Department Honors

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.

Modified Spring 2020 English Honors Program criteria: In accordance with College guidelines regarding Spring 2020 grades, students who are enrolled in the honors seminar during the Spring 2020 semester are not required to take the course for a letter grade. Students who opt for a letter grade in H195A/B will have their grade factored into their honors GPA; those who continue with the P/NP will not.

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); and (c) a critical paper (in a PDF or Word document) that you wrote for another class; and (d) a statement of purpose, 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: Applicants will be contacted by email by August 15th if they have been selected for admission, and, if so, to which section.  (Since there might be more applicants for one section than the other, some students might end up being placed in the section that was not their first choice).

If admitted to one of the H195A sections, students will need to obtain a permission code at the first class meeting from their instructor. Students will then need to log on to CalCentral 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.