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Honors in English

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta LogoAll English majors or minors who have completed at least three semesters of college work and two courses in English in addition to freshman writing, and have a 3.0 GPA and a 3.2 GPA in English courses may apply for membership in Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society

To graduate with honors in English, students must: (1) complete a total of 12 credit hours of English honor courses, of which six should be English 398 and English 498; (2) Earn an A or B in English 398 and 498; (3) have a 3.25 overall GPA or better; and (4) have a 3.5 or better GPA in the major.

Honors Courses

For students who qualify, the department offers specially designed courses at all undergraduate levels:

  • English 118 Honors English Composition
  • English 207 and 208 Honors: British Literature I and II
  • English 237 and 238 Honors: American Literature I and II
  • English 247 Honors:  Introduction to Poetry
  • English 248 Honors:  Introduction to Drama
  • English 257 Honors:  Public Writing
  • English 258 Honors:  Introduction to Fiction
  • English 267 Honors:  Introduction to Poetry Writing
  • English 268 Honors:  Introduction to Fiction Writing
  • English 357 Honors:  Rhetoric and Writing
  • English 367 Honors:  Writing Poetry
  • English 368 Honors:  Writing Fiction
  • English 377 Honors:  Colloquium in Literature
  • English 398 Junior-Senior Honors Seminar
  • English 498 Senior Honors Thesis

For further information on Honors Freshman Composition, see First Year Composition Honors Sequence. In order to enroll in the sophomore survey honors courses, students must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Junior-Senior Honors Seminar and Thesis

professor with studentsThe Department of English Honors Program provides an opportunity for highly-motivated majors to study a literary topic together within an intensive seminar environment. In addition, it provides an opportunity for students to crown their careers as English majors by defining an individual project and writing a substantial scholarly or creative thesis. Because it involves advanced research, analytic, organization, and writing skills, participation in the honors program is an excellent preparation for graduate, law, or other professional school.

English 398 (Junior-Senior Honors Seminar) is given every fall by a distinguished member of the faculty in an area of her or his expertise. Enrollment is limited to fifteen students. Seminars in the past few years have been offered on “Literature, Culture, and the Cold War,” “Postmodern Women Writers,” “Interracial American Literature,” “The Modernist Novel: An International Perspective,” “Reinventing Shakespeare:  Production, Politics, and Theory” and “Racing Early America.”  Fall 2018’s  “Law and Literature”, taught by Dr. Lisi Schoenbach, produced research that sent one student to the Global Undergraduate Awards. The topic for Fall 2020’s seminar is “International Women’s Voices” and is being taught by Dr. Urmila Seshagiri.

Application for English 398 takes place during Spring semester. Forms will be available in February 2021 with a deadline of early May.

Students who receive a grade of A or B in English 398 are eligible to enroll in English 498, Senior Honors Thesis. The senior honors thesis allows a student in the honors program to work on an independent creative or research project under the guidance of two members of the faculty. In addition to a thesis on a literary topic, students may elect to write a creative thesis involving poetry, fiction, or drama. Students in the past have also proposed and completed honors theses in rhetoric and technical communications.