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.
For students who qualify, the department offers specially designed courses at all undergraduate levels:
- 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 267 Honors: Introduction to Poetry Writing
- English 268 Honors: Introduction to Fiction Writing
- English 277 Honors: Introduction to Creative Writing
- English 278 Honors: Themes in Literature
- 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
The 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 around twenty students. Seminars in the past few years 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 seminar in Fall 2023 is “Horses in Literature and Culture” and is being taught by Nancy Henry.
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.