BA Honors in English

 “It’s uncommon for undergraduates to have the chances that the honors program permits, chances that are often reserved for graduate students. . . The English honors program didn’t just give me the idea to pursue graduate study; it gave me the confidence that I could, [and] the experience that would scaffold my success.”

                        Marci Isabella, Ph.D. candidate, University of Rhode Island, Writing and Rhetoric


Common Questions

What is the English honors program?

The honors program in English promotes intellectual exchange and community among dedicated English majors, and prepares them for independent work. Successful completion of the program earns an Honors Certificate in English and nomination for graduation with "Honors in English" from the University.

Why consider it?

v    The English department’s honors program provides excellent preparation for graduate study, and not just for those applying to English Studies programs.  The sophisticated questions and independent scholarship honors students typically produce are attractive to admissions officers in any number of disciplines, including but not limited to law, journalism, art history, library sciences, public relations, and psychology. 

An honors thesis gives you room to pursue your own intellectual passions and questions in an atmosphere of peer and faculty support. 

Your honors thesis can be as “traditional” or “nontraditional” as you devise.  This is your opportunity to explore the connections between different texts you’ve read, or ideas that have come up in or outside of your classes in greater depth.

Should you decide to seek a job after you graduate, an honors thesis demonstrates to prospective employers your superior ability to research, plan, organize, and write a sustained project.

Graduation with “honors in English” from the University, and other awards for which you, as an honors student, may be eligible, are distinctions that enhance a resume. 

Is the honors program for me?

v    Yes, if you are interested in honing your skills in reading and understanding literary and filmic texts, critical analysis, theoretical thinking, critical or creative writing.

Yes, if you have the intellectual curiosity and perseverance of most English Majors.  The honors thesis is an extended project of your design, broken down into small steps, and supported by coursework and faculty advisors who will introduce you to the tools and strategies needed to successfully complete these steps. 

Of what does the program consist?

v    The program is a three course sequenceAENG 399, 498 and 499that supports your growth as a thesis writer.  For details about course content, click the link “View the Honors Handbook” and scroll to the “Sequence and Description” section.

Who is eligible?

v    English majors with a GPA in the major of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.25 may apply for entrance to the program, typically in the spring of your sophomore year.

Admission to the program is through a competitive selection process. Application is normally made in the spring semester of the sophomore year to the Director of the honors program. For admission, students should have completed 12 credits in English, including English 205, 210 and 305. English 310 is also strongly recommended. The honors committee may waive the entry requirements where appropriate.

Those who plan to write a creative thesis should take English 302 or 402.

Transfer students may apply upon acceptance to the University.

Click here to submit the Honors Application Online. Applications for fall 2014 are being accepted until October 20th..

Honors degree breakdown

To remain in the honors program students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in English courses and a minimum 3.25 overall. Any student who leaves the honors program is held responsible for the regular English major requirements.

Degree Requirements for Honors in English (37 credits)
Ÿ  Twelve credits of major core courses: English 205, 210, 305 and 310.
Ÿ  Ten credits from required courses: English 399 (4), 498 (3), 499 (3)
Ÿ  Nine credits from 200-400 level electives
Ÿ  Six credits from 300-400 level