The English Honors Program offers to motivated and promising undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue compelling research or creative writing projects within a selective and academically-rigorous environment. The small cohort (usually 8-12 students per year) allows for focused inquiry in exclusive, graduate-school-like seminars, and the three-semester length of the program encourages collaboration, support, and community between students working on independent thesis projects. Many graduates of the program report that working in such small, selective classes and with the engaged attention of faculty mentors made their participation in the program the most intellectually stimulating experience in their undergraduate careers.
Students accepted into the program will take two exclusive English Honors research seminars and two independent studies, during which they will research and write an honors thesis. The honors thesis aims to make a signal, original contribution to the student's field of study. Students receiving English Honors will be celebrated at special graduation events, but the true rewards of the program are in the experience of participating as a scholar in the mission of intellectual discovery and in the outstanding preparation that it gives for graduate school and professional careers.
All UA students, including transfer students, are eligible to apply, regardless of major or minor. Students usually apply in the fall of their junior year, since the program usually takes three semesters to complete; however, sophomores and seniors who are expecting to extend their graduation date are also encouraged to apply. Applicants need not be in the Honors College to apply, and Honors College students must apply to English Honors through the same process as all other students. Honors College students, if accepted to English Honors, may apply the thesis and the seminars towards their Honors College requirements.
Honors College Notes:
(1) Honors College students wishing to write a creative thesis with Creative Writing faculty are strongly encouraged to apply for English Honors. Due to great demand and limited faculty availability, students accepted into the English Honors Program will be prioritized for thesis advising.
(2) Honors College students who wish to write a creative thesis with Creative Writing faculty but who do not want to be considered for English Honors should still complete the English Honors and Thesis Application Form (below). There is a checkbox on the application that designates that preference.
Applicants should submit a completed English Honors and Thesis Application Form (below), which includes a writing sample, a personal statement, and the names of two faculty who will serve as references.
The writing sample(s) should be in the genre(s) of the thesis for which the student is applying (e.g. a critical essay about literature for a critical thesis, a set of poems for a poetry thesis). The personal statement of one to two pages should briefly account for the student's interest and goals in the English Honors program as well as a possible description of a thesis project. The faculty references will be contacted by the department directly. Faculty references do not have to be members of UA faculty, but should have instructed the student at some point. Students may find it beneficial to ask faculty members for permission to list them as references prior to doing so.
Full instructions and information about submitting application materials can be found on the application form:
English Honors and Thesis Application Form 2018
The 2018-2019 application submission cycle was completed Oct. 31, 2019.
The 2019-2020 application submission period will be advertised early Fall 2019. If you have further questions, please contact Maribeth Slagle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policies and FAQs:
The two documents listed below contain more information about the program policies and frequently asked questions.