Senior Honors Options

The Senior Honors Project in English

English majors are eligible during their final two semesters before graduation to undertake a senior honors project that may lead to graduation “with honors” or “with highest honors” in English. There are two paths by which eligible students may pursue this: (1) English 691H and 692H; (2) an honors seminar and English 692H.

Students wishing to discuss eligibility, the nature of their proposed project, and to make application must make an appointment with Professor Reid Barbour, Chair of the Committee on Honors in English. His email address: rbarbour@email.unc.edu. His office is 446 Greenlaw.

English 691H and 692H

Eligibility: the student must have an overall cumulative grade-point-average of 3.300 or higher, and the student must have a grade-point average of 3.600 or higher for all courses designated as English courses and taken at U.N.C. up through the semester that precedes the beginning of the project. (After making a formal application, the student will be notified if the eligibility has or has not been verified.)

English 691H: the student must have his or her honors project approved and have approached a member of the departmental faculty to serve as the student’s adviser for both semesters. (This will be discussed in the conference with Prof. Lensing.) The student and adviser work out a reading and research program for the semester and establish a designated meeting time, usually in the office of the adviser, on a weekly basis. The goal for the semester is to have produced a detailed outline for the writing of the project and to have begun some of the writing. Usually a temporary grade that does not affect the student’s GPA is assigned at the end of the semester. (Transfer students must have completed at least two English courses at UNC with a grade of “A” or “A-“ to qualify for the course.)

English 692H.  The students meet at a general meeting at the beginning of the spring semester. Two deadlines for the drafting of the thesis are presented: a rough draft to be submitted to the adviser usually around the third week in February and a final draft usually around the third week in March. The student will defend the thesis in a one-hour oral defense before a committee made up of his/her adviser and two other members of the department who will have read the thesis. Grades for 691H and 692H are given unilaterally by the adviser. The decision for awarding “with honors” in English is made by vote of the examining committee. The examining committee individually must nominate the thesis for consideration (two or three votes) for “highest honors,” in which case the thesis is referred to a different committee (the James Lawrence Whitfield committee) that will select students who will graduate “with highest honors” in English.

Honors Seminar and English 692H

Each semester two English courses, administered by the Honors Office in Graham Memorial, are designated with the usual course-number followed by an “H” for “Honors.” (These courses rotate among the faculty from semester to semester.)

Students eligible for English 691H and 692H have the option to follow this sequence if they prefer to do so. Otherwise, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.300 or higher and a GPA of 3.300 or higher for all courses designated as English courses and taken at U.N.C. up through the semester that precedes enrollment in the honors seminar. After making formal application, the student will be notified if the eligibility has or has not been verified.

Students who opt for this sequence will be expected to do reading and research beyond the usual requirements of the course and to have written a substantial paper for the course that will be the basis for drafting and completing the thesis in English 692H to be taken in the following semester. (See above: “English 692H.) The student works in English 692H under the supervision of the professor who taught the honors seminar in the preceding semester.