Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors at graduation indicate that you have reached a high level of sophistication and achievement in your chosen field. Working for honors gives you an opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills you have already developed and to explore in depth an issue or question or creative challenge that especially interests you. This work demonstrates that you are prepared to take primary responsibility for your own learning, and to work and learn independent of the formal structure of the college course.

You can earn honors in one of two ways:

  • Thesis: A lengthy essay of original literary analysis and/or scholarship.
  • Creative Writing Project: A sustained work of poetry, fiction, drama, or other imaginative writing.

No matter which approach you take, your work will be assisted and guided by a faculty advisor of your choosing. Work that is of appropriately high quality will receive Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors.

To apply for honors in English, you must have a cumulative 3.5 QPA for all courses required for the major, a cumulative 3.0 QPA for all courses taken, at LC and elsewhere. You must also be in residence at Lynchburg College for your senior year.

Honors Guidelines

Steps:

For students planning to graduate in May/August:

  • November 15 of the senior year: Select a thesis director and, in consultation with the director, two additional committee members. At least two members must be from the English Department; the third must have appropriate expertise in the subject but may be from another department.
  • January 31 of the last semester: Submit to the committee and the chair of the department a 250-500 word prospectus which describes the thesis/project, a tentative bibliography (for the thesis option), and a schedule of component completion. Prospectus Signature Page (Word doc)
  • February 1: Submit to the School Dean the first page of the Application for Major Program Honors (PDF). The Registrar’s Office will inform the Dean that the applicant qualifies for Honors.
  • March 18: Last date for the oral defense. Candidates must schedule an oral defense for no later than two weeks prior to the certification deadline of April 1.
  • April 1: Submit two hard copies of the thesis/project to the thesis director after the successful completion of the defense. The thesis director will submit both to Carol Martin; one bound copy will go to the library and one to the English Department. Complete the application process by submitting certification of honors achieved, the 2nd page of the Application Form. Thesis Signature Page (Word doc)

For students planning to graduate in January:

  • April 15 of the senior year: Select a thesis director and, in consultation with the director, two additional committee members. At least two members must be from the English Department; the third must have appropriate expertise in the subject but may be from another department.
  • August 31 of the last semester: Submit to the committee and the chair of the department a 250-500 word prospectus which describes the thesis/project, a tentative bibliography (for the thesis option), and a schedule of component completion. Prospectus Signature Page (Word doc)
  • October 1: Submit to the School Dean the first page of the Application for Major Program Honors (PDF). The Registrar’s Office will inform the Dean that the applicant qualifies for Honors.
  • November 18: Last date for the oral defense. Candidates must schedule an oral defense for no later than two weeks prior to the certification deadline of December 1.
  • December 1: Submit two hard copies of the thesis/project to the thesis director after the successful completion of the defense. The thesis director will submit both to Carol Martin; one bound copy will go to the library and one to the English Department. Complete the application process by submitting certification of honors achieved, the 2nd page of the Application Form. Thesis Signature Page (Word doc)

Thesis/Project Requirements:

Critical Honors Thesis

Write a 25-35 page scholarly work of a quality to be expected of the most accomplished LC English majors. The critical honors thesis will sustain a clear, original argument using appropriate primary and secondary sources. 

The work should be completed in the style format appropriate to this content and discipline, and acceptable to publications/journals in that field.

Creative Writing Project

Using artistic and critical skills developed in writing and literature courses, students should create arresting and original materials that are appropriately ambitious as well as well-conceived and revised.

Options and expected length:

  • Introduction: 12-20 pages (required for all three options)
    • Poems: 20-30 pages
    • Prose:  30-50 pages
    • Combined poems/prose: 25-40 pages