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Honors Curriculum & Designation

Once admitted as an Honors candidate, planning becomes an important part of completing the curriculum and achieving an Honors designation.

Establishing Guidelines

All Honors candidates meet with their committee to discuss the specific parameters of what is expected out of the project in terms of length, research, etc. But some general guidelines are as follows:

  • Critical theses usually range between twenty-five and thirty pages.
  • Collections of poems usually range between twenty-four and forty-eight pages.
  • Fiction theses usually range between forty and eighty pages.
  • Creative nonfiction essays usually range between fifteen and thirty pages.
  • Theses in film could range from a series of thirty-second or non-narrative or experimental projects to a full-length feature and should include a process reflection essay (up to four pages) identifying initial goals, obstacles encountered, and insights gained.
  • A thesis in digital scholarship (such as computational textual analysis, a podcast, data mining, or a digital archive) or a creative digital work (such as electronic literature, digital storytelling, or a videogame) may have a considerably smaller word count and scope than print genres, but should include a process reflection essay (up to four pages) identifying initial goals, obstacles encountered, and insights gained.

Approximate Timetable

The program coordinator meets regularly with the honors candidates enrolled in ENG 498 and ENG 499 to discuss progress, obstacles, and work in development.

May

The Coordinator notifies those admitted to Honors.

July 1

Reader chooses two-three books, and the Director can take that number up to 10; the Director sends the reading list to the Student, Reader, and Coordinator during the first week of July; the books are to be read during the summer and fall semester for two-semester projects, with an accelerated time-table for a single semester thesis.
First Week of Classes Director, Reader, and Student meet to establish ground rules and establish weekly tutorials.
Fall and Spring Semester The program coordinator meets regularly with the honors candidates enrolled in ENG 498 and ENG 499 to discuss progress, obstacles, and work in development.
Mid-December

First third of thesis due for year-long projects; content to be determined by Director. This third project draft is read by the Director, the Reader, and the Honors Coordinator.

Mid-February

Second third of thesis due for year-long projects.

Late March - Early April

Spring Colloquium for the creative writers (who read) and scholars (who either read the high points of their theses or extemporize); students give 7-10 minute presentations, followed by a question and answer period. 

Mid-April

Final project is due.

April - May

Part of ENG 499, private, one-hour defenses of theses with the Director, Reader, and Program Coordinator for all year-long and spring projects. (Fall projects will have a December defense date.)

Note: One semester projects will have draft and final version deadlines specified by the program coordinator.

To Qualify for Honors

Honors are awarded at graduation time, at the discretion of the English Department, and provided ALL criteria below have been met by the candidate:

  • 3.5 major GPA at the time of graduation and 3.2 overall GPA
  • 10 courses in the major (including courses required of all majors)
  • Two additional courses: English 498 and 499
  • Creative thesis writers are expected to take a writing course in the appropriate genre if one is offered in the senior year
  • A grade of at least B+ in both English 498 and 499