Students interacting in a classroom. The English Honors program offers you the chance to fulfill the requirement for a Capstone experience by crafting a scholarly, creative, or professional writing project over the course of your senior year. You will work closely with a faculty mentor to plan and execute the project. The subjects for the projects are up to you and your faculty mentor to decide, but some previous topics include:

  • poetry collections, short story collections, novellas, and memoirs;
  • analyses of works by William Shakespeare, John Milton, J. K. Rowling, and Charles Dickens;
  • analyses of various genres of film such as horror movies;
  • technical writing projects such as creating a style guide, website building, and writing manuals.

Our honors students gain valuable scholarly research experience, personalized writing instruction, and the opportunity to acquire especially strong letters of recommendation from committee members — all of which can help you in future careers or applications to graduate schools. By completing the program, you would be recognized at the English Department Awards Reception and would graduate from UAB "With Honors in English" at commencement.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Honors Program in English, a student must:

  • be enrolled as a UAB English major
  • have earned a 3.5 GPA in English courses taken and a 3.0 GPA overall

Requirements

Students in the English honors program are required to do the following:

  • Meet with the director of Departmental Honors to discuss the possibility of entering the honors program.
  • Select a member of the English graduate faculty to serve as faculty mentor. The mentor and the Director of English Honors will constitute the Honors Project Committee.
  • Submit a completed English Honors Program application form to Margaret Jay Jessee, Director of the Honors Program, for approval. Students must secure permission of the director in order to enter the program. Submit the honors application form.
  • Be enrolled in EH 494: English Honors Research and EH 495: Honor Capstone Thesis in consecutive terms.
  • During EH 494, compile a thesis proposal or work in progress (for creative writing students) and have it approved by the Honors Thesis Committee. Once approved, a paper copy and an electronic copy or the proposal or work in progress should be given to the Director.
  • During EH 495, write the thesis under the committee's guidance.
  • Obtain final approval of the thesis from all members of the Honors Project Committee and submit a completed copy to the director in electronic form.
  • Prepare and present honors project work at the Honors Symposium.

These requirements can also be reviewed in the UAB Course Catalog.

Contact

If you have any questions about the honors program, please contact:

Margaret Jay Jessee
Director of the English Honors Program
Humanities Building 225A
(205) 975-3751

Hear from Our Students

  • Wallace Golding
  • Jaclyn Hogan
  • Jessica Robbins
  • Courtney Melvin
  • Anna Simms
  • Toby Camp
  • Wallace Golding

    ""

    "Completing an honors thesis was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my college career. It allowed me to explore the intricacies and minutiae of my particular topic more than I would have been able to in a standard course, and the year-long structure of the program gave me the opportunity to formulate a thesis that I felt truly contributed to the academy."

    Wallace Golding
    “‘In Herself Complete’: Autonomy and Identity Creation in Milton’s Eve”
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alison Chapman

  • Jaclyn Hogan

    ""

    "Writing my honor's thesis was a fantastic experience. My mentor, Kerry Madden-Lunsford has been incredibly supportive of my writing for my entire time at UAB. The workshop meetings we had were very useful, and I really feel like my writing has improved because of it. The defense itself was a wonderful conversation with my committee, all of whom gave me very insightful feedback and encouraged me to continue writing and to complete the work that I started with my thesis. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to consider completing an honor's thesis. It is truly a rewarding experience."

    Jaclyn Hogan
    “Sins of the Father”
    Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Madden-Lunsford

  • Jessica Robbins

    ""

    "My experience with the UAB English honors program has been wonderful. My faculty were there with me every step of the way to guide me. I was really nervous at first because it seemed like such a daunting task, but once I started working, ideas started coming. Before I knew it, I had written well over the necessary page count, and I could've kept going if given more time.

    "To anyone who is considering writing an honors thesis for the English department, it is a wonderful opportunity that will benefit you academically, professionally, and personally. In addition to the incredible support you will receive from the department faculty, it is also a great opportunity to gain valuable research skills and produce a real piece of meaningful scholarship that has the potential for publication. I am extremely grateful for the English honors program and I am so happy I decided to be part of it!"

    Jessica Robbins
    "Fairy Tales, Pet Snakes, and Fish Stories: An Analysis of the Roles of Nonhuman Animals in A Series of Unfortunate Events"
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Ann Bach

  • Courtney Melvin

    ""

    "The journey of writing and revising an Honors Thesis provided a great lesson in humility and, ultimately, in standing by my work. The process is tentative and cathartic at once. It was a joint effort. My director, Kerry Madden-Lunsford, was enthusiastic and hands-on, offering guidance at every opportunity. In the end, I walked away feeling like I'd really done something to contribute to my passion.

    "My advice to anyone considering this path: Do it. You can't go wrong when you're trying to better your craft. When the work is done and your hands are sore from typing or writing, you then get the chance to say, 'Here's why I chose the words that I chose.'"

    Courtney Melvin
    "What If It Hurts."
    Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Madden-Lunsford

  • Anna Simms

    ""

    "The English Honors Program challenged me to an honest exploration of my abilities in professional writing. The program allowed me produce a document that would stand as a testimony of not just the education that I took part in but also the steps I took to explore that education further."

    Anna Simms
    MEMORANDUM Style Guide
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Bacha  

  • Toby Camp

    ""

    "There were many nights of diligent work where I skipped meals to work on sentences. Yes the Honors Thesis was the hardest thing I've written so far without a doubt in my mind. But I encourage everyone to do it because it makes a better writer of us all. It has made me confident in my abilities."

    Toby Camp
    “Becoming Men: Analyzing the Heroic Journey into Toxic Masculinity in Sol Yurick’s The Warriors
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Margaret Jay Jessee