Honors Program

Take your degree to the next level through the English Honors Program. Complete advanced seminars with your student cohort and work individually with a professor to produce an original research essay or creative work. Below you will find some frequently asked questions about the Honors Program. 

What are the Honors coursework requirements?

Honors students meet the same requirements as other English majors, but five of the courses in the major are designated Honors courses. The five courses amount to 12 credits. 

Spring - Junior yearEnroll in ENGL370 (1 Credit) 1 credit
Fall - Senior yearEnroll in ENGL3732 credits
Spring - Senior yearEnroll in Honors Independent Study with a faculty advisor from this list3 credits 
Anytime during the programHonors Seminar (ENGL428)3 credits
Anytime during the programHonors Seminar (ENGL428)3 credits

What is a senior Honors project?

All Honors students do a Senior Project, which can be a thesis or a creative writing project. A senior thesis is at least 25 pages and a creative writing project is at least 40 pages. Students plan for completing the thesis is as follows:

  • ENGL370: Students select their topic in conversation with their faculty advisor. Students will begin reading and planning their project.
  • ENGL371: Students will research, write, and edit their thesis in a workshop environment.
  • ENGL495: Students complete an independent study with their faculty advisor. Students will complete their project and defend it in a colloquium with three or four readers. 

Previous Projects:

What are Honors seminars?

Every semester, at least one seminar (ENGL428) is offered. The seminars are limited to 20 students and are intended for Honors students and other high-achieving students in the major. Non-Honors students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, must have completed ENGL301, and must have taken at least one 400-level English course. Examples of seminars include:

How do I apply to the program?

English Honors Application Information

Application Deadline: Friday, November 15, 2019
Link to Application  

The English Honors Program enrolls 10-20 students each year through a rigorous admissions process. There is no minimum GPA, but most applicants have established a strong track record in the English Department, including English 301, the gateway course for the major. They have earned the support of an English professor and developed a clear sense of their goals for Honors and beyond. Applicants must be able to commit three full semesters (spring-fall-spring) to the completion of the program. 

Questions? Contact Jason Rudy (jrrudy@umd.edu), the Director of English Honors. 

*Creative writers looking to write a play for the Honors thesis should speak with the Honors Director in advance of the application deadline. Creative writers looking to write poetry or prose see the application below. 

English Honors Creative Thesis Project | Poetry or Prose

Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Link to Creative Thesis Application 

Questions? Contact Lindsay Bernal (LBernal@umd.edu). 


I plan to study abroad. Can I still be in the English Honors Program?

Yes! many of our Honors students study abroad for one semester. Speak with the Honors Director and/or your English advisor for more information.


I am a transfer student. Am I still eligible to apply?


I'm a sophomore. Do I have to wait until my junior year to apply?

Students can apply in their second year, but the program generally admits third-year students. There are important exceptions to this rule, and you should speak with the Honors director if you have a good reason to be admitted as a sophomore (for example, if you plan to graduate early).