Honors Program Director
1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific
person who acts as coordinator? Is there a faculty committee?
The English department's honors program is run by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and
its Undergraduate Studies Committee.
2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program?
How are students recruited for your program? May students recommend
Students interested in the honors program submit an application to the Director of Undergraduate
Studies. To be considered, a student must have an overall 3.3 College of Arts & Sciences GPA, with
a 3.5 English major GPA: acceptance is based on the strength of the student's proposed project and
previous training in the program.
3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?
An honors student must meet the minimum course and credit requirements
(listed in #4 below), and write an honors thesis while enrolled in L499.
The advisor and second reader must approve the final thesis and pass the student
at an oral defense.
4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to
prepare for working on the senior project? How are these honors seminars
and courses typically conducted? What are the usual requirements in
For honors candidates the following minimum course and credit hour
requirements replace those of the regular English major described in the
Bulletin of the College of Arts and Sciences:
Minimum Required Total 33 credit hours
- L260 Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, 3 credit hours
- L203, L204, L205, or L206 Introductory genre course, 3 credit hours
- L371 Introduction to Criticism 3 credit hours
- L310 Literary History I, L312 Literary History II, and L316 Literary History III, 9 credit hours
in the history of literature; English) 12 credit hours
- Two L499 Senior Independent Study sections 4 credit hours
- Electives minimus 11 credit hours
Note: So that honors candidates will have the requisite writing practice
before taking the seminars, and so that they will have sufficient
background in English literature to make a reasonable choice in the
subject of their thesis topics, the honors committee recommends that they
take L202, Introduction to the Advanced Study of Literature, and two 300-level Literary History surveys in their sophomore year.
5. What is the nature of the senior project and what are the
requirements for completing it?
In the senior year, the candidate for honors conceives and executes an
honors thesis of 30 to 50 pages; the thesis is usually the product of two
All the senior honors candidates normally enroll in two credit hours of
L499 in each of the fall and spring semesters.
The candidate chooses his or her own thesis director. The relationship between candidate
and director is informal; they
usually meet once every week or two and develop a systematic program of
research leading toward completion of the thesis.
By the middle of the first semester, the candidate needs to complete a
brief 5-page thesis prospectus. The prospectus must be approved by the thesis advisor. The advisor normally assigns
a grade of R for the first semester of L499 on the basis of the work in progress. At the end of the year, the student will receive
a S/F grade for the Honors degree and a letter grade for the work in L499.
6. How might the work required for an honors degree be particularly
beneficial in future endeavors?
Students learn how and where to find resources as well as how to work
independently. They develop the analytical and interpretation skills
during their research and writing of the thesis that will be necessary in
graduate school or in any professional context. The thesis gives them a
strong piece of writing that will demonstrate their ability to organize
and complete an ambitious project.