Honors in English at 
Bridgewater State College

Introduction > Eligibility > Requirements > Why Pursue Honors? > Applying/Forms > Contacts >


Bridgewater State College provides motivated, gifted students with many opportunities to challenge themselves and achieve in areas of greatest interest to them. Through the Adrian Tinsley Program (ATP), students may apply for funding for their own scholarly research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member. Shea Scholarships, funded through the Bridgewater Alumni Association, provide similar avenues for independent work.  The Honors Program in English is a vital part of these efforts at Bridgewater to advance original, independent undergraduate research.  By pursuing Honors, inspired students can reach their highest potential through critical thinking, scholarship, and inquiry. Close student-faculty relations and intensive research provide for the vigorous and thorough exchange of ideas, and offer students an opportunity to broaden their knowledge and experience.

I’ve never taken an Honors course.  Am I still eligible?

If you are an English major with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 3.3 GPA in your English courses, you are eligible for admission to the English Department Honors Program. Departmental Honors is entirely separate from the All-College Honors Program; therefore, admission to departmental honors does not require completion of honors courses or honors colloquia at the freshman and sophomore levels. A total of nine hours of honors course work taken in the junior and/or senior years is required for Departmental Honors.  This includes the thesis or research project, usually completed in the senior year.

Are there special classes or requirements?

At the beginning of each semester of the junior year, Departmental Honors students select, with the approval of the instructor, a 300 or 400 level course to take on an “Honors” basis. The student then completes a special advanced project, under the instructor’s direction, in conjunction with the course. Two of these projects must be completed, in two separate 300 or 400 level classes; or, the student may choose to pursue only one special project at the 300 or 400 level, and instead earn credit for two semesters of work on the thesis.  As a senior, the student chooses a thesis director and under his or her direction researches and writes an honors thesis (earning three credits for “EN485 Honors Thesis”). The thesis director and the student, in consultation with the Departmental Honors Committee Chair, will recruit at least two members of the department to serve, in addition to the thesis director, as the student’s thesis committee.  Whether the thesis qualifies the student to graduate with honors will be determined by the student’s thesis committee, though the thesis grade is determined solely by the thesis director.  As a final requirement, honors candidates must present a portion of the thesis to the college community at the annual ATP (Adrian Tinsley Program) Spring Symposium.  

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Why should I pursue Honors?

Students who complete Departmental Honors will have the phrase “with Honors in English” entered on their transcripts.  Much more importantly, students completing Honors will have proven themselves capable of sustained, original research—a significant personal accomplishment, valuable preparation for graduate school, and a necessary skill in many professions.  Honors students also have the opportunity to develop more satisfying and in-depth relationships with faculty and with their peers.  Lastly, all students completing Departmental Honors are required to present their work at the all-college ATP Symposium—a unique opportunity to share intellectual achievements and participate in Bridgewater’s community of thinkers and learners.   

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How do I apply?

There are three different forms for Departmental Honors:  program application, contract credit proposals (non-honors courses at the 300 or 400 level), and thesis credit proposals.  All forms are available on the Honors Program bulletin board in the English Department (Tillinghast Hall, third floor) or in the Honors Center (located in the Academic Achievement Center, Maxwell Library, ground floor).  Forms must be filled out and returned during the first two weeks of the semester in which the student wishes to undertake the work.  

All forms are also available in PDF and require Adobe Reader™. Download the FREE Reader.

Still have questions?

For more information, contact: 

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