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BA Honours - FAQs

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.

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 April, the English website usually lists courses, instructors, and time slots 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.

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.

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, 24 credit hours (4 FCEs) must be Honours seminars (4000-level courses).

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.

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.

In addition to ENGL-2142 and the critical theory requirement, Honours students must complete a minimum of three credit hours in each of the following five areas of study:


1. English Literature to 1789

ENGL-4823(3) Old English Language
ENGL-4841(3) Old English Literature
ENGL-4242 (3/6) Medieval Literature and Culture
ENGL-4251(3/6) Early Modern Literature and Culture
ENGL-4270(3/6) Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture 

2. English Literature 1789-1945

ENGL-4211(3/6) Romanticism
ENGL-4281(3/6) Victorian Literature and Culture
ENGL-4285(3/6) Modernist Literature and Culture 

3. Global Literatures

ENGL-4720(3/6) American Literature and Culture
ENGL-4710(3/6) Canadian Literature and Culture
ENGL-4717(3/6) Indigenous Literatures and Cultures
ENGL-4730(3/6) Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures 

4. Culture and Identity

ENGL-4160(3/6) Young People’s Texts and Cultures
ENGL-4901(3/6) Gender, Literature, and Culture
ENGL-4903(3/6) Critical Race Studies

5. Texts, Forms, and Practices

ENGL-4294(3/6) Contemporary Literature and Culture
ENGL-4403(3/6) Author, Genre, or Form
ENGL-4741(3/6) Screen Studies
ENGL-4742(3/6) Cultural Studies 

Please note that the list of specific courses to be offered in any given year varies.

Most of these courses can be taken twice for credit if the topic varies.

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.

In addition to the Honours degree requirements, students must complete the general degree requirements: credit hours of Humanities courses; 6 credit hours of Sciences; 3 credit hours of academic writing; 3 credit hours to fulfill the Indigenous course requirement (see Undergraduate Calendar for details)

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.

How do I plan which courses to take? 

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 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. elsa.uwinnipeg@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.