Honors Program - Critical

Applications to the 2023-24 English Department Critical Honors Program are due Wednesday, May 17, 2023.  It's time to start thinking about whether the Honors Program might be for you.

If you couldn't join us for the informational meeting on 5/3, check it out here:

 Honors Program Info Meeting.mp4

Why should you apply to the English Department Critical Honors Program?

 If you’re planning to go to graduate or professional school, participating in the honors seminar during fall quarter and writing a thesis in a seminar in winter or spring quarter provide invaluable preparation. But the honors seminar also offers more than that. Whatever your plans are, the seminar can provide a capstone for your undergraduate career.

 In the honors seminar, you can:

  • Make the most of being at a research university, by learning how faculty produce new knowledge and how you can do so yourself;
  • Think outside the curricular and disciplinary boxes, while getting course credit for doing so:
  • Get to know faculty and work closely with them;
  • Build community with other majors;
  • Take ownership of an intellectual project, identifying and pursuing your own interests actively and independently;
  • Develop better writing, research, and oral presentation skills, as well as time management, organizational, and social skills.

A couple of years ago, a participant in the Honors Program concluded: "This seminar has been the highlight of my college career.  It was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I was able to be part of it."

What is this amazing experience and how can you be part of it?

The Honors Program (Critical) in the English Department consists of a two-course sequence: English 194H, Special Study for Honors (4 units); and an Advanced Study seminar, 187A, 188A, or 189 (4 units), taken with 199 credits (2 units). 

Students admitted to the Honors Program are required to take English 194H in fall quarter of their Senior year, and an advanced study seminar in either winter or spring quarter, along with 2 units of 195H.  Students completing the Honors Program will receive appropriate notation on their transcript.

In the fall quarter, English 194H is taught by the member of the English Department faculty who is coordinating the Critical Program.  This coming year, Professor Matthew Stratton will lead the seminar. English 194H helps students sharpen their critical reading, research, oral presentation, and writing skills and asks them to engage in conversation and collaboration with one another. 

In either winter or spring quarter, students admitted to the Honors Program will take an advanced studies seminar (ENL 187A, 188A, 189) in an area of their interest. In this seminar, honors students will write an extended research thesis of 20 pages.  The thesis will reflect the subjects and themes of the seminar.


English 194H and English 195H are open to senior English majors with a 3.50 GPA overall as well as a GPA of 3.50 in the major*.  Advanced-standing juniors who expect to graduate in mid-year may also apply for admission.  In addition to the GPA requirement, applicants are expected to have completed ENL 110A or 110B. As part of their application, students must submit a sample of their writing.

More information is available from the Undergraduate Counselor, Ms. Brandy Fleming,177 Voorhies Hall (bafleming@ucdavis.edu) or Professor Margaret Ronda, 254 Voorhies Hall (mronda@ucdavis.edu).

*Graduation with "honors" requires that a student meet the appropriate grade point requirement described in the General Catalog for all UC courses completed.  Students who meet the grade point requirement for graduation with honors, and who complete a Departmental Honors Program, may be recommended by their departments for graduation with high honors or highest honors on the basis of an evaluation of their academic achievements in the major and in the honors project in particular.

Click here for honors application