Undergraduate Honors in English

The English Honors Program offers talented and highly motivated English Majors special opportunities advanced study. In many instances, students may use their Honors coursework to fulfill core requirements in the English Major. Students should consult with the Honors Director to determine how particular courses fulfill core requirements.

Dr. Margaret Simon
Director of English Honors
Tompkins 264

Admission Requirements

  • A 3.25 overall GPA or higher
  • Completion of at least 3 English (ENG) courses above the freshman level with a minimum 3.25 GPA

Advantages of Honors

  • Priority enrollment appointments for students within respective class levels (freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior);
  • the opportunity, with other highly motivated students, to take small seminars (15 students or fewer), that are taught by some of our best, most enthusiastic professors;
  • the option, where appropriate, to write an Honors Thesis that can be submitted to graduate schools as a writing sample; 
  • the chance to sign up for graduate seminars; 
  • an additional distinction on your transcript, curriculum vitae, and job application that will set you apart from the crowd.

Plan of Study

Students should work with their advisors and the Director of English Honors to develop a Plan of Study. This plan must include nine hours of Honors coursework made up of:

  • at least one Honors Seminar (ENG 491; 3 credits)
    Recent seminars have included Gender and Science Fiction; Ireland in Film and Literature; World English(es); The Female Gothic; The Natural Environment in North American Literature and Culture; Problems of Authorship: Plagiarism, Ghostwriting, Collaboration; Art and Artists in the 20th and 21st Centuries; Vision and Visual Culture in Contemporary Poetry.
  • at least one graduate class (ENG 5XX; 3 credits), OR 
  • an independent study (ENG 498H; 3 credits) approved by the Honors Director. To qualify for Honors credit, an independent study must include a substantial Honors project. The independent study requires a supervising instructor and a second reader.

Sample ENG 498H proposal 1
Sample ENG 498H proposal 2

Graduation with Honors

Students who successfully complete Honors in English will be recognized in the Commencement Program and will receive the transcript designation "Completed Disciplinary Honors Program."

To graduate with Honors in English, students must:

  • complete at least nine credit hours (three courses) of Honors coursework with a grade of "B" or higher in each course
  • achieve a minimum 3.25 GPA in English and overall
  • give a short public presentation of a research or creative project developed in a course for Honors credit

The Director of English Honors will work with each student to identify an appropriate venue for public presentation.


"Participating in the English Honors Program has been one of the most influential aspects of my time at NC State.  Through the program I took Honors Seminars in which dedicated professors exposed me to new areas of study, enrolled in graduate courses that helped prepare me for further education, and took on projects that challenged me to see the discipline from different perspectives.  As I continue my academic career, I am indebted to the English Honors Program faculty for positively shaping my experience and for being a constant source of support."

-- Jake Thompson ('15)

“The English Honors Program enriched my academic experience by providing several opportunities for me to pursue my literary interests under the supervision of intelligent, friendly professors. If I could enter college again, I wouldn't hesitate to apply to the Honors Program, not only for the education, but also for the strong bonds I was able to form with my professors and fellow students.”

-- Cameron Winter (’09)

“I really enjoyed the English Honors program at NC State.  The seminars were particularly interesting, as we were able to study specific topics in great detail.  I also appreciated the dedication of the professors in the program that worked to challenge, enlighten, and encourage us as students,   Thanks for everything.”

--Kayla Forrest (’11)

“I am just beginning the English Honors Program, but I would have to say that the Honors seminar is a wonderful opportunity to expand from learning ideas in the classroom to creating ideas through discussion in a small group setting.”

--Emily Ford (’13)

“The Honors Program was in large part the vehicle for some of my best academic experiences at State. It allowed me to write and think about topics that I chose, and that were very much outside the realm of many of the other classes I took.  I still refer constantly to the seminars that I took on Irish Film and on the Female Gothic.  As a practical consideration, the Honors Program was probably the single deciding factor in determining my field of study for graduate school and it helped immensely in my gaining admission to a highly competitive program…  It sounds kind of cheesy, but I really do think of the Honors Program as something more than a line on my c.v. and, in reflecting on it, realize that it was really was a formative experience for me.”

-- Elijah Gaddis (’09)

I can say without a doubt my participation in the English Honors Program gave me a real advantage by preparing me for graduate study.  The energy of the seminars, the expertise of my professors, and the level of scholarship required immensely improved my skills as a writer and a critical thinker. I have remained close with my Honors professors throughout my academic career, and I can't begin to express my gratitude to the Honors Program for challenging me and helping to cultivate my potential as a student.

--Brenna T. Leath (’08)

Sigma Tau Delta, an International English Honor Society

The NCSU Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Pi Theta, recognizes high scholastic achievement and offers opportunities for leadership and service. Membership is open to English majors and minors who have a 3.25 overall and a 3.5 in their English courses. To be eligible, students must have completed at least three semesters of college course work and at least two English courses at the 200 level or higher. For more information, please contact the faculty advisor, Professor Christopher Crosbie (Christopher.Crosbie@ncsu.edu).

Interested students can also visit the chapter's own website, sigmataudeltancsu.wordpress.com/