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English Honors Program

The honors program is open to qualified seniors and involves special study and the writing of a substantial paper. One initiates an honors project with a faculty adviser. Usually, students choose to pursue a topic or area in which they have become interested as a result of their regular course work or previous independent study.

Honors students are expected to participate in the program during their entire senior year and to enroll in English 490, Seminar in Literary Interpretation (fall semester). In the spring semester, honors students may enroll for up to 8 hours of English 495: Honors Thesis.

Awarding of Honors

Upon completion of all honors work, each participant receives a letter grade as well as a designation of Highest Honors, High Honors, Honors, or No Honors. The awarding of honors and the degree of honors attained is based upon a consideration of the quality of the student's honors project, performance as an English major, and overall academic record.

If you are interested and believe you are qualified, you should consult during your junior year with your adviser or with one of your instructors about the possibility of participating in the honors program.


Juniors with a 3.7 cumulative average in English and in their college record as a whole are automatically eligible for the honors program. Other students may be eligible upon the recommendation of a member of the departmental faculty and with the approval of the departmental and college honors committees.

In the spring, eligible juniors should submit a written proposal for their honors project; the project must have the approval of a faculty member who has agreed to direct the project. The departmental honors committee must review the proposal and the student's academic record before a student can be admitted to the program.

Honors Program Requirements

  • Enroll in Seminar in Literary Interpretation (English 490) during fall semester, senior year
  • Write an honors paper
  • Take a final oral examination

The student's committee for the paper and the oral examination is made up of the faculty director of the project, a second departmental reader, and a faculty member from outside the department. The committee, chaired by the project director, makes the final determination of honors.

Students pursuing a joint degree must fulfill the honors requirements of one of the two departments involved. For the Joint Major in History and English, there must be at least one faculty member from each department on the final committee.

The College has launched the brand new Catalog. With this launch, the Honors Program direct link has changed. The content on the honors site has not changed but you will notice a fresh new look!

Please find the new link below:

Photo: Handwritten poem by W.B. Yeats in first edition of Poems, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library.