Departmental Honors in English
The department offers an honors option for seniors with a GPA of 3.6 or higher in the English major who wish to do an ambitious piece of research and writing under the individual direction of faculty or in conjunction with a departmental seminar (suggested length is 30-40 pages double-spaced). Faculty Advisors can be any full-time faculty member or Writer in Residence. The thesis is to be written over the course of one semester while the student is enrolled in an individual tutorial with the faculty advisor (ENGL 4998)
- Student determines a potential topic and potential faculty advisor in consultation with one of the Associate Chairs or the Director of Creative Writing (please consult the individual who is most relevant).
- Student meets with potential faculty advisor to discuss the topic and parameters of the thesis.
- Student submits an application to write a thesis to the relevant Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing. To write a thesis in the spring semester, student must submit the application by October 15 of the previous semester. To write a thesis in the fall semester, student must submit the application by March 1 of the previous semester. The application consists of a) a one-page proposal describing the thesis topic and b) a one-page bibliography listing relevant sources for the research and writing of the thesis. The application will be evaluated by the Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing and the potential faculty advisor.
- If approved to write a thesis, student registers for ENGL 4998, a four-credit “English Honors Thesis Tutorial.” This course counts for credit toward the English major and the English major with a creative writing concentration.
- Students writing a thesis in the fall also have the option of enrolling in ENGL 8996, the “MA Capstone” seminar, in place of ENGL 4998. The faculty member leading ENGL 8996 would serve as the student’s thesis advisor. This seminar is recommended for students interested in working on their theses in the structured environment of a course.
Beginning of Semester
- Early in semester, student meets with faculty advisor to begin work on the thesis.
- With the help of the faculty advisor and Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing, student finds a second reader for the thesis.
- Deadline for the first completed draft of the thesis is mid-semester. Student should consult with the faculty advisor on the exact deadline.
- Student determines date for thesis defense (which should take shortly after submission of the completed thesis and before the last day of classes) with faculty advisor and second reader and emails Rose Hill or Lincoln Center Department administrative assistants (copying faculty advisor and second reader) to reserve a classroom for the thesis defense.
End of Semester
- Deadline for completed thesis is three weeks before the end of classes.
- The completed thesis will include a cover sheet, which the faculty advisor and second reader must sign at the defense and indicate if further revision is required (each must check off either "OK as is" or "OK with revisions"; any necessary changes will be discussed at length). Cover sheets are located here. If additional revision is required, the final deadline for the completed thesis is within a week of the defense..
- Following the thesis defense (which consists of a short presentation or reading of the thesis—whichever is more appropriate—and a question and answer session), the faculty advisor and second reader determine whether the thesis qualifies the student for departmental honors.
- Faculty advisor gives grade for ENGL 4998 on my.fordham.edu (or ENGL 8996 when appropriate).