English Honours

English Honours

The English Honours program is designed as an intensive course of study for a select number of students who have chosen English as their major and who have demonstrated exceptional creative, critical, and communicative abilities in their second-year coursework in English. The program is a more advanced and more directed course of study than the program for English Majors and has additional requirements. Students who complete this program of study will receive a degree that will distinguish them as successful and highly motivated students of English who have achieved a high degree of competency in the discipline and who are prepared for the rigours of more advanced scholarship.

English Honours Requirements

In order to graduate with a BA (Hon) in English, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Prospective honours students must have a grade average of at least 80% in all second year English courses. Once admitted into the Honours Programme, students must maintain a 70% average in all 300-400 level courses.
  2. Students will normally apply when they have achieved second year standing and one of English 220 or 221; however, students are welcome to apply at any time after these prerequisites are in place. They will submit a formal application consisting of a covering letter, the application form, a dossier consisting of transcripts of the most recent two semesters of study, and a writing sample of approximately 1500 words (6 typed pages) to the English Honours Programme Coordinator.
  3. Students wishing to graduate with an Honours Degree in English must meet the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies requirements for a degree with a Major in English as outlined in the UBC Okanagan Calendar.
  4. Students wishing to graduate with an Honours Degree in English must also complete 54 credits in English, of which at least 36 must be at the 300-400 level.
  5. Honours students must also insure that they complete one 300 or 400 level course in each of the following areas (21 credits):
    • Medieval
    • Renaissance and Seventeenth Century
    • Restoration/Eighteenth Century
    • Nineteenth Century
    • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century
    • Canadian
    • Critical Theory
  6. Honours students must successfully complete English 499 (Honours Essay). English 499 is a 6 credit course taken over two semesters, normally the last two semesters of a student’s programme. The essay must be a well researched work of approximately 25-30 pages and must conform to the MLA style.
  7. Before registering in English 499, Honours students must:
    • Choose a topic on which they wish to work
    • Choose an honours essay supervisor who will agree to supervise the essay and who is acceptable to the Honours Committee
    • With the help of the supervisor, the student will prepare an honours essay proposal to be submitted to the Honours Committee by May 31 of their 3rd year
    • Once the Honours Committee has approved the honours essay proposal, it will submit the proposal to the Head of English and Cultural Studies.
  8. While registered in English 499, students will be expected to meet regularly with their supervisor and to submit drafts of their work for discussion and approval. A complete first draft should be submitted by December 31. After completing the essay, the student must submit an electronic copy of the essay to the Coordinator of the Honours Programme. The Honours supervisor will suggest a second reader who is familiar with the subject of the essay. On occasion, the supervisor may ask the Coordinator to recommend a second reader. . The supervisor and second reader will act as examiners who are responsible for reading the essay and giving it a grade.
  9. Following are dates and procedures for the evaluation of the honours essay:
    • March 1 – date for the submission of a completed copy of the essay to the supervisor. The supervisor will then determine whether or not the essay is ready to go to the examiners.
    • March 15 – date by which the essay must be submitted to the examiners for an initial reading.
    • March 30 – date by which the examiners must inform the student if the essay is acceptable in its present form with some minor editing, requires major revisions, or is unacceptable in its present form. The supervisor will inform the student of the examiner’s decision.
    • April 15 – date by which the student must submit a revised copy of the essay to all examiners, if editing and/or revision are required. Normally, the grade will be an average of the grades each of the examiners assigns. This average will become the grade for English 499.
    • The Director of the Honours Programme will submit the final grade for the essay (English 499) by the deadline for grade submission for Winter Semester 2.
    • After the essay has been approved, students must send the final version to the Director for publication on the UBC website.

Apply Now

English Honours Coordinator
Jennifer Gustar
Associate Professor, English
Department of English and Cultural Studies
e: jennifer.gustar@ubc.ca