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Faculty of Arts
UNB Fredericton

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Honours in English

The honours program gives undergraduates an opportunity to study English literature more intensively, more independently and at a more advanced level than in the major program. Students can complete a single honours or a joint honours with another Arts discipline.

The honours degree 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 the University of New Brunswick, 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 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 program 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.

Students can also complete an honours in English with a creative writing emphasis.

Admission to the honours program

Students enter the honours program 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 have a 3.3 (B+) average in their English courses and at least a 2.3 (C+) average in their course work as a whole to be admitted. They must maintain these averages while in the program. The director of majors, honours and minors makes the decision on admissions.

Program requirements


Students can count in this minimum no more than a total of 9 ch of upper-level courses drawn from the following group:

  • Film studies
  • Writing (creative, expository or screen)
  • Theatre (drama production)

No course may be counted toward the fulfilment of the minimum honours requirement unless it is passed with a grade of C or better.

Students transferring credits from another university should note that at least half of the advanced credits counted toward a UNB English honours must be from courses taken at UNB.

All courses for the honours must be free electives (that is, electives which are not used to meet faculty requirements or those of another program) within a student's program.

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. In such circumstances, the student should notify the instructor as early as possible.

For information on this and other related matters of conduct, see the academic regulations in the undergraduate calendar.