Undergraduate English Honors

The English Honors Program is intended to offer students the opportunity for greater independence and autonomy of thought and work, primarily by challenging themselves intellectually in their courses and by pursuing a sustained, intellectually demanding research project. The program is intended to be preparation not solely for graduate study in English but for a wide range of professions and careers. 

In addition to the primary reward of intellectual growth, the English Honors Program offers students substantial benefits: the satisfaction of producing a sustained argument about complex texts, the senior thesis; opportunities to work on a one-to-one basis with instructors of the student's own choice to explore topics chosen by the student; and the distinction of an honors degree, an impressive credential for candidates for employment, scholarships, and graduate or professional schools.

English majors in three concentrations (Creative Writing, Literature, or Writing and Culture) may participate in the English Honors Program, and all honors courses will apply to concentration requirements. The Honors curriculum offers two sophomore-level courses that teach students to read and write about complex texts from a variety of literary traditions and themes and to think theoretically about the processes of reading and writing. At the junior-level, honors students will gain an overview of literary history (British and American) and/or the study of language and rhetoric. 

In two Honors Seminars, honors students will have the opportunity to study engaging topics in literature and language in small seminars lead by noted teachers and scholars. In the junior year, students will also begin to work individually with a professor to select a research or creative project. Together, they will read the literature in the field, discuss the student's ideas, and focus the research topic or creative project. This independent work will culminate in the senior honors thesis.


What follows is an outline of the English Honors curriculum in schematic form:

General Education courses available toward Sophomore Honors Distinction:

  • English 2823 Honors: Studies in Literary Traditions and Themes
  • English 2824 Honors: Critical Analysis of Literature and Discourse

Upper Division English Honors Program:

  • "Honors Option" for 1 required 3000-level survey course
  • 1 Honors Seminar (3820-3825)
  • 1 additional Honors Seminar (3820-3825) or a 4000-level course with "Honors Option"
  • 3 one-hour Independent Study Courses (3925, 3927, 3929)
  • English 3000: Honors Thesis