Department Honors

322 Wheeler Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1030
Main Office: (510) 642-3467
Fax: (510) 642-8738

HONORS COURSE: ENGLISH H195A/B: An honors degree in English requires the completion of a two-semester 8-unit course, English H195A/B, offered every year in a fall-spring sequence only. H195A is a limited-enrollment course in criticism and critical theory, during which students develop a thesis project. At the end of H195A, a grade of IP is assigned. In H195B students work independently, under the supervision of the H195 instructor and a thesis adviser, to complete the honors thesis (normally 40-60 pages). Upon completion of the thesis, and only then, students earn 8 units and a letter grade for the whole sequence.

There are three degrees of honors based on G.P.A. in English at the time of graduation: “Honors in the Major” (3.650-3.760), “High Honors in the Major” (3.761-3.870), and “Highest Honors in the Major” (3.871-4.000).  You can calculate your G.P.A. in English here.

REQUIREMENTS: This course is an instructor-approved course open only to senior English majors with an overall G.P.A. of 3.51 or higher and a major G.P.A. of 3.65 or higher in courses taken at Berkeley towards the major. Overall GPA is taken from the student’s transcript after spring grades are posted. The major GPA is calculated at that time and includes all courses completed for the major.

APPLICATIONS: In order to be considered for admission to the Honors Course, students must electronically apply, using the link on the course listing in the "Announcement of Classes" available beginning in early April.  The application will need to include: (a) the online application form, along with PDFs of: (b) your college transcript(s); (c) a list of your current spring classes; and (d) a critical paper (in a PDF or Word document) that you wrote for another class; a personal statement, including why you are interested in taking this course and indicating your academic interest and, if possible, the topic or area you are thinking of addressing in your honors thesis (in a PDF or Word document. These applications must be submitted, via the corresponding link, by the deadline.  Since the department must review the G.P.A.s of H195A applicants for courses taken all the way through the spring semester and the instructors must carefully assess the applications, it will not be possible to determine who has been admitted until the fall semester is about to start.

NOTIFICATION: On the first day of classes in the fall, the class lists for H195A will be posted in the hall outside the English Department. If admitted to one of the H195A sections, students will need to obtain a CEC (class entry code) at the first class meeting from their instructor. Students will then need to log on to Tele-bears and add the course soon after that. No one will be able to enroll in H195A before classes start.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. H195A/B satisfies the English Seminar requirement.
  2. H195A/B counts as 2 courses toward the total of 12 needed for completion of the major.
  3. H195A counts as 4 units on the student’s fall study list.