The English Honors Program is designed for English majors who would like to do advanced, original work culminating in an Honors thesis (40-50 pages) during senior year. It is recommended that before applying students have completed 12 credits in the English major, including English 205Z and 210. Especially if they are juniors, applicants also should have completed or be currently enrolled in English 310 and English 305V. Applicants are strongly recommended to have an overall GPA of at least 3.25 and a GPA in the English major of at least 3.5. Students admitted to the program in the sophomore year or in the Fall of the junior year are required to take the Honors special topics seminar (ENG 399Z) in the Spring preceding the thesis year. If you are applying during the Spring of junior year, or if you plan to study abroad during that semester, confer with the Honors Director about how to substitute that required course.
Spring 2017 applications are being accepted until Friday November 11.
To apply, fill out all of the fields in the form below, and click "Submit." A critical writing sample is also required, and must be submitted separately via email. (Your application will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed until your writing sample has been submitted. Both the application form and the sample must be submitted by the deadline above in order to be considered.) Email your writing sample as a Word or PDF attachment to the Honors Program Director, Professor Eric Keenaghan (email@example.com). Use the subject line "Honors Writing Sample" for your email, and be sure to write a short message introducing yourself and expressing your particular interest in the program.
The strongest critical writing samples usually originate in English 305V or another 300-level English course. Typically, a writing sample is between 5 and 10 double-spaced pages (750 - 2500 words). Choose your best work, and make revisions and edits to improve it further. Critical writing samples should be focused yet in depth thesis-driven arguments that demonstrate: strong original and analytic thought; strong writing and organizational skills; the ability to analyze a primary literary, filmic, or cultural text by using and thinking through textual evidence to support claims and develop an argument; and engagement of one or more secondary texts (literary or cultural criticism, theory, histories, poetics essays, archival documents) to frame your argument and/or to establish an intervention in an ongoing critical conversation about the issue, problem, text, or author/artist.
If you would like to write a creative writing thesis, you still must submit a critical essay. However, it is highly recommended that you include a brief sample (up to 10 pages) of your creative work, too. Submit it as a second attachment to the email, accompanying your critical sample. The creative sample can consist of examples from any literary form or genre (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, playwriting), or it might consist of short works from a combination of several forms or genres that you believe best represent your writing interests.
Students are encouraged to apply in the Spring of sophomore year, but students can apply (or, if not admitted the first time, can reapply with a different sample) in the Fall of junior year. (In exceptional cases, as is especially true for transfers or students who studied abroad in the Fall, students might apply in the Spring of junior year.) If you have any questions about the application process or the program's requirements, please email Professor Keenaghan to set up a meeting to discuss your questions or concerns.
HONORS APPLICATION FORM