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English Honors

English Honors is a specialized program designed for highly motivated, curious, engaged students interested in the study of English literature and culture. The curriculum offers an ambitions program of study with our award-winning faculty through one-on-one guided research, experiential learning, and intimate class settings. We invite applicants who exhibit interest and qualities associated with our core components: scholarship, community, creativity, and service.

Incoming freshmen and students in their first year as freshmen English majors at Texas A&M are eligible to apply for departmental honors in English.

Applying to English Honors

Incoming freshmen are eligible for English Honors if,

  • You scored at least 1250 on the SAT with a minimum of 570 on the Critical Reading section, or a 28 on the ACT with a minimum of 28 on the English and Reading sections AND
  • You graduated in the top 25% of your high school class. Please be advised that if you meet the SAT/ACT requirements but you are home-schooled or your high school does not rank, you will still be eligible.

To apply, please indicate your interest in English Honors when prompted through ApplyTexas. The English Undergraduate Program Office will contact you via email confirming your notification of interest. Attached to the email will be additional information about our program, including admissions procedures. If you did not notify us through ApplyTexas but still want to be considered for English Honors, please contact us prior to your New Student Conference.

Current freshmen English majors who were not admitted to the departmental honors program in their first semester may still apply. If accepted, you will begin the program in the fall semester of your sophomore year. Current students are eligible if,

  • You have a 3.5 GPA overall AND a 3.5 GPA in the major at the end of the fall semester of your freshman year.

To apply, please contact your English advisor before February 1 in order to review your academic standing and confirm your eligibility for English Honors. If you are eligible, you will receive an application packet and instructions from your advisor. Please submit your application packet for review by February 15th.

Program Requirements

English Honors students must complete, with a grade of “B” or better, at least 18 hours of honors courses in the English Department (or courses cross-listed with English). This coursework must include:

  • ENGL 303 Honors: A discussion-based honors seminar taken in the first semester as an English Honors student.
  • A minimum of 3 additional Honors-desginated courses in English (9 hours).
  • ENGL 491 Honors: A directed study focusing on theory and research methods, and producing a capstone project prospectus. This course is typically taken during the semester prior to graduation (3 hours).
  • ENGL 497 Honors: Thesis hours under the guidance of the capstone chair to produce an original creative or scholarly thesis, or other approved capstone project. This course is typically taken during the final semester (3 hours).

Capstone Experience

Students will design and create a capstone project in literature, rhetoric, or creative writing. The honors thesis offers our students the opportunity to devote sustained attention to a focused research or creative project. Other options include capstone programs coordinated the LAUNCH Honors and Undergraduate Research office. Under the one-on-one guidance of a professor specializing in the field of the student’s choosing, students will participate in a year-long sequence culminating in the presentation and submission of their final work.

Students must first take ENGL 491 Honors, a directed study providing a theoretical basis for the capstone project, followed by ENGL 497 Honors, research hours in which the execution and presentation of the capstone project will occur, under the direction of a faculty chair. At the end of the two-semester sequence, the capstone project must be completed in order to graduate with English Honors.

The student must establish a contract with a faculty member in the Department of English who will serve as capstone chair. The faculty chair will supervise the production and presentation of the student’s original project. Paperwork for both ENGL 491 and ENGL 497 must be submitted during preregistration in order to enroll in those courses.

Thesis Options

Thesis must be of a substantial length, reflect the years of Honors coursework and study completed, and contribute original work to the creative, performance, and/or scholarly community. Options are as follows:

Literary Studies Thesis: Thesis must be 20-50 pages in length and involve a presentation component to be decided upon by the student and thesis chair. Topic and form are flexible. Topics and texts analyzed can range from works of literature (both canonical and popular culture) to film, digital media, or material culture. The research component may include archival research, multi-media analysis, or a combination of both; creativity is encouraged. The presentation can be performative, practical, or employ the use of multi-media. An electronic copy, including the cover page form, must be submitted to the English Undergraduate Program Office at least five working days prior to the last class day. Students interested in discourse studies or linguistics research should follow the Literary studies thesis guidelines.

Rhetorical Thesis: Thesis or project must be 20-50 pages in length and involved a presentation component to be decided by the student and thesis chair. Form is flexible and can incorporate practical application, intensive research, and/or compilation of data. The presentation can be performative or employ the use of multi-media. An electronic copy, including the cover page form, must be submitted to the English Undergraduate Program Office at least five working days prior to the last class day. Special arrangements can be made through the thesis chair for projects that are not print-based.

Creative Project: Creative projects must consist of a portfolio of original work or a final draft of a longer creative writing project. Genre is flexible and may include fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, or a combination of various genres. Form is also flexible and can incorporate print, multi-media, performance, or practical applications of original writing. An electronic copy, including the cover page form, must be submitted to the English Undergraduate Program Office at least five working days prior to the last class day. Special arrangements can be made through the thesis chair for projects that are not print-based.

GPA Policy

The English Honors student is required to maintain a 3.5 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in the major to maintain eligibility. Compliance with the GPA requirements will be checked by advisors at the end of each long semester. If the English Honors student fails to maintain a 3.5 GPA overall or in the major, the following probation policy is enacted:

  • GPA of 3.25 – 3.49: Student will be placed on a one-time, one-semester probation. If after one semester, the GPA does not rise to 3.5, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  • GPA of 3.24 or below: Student will be automatically dismissed from the program.