The Honors Program in English consists of the following:
In order to be eligible for the Honors program, students must have a 3.5 grade-point average in their English courses and a 3.33 grade-point average overall. In the first-semester individual study, students will compile an extensive bibliography (in the case of critical projects), submit a proposal for their individual Honors project, and, by the end of the semester, complete the draft of at least one chapter or significant section of the project. An Honors proposal of five to ten pages (plus bibliography) will be due on October 7 of their senior year. The proposal will be evaluated by the Department and will be held to rigorous standards. If the Department does not find in the proposal compelling evidence that the student will produce a sophisticated literary project, the proposal will be rejected and the student will not be allowed to proceed in Honors during the second semester. At the discretion of the Department, a student may be allowed to revise a proposal and resubmit it no later than November 1. The Department considers this proposal and its promise of an outstanding essay to be the most important step in the student's progress toward honors second semester.
By the beginning of the senior year, students should identify a faculty member willing to work with them on the honors project. The first-semester individual study will start at the beginning of classes, and the student should enroll in ENGL 493. The faculty member will direct the individual studies through both semesters.
The director of the Honors Program for 2017-2018 is Rosemary O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students who complete Honors will earn three distinct grades, in addition to their degree of Honor — first semester for (1) the seminar (ENGL 497) and (2) the individual study (ENGL 493), and second semester for (3) the individual study (ENGL 498). Successful completion of both courses first semester is necessary for students to continue in the program second semester. Of these courses, only the Honors seminar (ENGL 497) may count towards the English major. The grades awarded to a student in ENGL 493 and ENGL 498 are not to be taken as an evaluation of the finished thesis, but rather reflect the student's performance on the thesis tutorial. The final degree of Honors is awarded by the Outside Examiners.
The English department considers successful completion of the Honors Program to be in itself a significant achievement. We expect, therefore, that most students who successfully complete the prescribed course of study (Honors seminar, independent study, senior thesis, written examination, and oral examination) will be awarded "Honors" in English. Students whose work taken as a whole is demonstrably and unequivocally distinguished or excellent may be awarded "High Honors." Rarer instances of exceptional distinction may even receive "Highest Honors." This degree of Highest Honors is reserved for exceptional cases and in most years will not be awarded.