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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Latin honors are conferred at graduation on students who participate in the department's honors program. Latin honors are noted on students' diplomas and transcripts.

Students are awarded Latin honorscum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laudebased on the range and quality of their coursework as well as an honors study project completed with the professor of their choice.

Guidelines: Honors Projects
(1) Candidates need 3.25 overall and 3.5 in English courses in order to qualify to pursue Honors. Please email the Honors Director [] a copy of your transcript for GPA verification. You will receive confirmation about your status.
(2) You must have 15 upper division credits with UCD English faculty {ENGL 3000 and above} before you undertake honors work.
(3) Students need to register for 3 credits for honors projects
The Process & Registration
Ø  Honors work is usually done in spring or fall of the senior year. No honors projects are allowed in the summer. Students sign up within the add/drop period of spring or fall. Students initiate the process in their junior year by contacting the Honors Director to verify their GPA and establish eligibility. Students email their unofficial transcripts to the Honors Director.
Ø  The Honors Director verifies the student’s GPA and emails students a verification letter to share with the chair of the honors project. The Director also sends registration and other information.
Ø  Students write a brief proposal (about a page) for the proposed work. The student’s Committee Chair will approve this proposal before students register for honors. The proposal should discuss the content as well as provide a timeline for completion.
Ø  Students then choose a Committee Chair and second reader. The Committee Chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the English Department faculty. The second reader may be another faculty member or an instructor. For a list of tenure-track/tenured faculty, check the department website
This site also has links to faculty bios and research interests.
Ø  Students meet with the Committee Chair with the emailed verification letter from the Honors Director. The Chair verifies that the student has been approved for honors, and approves the proposal before signing the form. The Chair may ask for changes in content and the timeline.
Ø  Students may register for Honors once the Committee Chair has approved the proposal and signed the form. English Majors (literature, film, and creative writing) sign up for ENGL 4720 and Writing Majors sign up for ENGL 4740. Students completing their degree at a distance/online may email the completed form to their Honors Chair who will then sign it and fax/email it to CLAS Advising for signature.
Ø  The Committee Chair signs this form. The student takes the signed form to NC 4002 for the dean’s signature. Specific numbers and registration information will arrive via email.
Ø  Students register for 3 credits. To register, use a Special Processing Form from the department or
Ø  Once the student has put in place a committee and has registered for the appropriate course and credits, the student meets with the Committee Chair to work out the scope and structure of the project. Working with the chair, the student prepares a schedule for delivering drafts and completing the project.
Ø  Over the semester, the student designs and completes the honors work.
Ø  The process concludes with a one-hour oral defense, usually scheduled at the end of the term. Students receive their Honors levels at the end of the oral defense.
Ø  Students prepare two clean, bound copies of their work and present one copy to their Committee Chair and one copy to the English Department.
Timeline for Honors work
Early in the semester, the student also sets up the date and time for the oral defense that concludes the process at the end of the semester. When planning the date for the oral defense, students need to keep in mind:
(a) The committee will need time to read the final draft before the defense so students need to confer with the committee members before setting a date.
(b) If students wish to have their names printed on the graduation program, the project and oral defense must be completed about three weeks before the end of the semester, usually by Nov. 8 (for fall) or April 8 (for spring) although these dates vary from one year to the next.
(c) The student can choose to set up the oral defense after the November or April cut-off date for the graduation program.  In this case, instead of indicating the level of honors, the graduation program will read “honors
pending.” In both cases (whether the student completes before April 8 /Nov  or decides to defend at the end of the semester), the student’s transcript will indicate the level of honors received.
Honors Projects
Projects vary in shape and scope. Some students choose to write a 30 page (or equivalent) research paper and critical analysis.  Others opt for more hybrid and creative projects that can include screenplays, poetry, literary journalism, grant-writing, multimedia projects. Students may, for instance, construct and design a web site (including detailed audience analysis and design research), or create a multimedia project on subjects related to their coursework or future community or workplace environments. Students must dedicate the same level and amount of work to the web site and multimedia projects that they would to a more traditional 30-page research essay. Students should discuss the parameters of the final document with the Committee Chair.
Honors Projects and Previously Completed Work:
While many students choose something entirely new for their honors work, many honors projects emerge out of work the student has already done in classes. In that case, projects present opportunities for developing and deepening the research inquiry or following up a set of related research questions. In such cases, students need approval from the Honors Director and/or the Committee Chair before beginning the work.
Ø  If a student undertakes honors work to develop a previous project, for instance, if a student wishes to develop a previously written Senior Writing Project, the student must submit copies of the completed Senior Writing Project to the Honors Director and the Committee Chair before beginning honors work.
Ø  In some cases, it may be possible for a student to use their honors project to take the place of their senior writing project. As long as the student meets the GPA and credit-hour requirements, faculty have the discretion, in specific cases, to approve such a substitution for academic reasons.
Ø  In some cases, a student may work at a Senior Seminar or Senior Writing Project and an Honors project during the same semester. This is fine as long as work for the senior seminar or senior writing project does not duplicate the work undertaken for honors.
Oral Defense
It is the student’s responsibility to set a date for the oral defense for the end of the semester [see timeline for details]. Students make sure that the committee chair and second reader receive copies of the final draft before the oral defense. The exact time for delivering the final document will vary; the final decision rests with the Committee Chair. Oral defenses are usually one-hour long and the Committee Chair has discretion over the structure of the defense. Online students need to speak to their chair to plan the oral defense. Students bring an unofficial copy of their transcripts to the oral defense. Usually, students present a brief defense of their work, charting growth, and outlining research issues and future directions. The Committee Chair and second reader discuss the work. At the end of the hour, the student is asked to leave the room while the Committee Chair and second reader confer. Honors are awarded immediately. The student is advised of the level of honors and given feedback. Honors levels awarded may include; no honors, cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.
            The Committee Chair immediately reports the level of honors to the Honors Director. The students prepare two clean, bound copies of their projects; cover sheets include name, date, course number, title of the work, and the Committee Chair’s name. One copy is for the Committee Chair, the other for the English Department.

Additional Information

Additional information about Latin honors may be obtained from:

Pompa Banerjee, Associate Professor
Office: 1050 Ninth Street Park, Room 101
Phone: 303-556-4948 (Fall and Spring)