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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

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Distinction Program

Thesis Program for Undergraduates

The English department’s Distinction Program is designed for high-achieving English and writing majors.

Upon completion of the Distinction Program, students will have authored a thesis on a topic of their choice, which is excellent preparation for graduate and professional school, as well as future work in multiple industries. They may list the distinction program and thesis on their resumes. Through this program, students will find a community of other ambitious and motivated English and writing majors.


Students in the Distinction Program must:

  • Enroll in a two-semester thesis writing course sequence
  • Attend at least two Distinction Program gatherings per semester
  • Attend their choice of three or more English department extracurricular events per semester

Eligibility and Applications

To apply for the program, students must meet at least one of two criteria:

  • A GPA of 3.6 or higher in all English and writing courses taken, with no grade lower than a B in any of those courses (two or more must be at the 30000 or 40000 level)
  • An overall GPA of 3.5 or higher, with no grade lower than a B in any English or writing course

Students may apply conditionally, based on anticipated end-of-semester GPA eligibility.

Students should apply during the second semester of their junior year, enrolling in the course, Distinction Program: Thesis I, the first semester of their senior year.


Frequently Asked Questions

Though the Distinction Program is especially for students who wish to write a thesis but do not meet the GPA requirement for the John V. Roach Honors College, those in the Honors College pursuing Departmental Honors are also welcome to join.

No, students pursuing both Distinction and Departmental Honors will write one thesis that they can apply to both.

Students will work with a committee of three faculty members to craft their chosen topic into a developed and exciting thesis.

Students will complete the two thesis writing courses during the fall and spring semesters of their senior year.