An honors project is defined as a significant scholarly or creative work that develops from advanced research or creative work in literary studies, film studies, linguistics, communication, digital studies, journalism, creative writing, or another field within or in conversation with English Studies.

Once the proposal is approved, the student may preregister for the appropriate honors course and make arrangements for consultations with the sponsor. In recognition of satisfactory completion of the honors program, the registrar will note on the student’s permanent academic record “Honors in English.”

A student who does not complete or makes inadequate progress in their preparatory semester according to their faculty sponsor may choose to pursue an alternate assignment to complete the first semester and convert the Honors registration to a single-semester (3 credit) Independent Study. Instead of six credits for 495 and 496, the student would receive three credits for 407 or 408.  The sponsor should ask the Registrar to change the student’s registration to an Independent Study number, being sure to delete 495/496 from the record.

Semester 1: Preparatory Semester

Students will work with their faculty advisor to develop a plan for the preparatory semester. The work of this semester will depend on the type of project proposed, but it may involve activities such as the creation of an annotated bibliography of relevant research, a review of creative works that are similar in content or form to the student’s proposed project, or the gathering of materials that will be used in a media project. While these are some examples of what might happen during this semester, the details of this work will be decided upon by the student and faculty.

Semester 2: Project Semester

The project semester will be devoted to completion of the honors project and should involve a clear plan, created in consultation with the advisor, for creation and revision of the project. That consultation should include agreed upon deadlines for drafts and prototypes as well as deadlines for the final project. The advisor will determine a grade for the entire six credits, based primarily on the project and taking the work of the preparatory semester into account. If the advisor deems that the student has satisfactorily completed the project, Honors in English will be made a part of the student’s permanent record.