Honours Program in English

The Department offers in its general programme a wide range of courses in English, Canadian, American, and Postcolonial literature. It also offers courses in creative and expository writing, film and drama production, some of which are basic parts of special programmes in Drama and Creative Writing.

The Honours programme gives undergraduates whose main area of interest is English and who have a high level of ability in the subject an opportunity to study more intensively, more independently, and at a more advanced level than in the Major programme.

The Honours degree offers opportunities for advanced studies and independent research, and because it guarantees a certain breadth of knowledge in English, it carries more prestige than a Major. Some provinces (but not New Brunswick) require an Honours degree for teachers at the secondary level, and most Canadian graduate schools, including UNB, require an Honours degree or its equivalent for admission. This does not mean that students without an Honours degree are never admitted, but it does mean that such students may be required to make up courses. Because of their more specialized work in seminars, Honours students can usually cope with the demands of graduate school better than can other students. The Department does not, however, regard the Honours programme simply as preparation for graduate school. It is also an end in itself, giving the able student a richer course of study than the Major programme.

Admission to the Honours Programme

Walking BridgeStudents enter the Honours programme at the end of the second or the beginning of the third year, and must have completed at least one course in English. (In exceptional circumstances, a student entering fourth year can be admitted.) Students must complete 6 ch of introductory ENGL courses; ENGL 1000 is strongly recommended for those who wish to do Honours. Students should complete ENGL 2901 and 2902 by the end of the second year and must have met this requirement by the end of the third year. Students must have a grade of at least B+ in English and at least C+ in their course work as a whole. The Director of Majors, Honours, and Minors will make the decision on admissions.

Students are reminded of the Marion Anderson Memorial Prize ($1,200), awarded to the most promising student entering the Honours Programme in English Literature. For information on other Undergraduate Awards at UNB English, please visit our Prizes page.

Requirements of the Honours Programme

Single Honours

ENGL 1000 (or equivalent), 2901, and 2902 and a minimum of 48 ch of other English courses at the advanced level. Of these 48 ch, 33 ch must be in 3000-level (3rd- and 4th-year) courses and 15 ch must be in Honours seminars, including 5083. Students must complete 6 ch in literature in English before 1660 and another 6 ch in literature in English, 1660-1900 (NOT including Honours seminars). Students interested in applying for admission to the Honours programme should see the Director of Majors, Honours, and Minors.

Joint Honours

ENGL 1000 (or equivalent), 2901 and 2902, and a minimum of 27 ch of English courses at the advanced level are required. Of these 27 ch, 12 ch must be in Honours seminars, including 5083. Students must also complete 6 ch in literature in English before 1660, and another 6ch in literature in English, 1660-1900 (NOT including Honours seminars).

Students transferring credits from another university should note that at least half the advanced-level credits counted toward a UNB English Honours must be from courses taken at the University of New Brunswick. Please note: all courses for Honours must be free electives (that is, electives which are not used to meet Faculty requirements or those of another programme) within a student’s programme.

The Honours Seminar

An Honours seminar is a course usually consisting of only Honours-level students. Ordinarily, it is limited to 12 students and meets for one three-hour period each week. The seminar includes the presentation of reports and papers and discussion by the students themselves. It deals with more specialized material and treats it at a more sophisticated level than is usual in general courses. Although students usually are allowed to choose their seminars, they are expected to give serious consideration to the advice of the Director of Majors, Honours, and Minors. The Department reserves the right to limit enrolment in any seminar.

Seminars succeed to the degree that members participate actively. Therefore, each student has the obligation to attend every session and to contribute to discussions, whether or not the student is giving a report. Absence is permissible only for sickness or other unavoidable cause, and in such circumstances the student should notify the instructor as early as possible. For pertinent information on this and related matters of conduct see “Academic Regulations” in the UNB Undergraduate Calendar.

Creative Writing Option (Honours)

The Department offers students wishing to concentrate in creative writing the following Honours option: English (Creative Writing). The requirements for this programme are that a student complete the normal English Honours requirements as explained above under Honours Programme, along with courses from the relevant creative writing areas, as follows:


  • ENGL 2195 Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Drama


  • ENGL 2196 Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction and Screenwriting.

Plus at least two of the following four course options:

  • ENGL 3123 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENGL 3143 Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENGL 3163 Creative Writing: Drama

and either 

  • ENGL 3183 Creative Writing: Screenwriting for Short Formats


  • ENGL 3186 Creative Writing: Feature Screenplay

Any student wishing to enroll in this programme should consult the Director of Creative Writing and the Director of Majors, Honours, and Minors. More information on the courses offered through the Creative Writing Option is available on the Creative Writing page.