5.1. Honors Thesis

The Honors Program in English provides the opportunity for qualified majors to undertake advanced literary research or creative work. Successful performance in the Program leads to graduation “With Distinction in the Major.” This program is especially recommended for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree in literary studies.

Majors who have completed the sophomore year with a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.5 (overall and in the major) may apply for admission to the Program. Junior transfer students and students interested in the Honors Program should inquire of the Staff Advisor for further information.

5.2. English 199: Independent Studies

As defined by the guidelines set by the College of Letters and Science, English 199 is intended for qualified students who wish to pursue a directed and advanced study of a particular subject in British or American literature. English 199 may NOT be used for internships, general interest reading, fulfillment of any part of the Option 2 language requirement, the exclusive or preponderant study of foreign literature in translation, or study that is normally available in regular classes. In special cases, a creative writing project may be accepted by the Department, usually under the direction of those teaching creative writing in the Department.

English 199 is likely to be your experience closest to individual, original research at the graduate level. Inasmuch as this study is to be directed reading at an advanced level, you should have completed an upper division course relevant to your subject. You should have a good idea of the area you wish to study, the problems you wish to solve, and the methodology to solve them. For a 4-unit course, the departmental norm for the writing requirement is 15 pages (approximately 4,000 words) of sustained writing.

The requirements of the independent study program are as follows:

  1. Overall Grade Point Average must be at least 3.0 for the preceding three quarters.
  2. At least 84 units must have been completed overall.
  3. At least two upper division English courses must have been completed, one of which should be relevant to your subject.

Approval for a 199 cannot be rushed and is to be completed within the quarter before you undertake your project. Do not begin your project without full approval.

If you decide on a particular area of study that is not normally available in departmental courses, and if you believe that you meet with all of the above requirements, then approach a regular faculty member whose area of specialization corresponds with this study. If the instructor agrees, then discuss readings, bibliography, and writing requirements. During the project, the instructor will meet with you once a week for 1-2 hours to direct your reading and research.

To apply, ask the Staff Advisor in the English office for a 199 petition form.

5.3. English 199RA: Independent Research Assistance

This course gives qualified undergraduates the chance to take part in a faculty research project. It is designed not only to forward the instructor’s research interests, but also to give you a significant learning experience, comparable to what you would receive in an ordinary course. It is a good opportunity to learn in a practical way what is involved in academic research.

For each four-unit course, you can expect to do ten to twelve hours of work per week, including a one-hour meeting with the instructor and a significant amount of reading and writing. Professors actively seeking assistants will include a description of their projects in the quarterly course outline booklet. If you are interested in working with a regular faculty member whose area of specialization corresponds with your interests, but he or she has not included a description in the quarterly course outline booklet, you may wish to ask if they would be interested in sponsoring you as a research assistant.

The requirements for the research assistance program are the same as those listed above for English 199: Independent Studies. Once an instructor has agreed to work with you, a 199RA petition, available from the staff advisor, must be filed with the department. The petition will then require the approval of the faculty chair of the undergraduate committee. This approval process should be completed within the quarter before you begin the work.

5.4. English 195I: Internships

This course provides qualified students the opportunity to experience a period of training in a real working situation.

Majors who have upper division standing and a GPA of 3.0 may apply for an intership. The application requires a form available from the Department office, a written explanation of work to be performed, a faculty sponsor signature, a Company Supervisor signature and the Department chair signature.

Under supervision of English Department faculty, English majors may obtain credit for work with/without pay in publishing, editing, journalism, or other employment related to English literature. Before the beginning of the quarter, the student and supervising faculty member must submit a course description (form available from the Undergraduate Advisor) detailing the internship site and the kind of work expected there, the supplemental reading and writing for the course, and the contact hours with the supervisor. The Undergraduate Staff advisor will notify you after the Undergraduate Committee has reviewed and approved the application.

Credit for an Internship can range from 1 to 4 units. This course may be repeated for credit to a maximum of 8 units, but only 4 units may count for the major.

English 194I may be taken for a letter grade or pass/not pass, but may only qualify for elective credit with a letter grade.

5.5. Supplemental Seminars

Qualified students may take advantage of special seminar course that are often offered in conjunction with large lecture courses. These one-unit seminars provide an opportunity for motivated students to work closely with faculty members while enriching their large lecture experience. The requirements of the seminar will include reading and/or writing beyond that already assigned in the lecture course. The seminar does not take the place of the regular discussion section for the lecture, which is conducted by a teaching assistant.

If a special seminar will be offered, the faculty member will announce the course on the first day of lecture, along with his or her criteria for admitting students. If you are admitted to the seminar, the instructor will give you a course approval code that will allow you to add the course to your schedule.  Seats in Honors Seminars are normally reserved for students in the Letters & Science Honors Program, but other students may be admitted based on available space.

5.6. English Club

Sponsored by the Department, the English Club is organized to provide students with an opportunity to meet with one another outside of the classroom, to discuss academic subjects in an informal setting, to consider career options, and to meet with writers and journalists. The Club holds meetings about four times during each quarter; anyone may attend. Notices announcing Club activities will be posted on the bulletin board by the English Office, and a newsletter will be mailed to you once a quarter. See the Academic program advisor if you would like to make any suggestions about Club activities.