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BA Honours - FAQs

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Why enroll in the Honours Program?

What is the Honours Program?

May I take Honours courses if I'm not in the Honours Program?

When do I apply for admission to the Honours Program?

If I don't have a 3.0 GPA in English, can I apply for the Honours Program?

Where and how do I apply for admission to Honours?

How will I know what courses will be available?

Are there different streams in the Honours Program?

How do I plan which courses to take?

What are the Distribution Requirements for the Honours Program?

Can I combine Honours English with any other degree? 

What do students tell each other about the Honours Program?

Support for Graduate School Applications

Scholarships of interest to Honours students

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master's)

Why enroll in the Honours Program? 

The Honours program provides an intensive student-centered learning environment in the form of seminars capped at 15. Students actively present, contribute, and respond to course material, enabling them to cultivate critical skills transferable to careers in law, teaching, publishing, journalism, academia, communications, public relations, and library and information sciences.

What is the Honours Program? 

The Honours B.A. is a 4-year program with a different purpose and, therefore, different entrance and graduation requirements from both the 3-year and 4-year B.A. programs. The purpose is to provide for an intensive study of literature and culture in seminar classes, organized in a program that prepares students for a variety of professional fields that require strong reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. The entrance and graduation requirements for Honours are set university-wide.

To enter the Honours Program, a student is required to have completed at least 30 credit hours (5 full course equivalents). The entry, continuing, and graduation GPA is an average of 3.0 (B) in all Honours subject courses and 2.5 (C+) in non-Honours subject courses.

To graduate, Honours students arrange their 120 credit hours (20 full course equivalents) so that they take from 54-78 credit hours (9-13 FCEs) in English, plus:

  • 12 credit hours (2 FCEs) Humanities Requirement (you will automatically meet this requirement with your English courses);
  • 6 credit hours (1 FCE) Science Requirement;
  • the University Writing Requirement
  • the Indigenous Course Requirement  
  • The University Distribution Requirement (courses in at least 5 different subject areas)
  • minimum 6 credit hours of study in a second language.

Of those 54-78 credit hours (9-13 FCEs) in English, at least 30 credit hours (5 FCEs) must be Honours seminars at the 4000 level.

May I take Honours courses if I'm not in the Honours Program? 

Yes, students with a 3.0 GPA in English courses may take Honours courses with the approval of the instructor and the English department. Contact the course instructor as early as possible and be prepared to discuss your interest in the course as well as other English or related courses you have taken. If the instructor grants you permission to take the course, they will need to submit an electronic Permission Form for you to Registration.

When do I apply for admission to the Honours Program? 

After you have completed at least 30 credit hours (5 FCEs), including 6 credit hours (1 FCE) in English at the 1000 level, you may apply for admission to Honours provided you have a 3.0 GPA in English courses and at least a 2.5 GPA in non-Honours subject courses.

If I don't have a 3.0 GPA in English, can I apply for the Honours Program? 

Yes, you may be admitted if your application is supported by both the Honours Chair and the Department Chair and is approved by the University's Committee on Honours and Graduate Students. You should make an appointment with the Department Chair and the Honours Chair.

Where and how do I apply for admission to Honours? 

Whether you are applying to the Honours program for the first time, you are a continuing Honours student, or you are a non-Honours student who wants to take an Honours course, you need to see a faculty advisor in the English Department at least 48 hours prior to registering on-line. The faculty advisor will confirm you have the GPA to proceed in Honours courses, advise you on your course selection, and submit an Honours Declaration form for you electronically.

Please note that you will be required to have a Declaration of Honours form each time you register for even one Honours course.

The advising schedule is posted in the department prior to the start of the registration period, but there is usually a faculty advisor available without the need for an appointment during regular work hours when registration is taking place.

The faculty advisor will complete and send the electronic Honours Declaration Form for you but you should bring a list of your preferred courses with you and complete the Degree Planning Worksheet for the Honours English Degree.  

