English Honors Thesis

Senior English majors may earn Honors in English by achieving a 3.5 grade point average in all English courses, except ENG 111, 112, and 113, and by writing an approved Honors thesis. Students in their first year at Miami who are interested in a full honors curriculum are encouraged to look into the University Honors Program.

Students who hope to earn Honors in English should obtain the cooperation of a faculty sponsor during the spring semester of their junior year; the sponsor can help the student make choices about options available to those seeking Honors. For example, in some cases, the student and sponsor may decide to conduct a preliminary independent study to help the student determine the feasibility of a topic or to focus the Honors investigation. In this case, the student may be required to enroll in ENG 477, Independent Study.

Given the variety of majors in the department, not all investigations will result in a traditional thesis. Some students may deliver the results of their investigations on websites or other electronic media. Such products must be agreed upon in advance by the sponsor and student and must be approved in advance by the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies.

To conduct the investigation for the thesis, a student must enroll in either a 600-level graduate course or ENG 480, Independent Study for Honors.

The following guidelines apply to students in ENG 480:
  • The completed thesis will be read and approved by the faculty sponsor.
  • The thesis must also be approved by two other faculty members, who, with the sponsor, will form a committee to determine whether the paper is of Honors quality.
The thesis must, at a minimum, be the following:
  • The product of substantial independent investigation;
  • An original and respectable contribution to the appropriate discipline (i.e. neither a summary nor a compilation of others’ ideas);
  • Longer and more complex than a typical undergraduate term project;
  • Well organized and stylistically polished.

The student must provide a copy of a finished print thesis to each committee member and a copy to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for the departmental files. Hard copies of electronic outcomes, such as websites, should also be provided to the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies for departmental files.