All English majors who earn a cumulative average of 3.6 in literature courses counting toward the major are eligible to graduate with honors. This average is computed from grades for the following kinds of courses:

  • English 107 “Introduction to Literary Study”
  • Courses at the 200 level or above offered by the English department at Johns Hopkins, including independent study and directed reading courses, summer courses, graduate courses, and any courses cross-listed with English. (Intersession courses do not count because they do not receive letter grades. “Covered” freshman grades also do not count)
  • Courses from other departments at Hopkins where permission has been granted to you individually to count them toward the literature component of the major.

For the purposes of honors, departmental GPA is calculated on the basis of all courses that fall within the three categories described above. You may not limit the categories or number of included courses so as to boost your average. Even if you have taken more than the number of English courses needed to fulfill requirements for the major, you must include all of those courses when calculating your departmental GPA.

Courses fulfilling the foreign language or the general humanities requirement for the major do not count in the calculation of GPA for honors in English. Courses taken at other institutions (study abroad programs, transfer credits, summer instruction, and so on) that have been approved as fulfilling the literature requirement for the major also do not count in determination of honors eligibility, save in one exceptional case:

If your GPA for courses in the three categories named above falls just below 3.6 as you near graduation and you believe you have done superior work in courses taken under the auspices of study abroad, you may petition the director of undergraduate studies to consider you for honors. The DUS will examine your grades (and perhaps written work) for courses taken abroad and decide whether elevation to honors is appropriate. Such elevation is entirely at the discretion of the DUS. Under no circumstances will grades for courses at U.S. institutions apart from Hopkins, or for courses taken abroad prior to enrollment at Hopkins, be weighed in determining eligibility for honors.

If you think you may be eligible to graduate with honors, download an honors clearance form from Academic Advising, then fill out the checklist and have it approved by the DUS. Students who plan to graduate in May should submit the form no later than March 23. Students who plan to graduate in January should submit the form no later than December 1. For purposes of listing in the commencement program, provisional honors will be calculated on the basis of work prior to the student’s final semester at Hopkins. For purposes of notation on transcript, honors will be calculated on the basis of work through the student’s final semester at Hopkins.