Honors Majors and Minors

Note: For important information about which courses do or do not count toward the historical or general requirements for the major or minor (which Honors students also need to complete), refer to Important things to know regarding credits toward an English Literature major or minor

Honors Major

English Literature majors who seek a degree with Honors will, in the spring of their sophomore year, propose for external examination a program consisting of four preparations: three in English and one in a minor. Honors majors must complete all general requirements for the English course major, a total of 9 credits in English Literature, with the exception of ENGL 099, the Senior Course Majors’ Colloquium.

Students interested in pursuing honors within a faculty-approved interdisciplinary major, program, or concentration that draws on advanced English courses or seminars should consult with the department chair for early help in planning their program.

The three Honors preparations in the English Literature major (constituting six credit units) must include seminars from at least two of the following historical periods:

  • Medieval and Renaissance literature (Med/Ren)
  • 18th and 19th century literature (18th/19th c.)
  • 20th and 21st century literature (20th/21st c.)

The three preparations will normally be done through seminars, though if approved by the Department, one preparation may be a thesis or creative writing project. Students who wish either to write a thesis or pursue a creative writing project under faculty supervision as part of the Honors Program must submit proposals to the department; the number of these ventures the department can sponsor each year is limited. Students who propose creative writing projects will normally be expected to have completed at least one writing workshop as part of, or as a prelude to, the project; the Honors preparation presented for examination will thus normally consist of a 1- credit workshop plus a 1-credit directed creative writing project. For further information, consult with the department chair or the Director of the Program in Creative Writing, Professor Nathalie Anderson.

As for course majors, Honors majors are expected to identify a concentration of at least three English literature credits within the major based on their own interests and goals. Students define this concentration, but are encouraged to discuss their course choices with a member of the department. Sample concentration topics: one of the three historical periods; American, African-American, or Asian-American literature; theory; digital humanities; creative writing; or a particular genre, such as fiction or poetry. Students define their potential concentration within the major as part of their sophomore plan, but may modify their plan as needed during junior or senior year.

Honors Minor 

Students seeking an English Literature Honors minor must do a single, two-credit preparation in the department, normally by means of a seminar (or under special circumstances, a creative writing project); the thesis option is available only to majors.

Honors minors must complete all general requirements for the English course minor, a total of 5 credits in English Literature.



Important things to know regarding credits toward an English Literature major or minor
  • First Year Seminars (English 008 and 009A – 009Z), Writing ('W') courses, and Creative Writing courses count toward the major or minor but do not fulfill historical requirements.
  • Academic Writing courses (ENGL 1F, G, etc. or C, Writing Pedagogy) and Journalism classes do not count towards the major or minor.
  • AP credit in English Literature and Composition, with a score of four or five counts toward the major or minor, but it does not satisfy a historical requirement. 
  • AP credit in English Language and Composition does not count toward the major or minor.