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Honors Program

The Honors Program provides an opportunity to write a thesis during your senior year and to earn "Honors in English" or "High Honors in English" at graduation. More importantly, it provides the chance to explore a topic, whether critical or creative, in an in-depth way and to produce a memorable final thesis that is kept in bound form in the English Department and may be archived on the Vanderbilt Library Digital Archive. The thesis may be a critical, creative, or hybrid project, and in the Honors colloquium (ENGL 4998), students work collaboratively with other students to develop individual projects. Some students elect to develop their Honors projects based on work already or concurrently begun in other courses. For double majors, the Honors Program can be an opportunity to combine two fields of study into a single project.

In order to be eligible for the Honors Program, students must maintain a 3.4 GPA overall and a 3.6 GPA in the Major. Applications will be available in February, and the deadline for applying to the Honors Program is in early April of every year.

For more information, please consult your advisor or Mark Schoenfield, the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The following are the requirements to complete the Honors Program once admitted:

  • Complete all the requirements of the English major
  • Take at least 6 credit hours in Honors sections. All students are eligible to take these courses, provided that they have either a 3.4 GPA or permission from the instructor. Most Honors applicants complete at least one Honors sections prior to senior year. An appropriate graduate seminar or seminar from a study-abroad program may be substituted for one Honors seminar.
  • Earn at least a 3.4 GPA overall and 3.6 in the Major.
  • Be admitted to the Honors Program in spring of junior year and take 4998 in fall of senior year.
  • Write a thesis (4999) and pass an oral examination about its subject in the spring of senior year. For secondary education double majors, EDUC 9770 can be substituted for 4999 with the consent of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.