Honors in English

Program Director

Kathryn Kalinak
English Department
Craig-Lee Hall 363
(401) 456-8669
(401) 456-8028


(A fuller statement of guidelines is available in the English Department Office or from the Chairperson of the Department Honors and Scholarships Committee)

English majors who have demonstrated superior academic ability are eligible to participate in the department's honors program and to earn their degrees with Honors in English. The English Honors Program, which involves eight hours of Directed Study credits in English, has benefits beyond the honors designation itself. It allows students the opportunity to explore in-depth topics of particular interest to them. It provides the opportunity to work intensively one-on-one with a faculty member of the student's choice and to develop research, critical, and creative skills beyond the scope of the normal major. The completion of an honors project is a significant advantage when applying for employment or to graduate school. Finally, since the project will be bound and catalogued in Adams Library, as well as digitized in the library's Digital Archives, students completing honors projects become published writers who are able to share their work with other students, academics, and the public.

Eligibility to Apply

  • Declared English major
  • Completion of 12 credits of 300/400 level English courses
  • Minimum GPA of 3.25 in the English major
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.0

Procedure and Timeline

  • Candidates identify a topic of interest that they would like to explore in depth and choose a faculty member to work with one-on-one.
  • Working with their faculty advisers, candidates compose and submit preliminary 2-3 page proposals for honors projects to the English Department Honors and Scholarships Committee. Candidates in Creative Writing submit their proposals to the Creative Writing Committee.
  • Preliminary proposals are normally submitted in the second semester of the junior year, although projects may be begun earlier. English majors in Secondary Education normally submit proposals in the first semester of the junior year and work on their projects during the second semester of the junior year and the first semester of the senior year in order to accommodate student teaching in the final semester.
  • Students whose proposals are approved by the Honors and Scholarships Committee (or the Creative Writing Committee) enroll in English 490 (Directed Study; four credits) for the following semester.
  • Toward the end of English 490, students submit expanded 4-5 page proposals and short samples of writing in progress to the Honors and Scholarships Committee (or the Creative Writing Committee). The committee will review these materials and will forward any suggestions or comments to the project adviser.
  • Students enroll in English 491 (Directed Study; four credits) for the following semester. The decision to continue the project into the second semester rests with the student and the adviser.
  • At the end of English 491, candidates submit their honors projects to the Honors and Scholarships Committee (or the Creative Writing Committee) for evaluation.


  • Candidates must maintain at least a 3.25 GPA in all English courses and a 3.0 overall GPA while taking English 490 and 491.
  • Grades for English 490 and 491 are given by the candidate's faculty adviser.
  • The designation of Honors in English is awarded by the Honors and Scholarships Committee (or the Creative Writing Committee).

For Further Information

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Page last updated: May 19, 2015