The English Honors Program allows students to work on a sustained undergraduate research project or creative thesis over the course of a year. While receiving honors is highly beneficial when applying for graduate programs, the Honors Program also allows the student time to create a polished work.

Students work independently with a faculty adviser and generate the pace and tone of their project with minor guidance from the faculty. Such independence is a valuable skill, and one that students learn quickly while writing their thesis.


The senior thesis may be either a substantial piece of creative writing or an in-depth, original, analytical argument of approximately 40 pages, using primary and secondary research. The 6-hour thesis program (ENGL 4398 and 4399) may be chosen by any student with the consent of an appropriate instructor, and it is required of all students wishing to graduate with departmental Honors.

A student wishing to graduate with Honors in English must do all of the following:

  • Maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.33 
  • Maintain a grade point average of at least 3.5 in English 
  • Enroll in ENGL 4398 (in the first semester of the senior year) and 4399 (in the second semester of the senior year) with an appropriate faculty member who has approved the student's project and has agreed to serve as the student's thesis adviser. 
  • Complete ENGL 4398 and 4399 with a grade of "A." 
  • Declare his or her intention to be considered for Honors by submitting a written application to the chair of the department, along with a formal recommendation from the thesis adviser. 
  • Submit the completed draft of the senior thesis to the thesis adviser and to a second faculty reader approved by the departmental Honors committee. 
  • Submit the completed senior thesis to the departmental Honors committee, along with formal recommendations from the thesis adviser and the second reader. 
  • Make an oral presentation of the senior thesis to the department.

After evaluating the quality of the senior thesis, the Honors Committee will decide whether or not to confer departmental Honors.


See the Courses of Study Bulletin for Trinity policy information for departmental/major honors and university honors.