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Honors Frequently Asked Questions

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I am thinking about applying to the honors program. When should I take English 397?

Take English 397 during your junior year if at all possible, preferably in fall or winter. If you will be studying abroad during your entire junior year, please consult with the DUS. You might be able to take English 397 during fall quarter of your senior year.

Does the honors sequence count towards the English literature major?

No. In order to graduate with honors you must complete the two-quarter honors sequence in addition to your regular English major requirements.


I want to graduate early. Can I still participate in the English honors program?

WCAS only awards honors at June graduation, so it’s not possible to graduate with honors in March or December. With that said, however, the English honors program does not require you to register for classes in spring quarter. It’s not uncommon for English honors students to finish all of their course requirements by the end of winter quarter of the senior year. Such students submit their honors theses in May and graduate in June along with the rest of the honors cohort but do not register for classes or pay tuition during spring quarter of the senior year. If you are considering this possibility, consult with the DUS and your college advisor.

Can I graduate with honors in more than one department?

Sometimes, with permission from both departments. Except in truly extraordinary circumstances, the English Department does not allow students to attempt two separate honors theses, one in English and one in another department. It is sometimes possible, however, for a student to write a single, more substantial thesis that satisfies the requirements of two different departments. For instance, a student who writes a thesis examining issues of gender and sexuality in English-language literary texts might be able graduate with honors in both English and Gender Studies. Consult with the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in both departments as early in the process as possible, and no later than winter quarter of the junior year.


I will be studying abroad during Spring Quarter of my junior year. Can I still apply to the honors program?

Yes - but you’ll need to start the process well in advance. Your first step should be to contact the DUS, ideally before leaving for study abroad and no later than winter quarter of your junior year.

I will be studying abroad during my senior year. Can I still apply to the honors program?

Exceptionally well-prepared students who will be studying abroad during one quarter of senior year can sometimes take the non-traditional route to honors. Contact the DUS as early as possible to discuss your particular circumstances.