Study the list of courses and the Degree Requirements posted on this website and plan what courses you would like to take. Consider the distribution requirements in the Honours Program, and draft a list for your proposed registration. You will receive advising on these decisions when you meet with the faculty advisor, so if you are not sure of something, you can ask your questions then.

How will I know what courses will be available? 

Every March, the English Department Honours Chair organizes an Information Session for next year’s Honours students. By the end of March, the English website usually lists courses, instructors, and time slots for the coming year. Students can check with the Honours Chair at the beginning of January of any given year for an unofficial list of offerings planned for the coming year.

The English Department usually offers 6 to 8 seminars each year, depending on the availability of professors, timetable requirements, and demand. There are provisions, as well, for students to arrange for Special Studies courses. Consult the Honours Chair for further information.

Below is a list of Honours course subject areas. Please note that the list of specific courses to be offered in any given year varies.

  • Critical Theory
  • Literature and Film
  • The Romantic Movement in English Literature
  • Young People’s Texts and Cultures
  • Medieval Literature 1350-1500
  • Sixteenth-Century Literature
  • Seventeenth-Century Literature
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies
  • Victorian and Edwardian Studies 1837-1910
  • Topics Modernism
  • Topics in Contemporary British Culture
  • Chaucer
  • Topics in Shakespeare
  • Individual Author courses
  • Topics in Drama and Dramatic Theory
  • Topics in Comparative Literature
  • Topics in Canadian Literature
  • Topics in American Literature
  • Topics in Postcolonial Studies
  • Topics in Gender, Literature, and Culture
  • Old English (Literature and Language)

Are there different streams in the Honours Program? 

The English Honours program focuses on literary and cultural studies. Students wishing to pursue a degree in Honours Linguistics should i) consult the Calendar under the Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program and ii) consult Dr. Karen Malcolm for further information. Students wishing to take literature and linguistics at the Honours level will need to do so as a Double Honours.

How do I plan which courses to take? 

You should plan your courses to meet requirements for the different areas of English studies. These requirements are intended to help you prepare a balanced program of study. But you need more from your studies than just the requirements. Talk to other Honours students, check out books in the library and bookstore, and go to see professors teaching the courses you are considering. Knowing why you want to be in a course will likely help you once you are there.

Please note: Minimum Honours requirements may not fulfill all entrance requirements for all graduate programs. Students who are interested in particular graduate programs are therefore strongly advised to consult particular entrance requirements so as to choose their courses appropriately.

You can also get help from the Honours Chair. Honours students are not required to see the Honours Chair before registering each year, but will need to see a faculty advisor or the Honours Chair prior to online registration to submit their Declaration of Honours form.

The online Calendar lists the requirements for B.A. Honours and suggests a 4-year plan for single Honours or Double Honours.

What are the Distribution Requirements for the Honours Program? 

Distribution requirements ensure that students take courses in different areas of English. Of the 54 to 78 credit hours (9-13 FCEs) required for the Honours Degree, 30 credit hours (5 FCEs) must be Honours seminars (4000-level courses). Honours students must select their courses to meet the following requirements:

Usually, the first course an Honours student will take after first-year English will be ENGL-2142/6, Field of Literary and Textual Studies. As the title indicates, this course prepares the student for literary study by teaching the skills in analysis, research, and seminar presentation that students will use in Honours seminars.

Students must plan their program to include Canadian content in at least 6 credit hours (1 FCE). Suggested options include: Topics in Canadian Literature and Culture (3000 and 4000 level versions); Canadian Literature and Culture to 1914; Canadian Literature and Culture after 1914; Diasporic Literatures and Cultures in Canada; Literature of Manitoba; Indigenous Literatures and Cultures; Canadian Children's Literature and Cultures; Topics in Indigenous Texts and Cultures. Students who request that an Individual Author or other course to count towards their Canadian content requirement should consult the Honours Chair as early as possible.

Honours students are required to include some critical theory content in at least 6 credit hours of their program. ENGL-3151(6) Critical Theory: An Introduction or 4110(6) Critical Theory meet this requirement. Students may take both of these courses if they wish.

