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Honors in English

To graduate with honors in English, students must (1) complete 12 credit hours of English honors courses, of which six must be English 398 (Junior-Senior Honors Seminar) and English 498 (Senior Honors Thesis); (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. Students may complete their two elective honors courses via honors-by-contract or through the following offerings:

  • English 207 and 208 Honors: British Literature I and II
  • English 217 Honors: Introduction to Shakespeare
  • English 218 Honors: Introduction to Jane Austen
  • 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 278 Honors: Themes in Literature
  • English 357 Honors: Rhetoric and Writing

In order to enroll in sophomore honors courses, students must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Honors Courses in English at the University of Tennessee

Junior-Senior Honors Seminar and Thesis

English Honors provides an opportunity for motivated majors to crown their studies by writing a substantial scholarly or creative thesis (typically 40-60 pages) under the direction of a professorial faculty member. Because it involves advanced research, organization, and writing skills, participation in honors is excellent preparation for graduate, law, or other professional school. See here for a list of past English honors theses completed at UT.

English 398 (Junior-Senior Honors Seminar) is given every fall by a faculty member in an area of their expertise. Enrollment is limited to around twenty students who have maintained a 3.5 GPA in the major and completed two upper division (300 or 400 level) English courses.

Past seminars have been offered on “Literature, Culture, and the Cold War,” “The Modernist Novel: An International Perspective,” and “Racing Early America.” Fall 2018’s “Law and Literature,” taught by Lisi Schoenbach, produced research that sent one student to the Global Undergraduate Awards.

The topic for the Fall 2024 seminar is “Life/Writing: Modern Memoirs,” which will be taught by Professor Urmila Seshagiri.

Students who receive a grade of A or B in English 398 may enroll in English 498, Senior Honors Thesis (usually in the spring). 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. See here for past theses. Students wishing to write a thesis should reach out to the director of undergraduate studies as soon as possible so they can prepare.