To be eligible to earn honors in English, students must:

  • have a departmental GPA of 3.7 or higher;
  • produce exceptional work in the Senior Project Workshop; and
  • pass the Orals Defense.

Process for an Honors Project

  • Students declare their intent to pursue Honors in English to the workshop instructor no later than the end of the Senior Workshop.

  • Students secure a sponsor with expertise in the field of their project by the beginning of the block following their Senior Workshop by submitting both the Senior Project Proposal from Senior Seminar and the finalized project from the Senior Workshop.
  • Following a meeting with their Honors sponsor early in the term following the Senior Workshop, Honors candidates work on the project independently. The faculty sponsor will provide feedback on the Senior Project and communicate to the student the benchmarks for a finished project worthy of Honors in English and Creative Writing.
  • In block 7, students will defend the honors project to their sponsor and the defense committee.

Oral Defense

Honors defenses will be public.

The Honors Oral Defense committee will be made up of three English and Creative Writing faculty members and one faculty member from another department. The committee will meet with the student for 1-2 hours, reviewing the project and asking questions about it. Following the defense, the committee will discuss the project and the student's ability to answer the committee's questions. The committee will decide on one of the following:

  • Pass: The student should receive honors.
  • Pass on condition: The project and defense approaches this level of excellence but needs further work. The student should receive honors on condition of satisfactorily completing the revisions required by the committee.
  • No Pass: The committee determines that the project and defense do not meet the department's expectations for the designation of honors.

Any revisions required by the committee should be completed by the first Monday in term 8 and the final version signed by all committee members.

Timetable

Item Completed By
Students inform the Department of their intention to pursue honors The end of Senior Workshop
Completion of the Honors Project 4th Monday, Block 6
Oral defense of project 3rd Friday, Block 7
Final version with revisions suggested by committee 2nd Monday, Block 8 

Guidelines for the Prospectus

For students in the creative writing track:  Guidelines for the Creative Prospectus

In 2 double-spaced pages, describe the project you wish to complete, addressing the questions below:

  • What central idea/question do you want to engage with through your creative work?
  • Where did your interest in this project emerge?
  • If you are beginning with work you produced for another class, explain how this project differs.
  • What reading, or other preparation, do you intend to do?
  • What medium will you use (e.g., a sonnet sequence, a novel, a short story)?
  • What do you expect to gain by completing this project?
  • What do you hope to contribute with this project?  

Note:  you should submit a substantial bibliography of preparatory material you plan to read. 

For students in the Literature or Film tracks:  Guidelines for the Critical Prospectus

In 2 double-spaced pages, describe the project you wish to complete, address the questions below:

  • What central idea/question do you plan to explore?
  • Where did your interest in this project emerge?
  • If you are beginning with a paper you wrote for another class, explain how this project differs.
  • What reading, or other preparation, do you intend to do?
  • What critical methodology will you use?
  • What do you expect to gain by completing this project?
  • What do you hope to contribute with this project? 

Note:  you should submit a substantial bibliography of preparatory material you plan to read.