For the historical area requirements of 12 credit hours (2 FCEs), students must take at least 6 credit hours from each of Lists A and B. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one of their historical area requirements early in their Honours program, ideally in their first year of Honours study.

List A

2202/3 - The Literature of the Sixteenth Century
2221/6 - The Age of Chaucer
2203/3 - Literature of the Seventeenth Century
2311/6 - Shakespeare
4242/6 - Medieval Literature 1350-1500
4251/6 - Sixteenth-Century Literature
4261/6 - Seventeenth Century Literature
4301/6 - Chaucer
4311/6 - Topics in Shakespeare
4823/3 - Old English Language
4841/3 - Old English Literature

List B

3209/6-Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture
3210/6 - Romantic Literature and Culture
3211/6 - Victorian and Edwardian Literature
3710/6 - Canadian Literatures and Cultures before 1914
3720/6 - American Literatures and Cultures before 1914
4211/6 - The Romantic Movement in English Literature
4261/6 - Seventeenth Century Literature
4270/6 - Eighteenth-Century Studies
4281/6 - Victorian and Edwardian Studies 1837-1910

Note: students who find it impossible to complete their distribution requirements in a given year should discuss their program with the Honours Chair or designate.

Students are required to take at least 6 credit hours (1 FCE) in the study of a second language or to demonstrate proficiency in a second language to the satisfaction of the Chair of the English Department or the Chair's designate. Some of the courses at the University of Winnipeg that allow students to meet this requirement are listed below. In addition, other courses in Cree, Ojibwe, Italian, and Spanish are frequently offered as experimental courses. For information on these, please consult the online Calendar and the current course offerings online. 

ENGL 4822/3 - Old English Language
ENGL 4841/3 - Old English Literature

IS-1101(6)- Introductory Cree

IS-12-1(6)-Introductory Ojibwe
CLAS 1100/3 - Introductory Latin I
CLAS 1101/3 - Introductory Latin II
CLAS 1200/3 - Introductory Greek I
CLAS 1201/3 - Introductory Greek II
FREN 1111/6 - Practical Language Skills
GERM 1201/6 - Elementary German
GERM 2201/6 - Intermediate German
REL 2001/6 - Elementary Biblical Hebrew

Can I combine Honours English with any other degree? 

Yes. You can plan your Honours Program with the Honours Program of another Department for a Double Honours degree. You can also combine your Honours degree with a degree in Education, Theatre, Women's and Gender Studies or other Interdisciplinary programs. You might also want to discuss flexible major options between the English Department and two other departments. It is good to plan ahead with these combinations, so see your Advisors early in your program.

What do students tell each other about the Honours Program? 

Get in touch and find out! The English Literature Students’ Association (ELSA) is the best way to meet other students and ask them about courses, and to get more involved in the English Department. Honours students who work together in several seminars get to know each other and can be invaluable sources of interest, information, support and challenge. uwinnipegelsa@gmail.com

Support for Graduate School Applications

The Honours Chair is available to support English students who are applying to MA programs, and usually organizes two workshops in September and October to provide information about this process. Students may consult the Honours Chair about any stage of this process, and are especially encouraged to seek support in preparing their applications materials.

Scholarships of interest to Honours students 

Students applying to MA programs should consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for information about scholarships and deadlines.

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships (Master's)

The Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Master's program seeks to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly-qualified personnel by supporting students in the social sciences and humanities who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.  This program, together with the SSHRC Doctoral Awards and Postdoctoral Fellowships programs, helps train Canada's researchers and leaders of tomorrow.  The CGS Master's program offers non-renewable twelve-month awards, valued at $17,500, and tenable only at recognized Canadian universities, to applicants who will be registered as full-time students at the master's level in a discipline supported by SSHRC.

Application Dates: September 1 - December 1

Students applying to MA programs, and who meet the requirements, should apply for the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. The Honours Chair is usually the English Department representative for this scholarship, and students should consult her or him in September about their eligibility.