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Honors Program

To be admitted into the Department of English and Communication?s Honors Program, a student must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a SUNY Potsdam student with one of the following majors/concentrations: Communication; Literature; Literature/Writing; Professional Writing; Creative Writing; B.F.A. in Creative Writing.
  • Have completed at least 60 hours but not more than 90 hours toward the B.A.
  • Have at least two semesters remaining before graduation.
  • Have completed at least 15 hours in the major (at least 9 of these hours must be Upper Division and at least 6 must be at SUNY Potsdam).
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major.

Recommended procedure

  • Student is invited and accepts (or applies and is accepted?see below).
  • Student, in consultation with the chair, selects an Honors Adviser (may or may not be the student's academic adviser).
  • The student develops an Honors Thesis Proposal in consultation with the Honors' Adviser. The proposal should ideally be completed during the junior year so a significant portion of the senior year can be devoted to the thesis.
  • The student will enroll in a 3-credit tutorial called ?Honors Thesis? with his/her Honors' Adviser as the instructor.
  • Once complete, the thesis must be approved by the Honors? Adviser and the student must present her/his work at a department honors colloquium.
  • The chair will work with library faculty to assign a librarian as mentor to each of the honors students.

Requirements to Graduate with Honors

  • Complete two 500-level courses in the English/Communication Department, selected in consultation with the student?s Honors Adviser.
  • Write an Honors Thesis (25-50 pages).
  • Enroll in a 3-credit tutorial called ?Honors Thesis? with his/her Honors' Adviser as the instructor.
  • Present the Honors Thesis at a Departmental Honors Colloquium.
  • Graduate with a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major.


  • Students who are eligible will be invited by the department chair to apply.
  • If a student's GPA or number of credits varies slightly from the requirements above, a student may submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member and an application to the department chair.
  • The departmental honors committee will host an honors colloquium each May and December as needed.

Departmental Honors Theses

  • Tiffany Miner. "Women's Power and Agency in 19th Century Novels." 2014.
  • Zachary Sandecki. "Towards Positive Development in Buffalo, New York's East Side." 2014.
  • Vincent Dubay. "The Authorial Dentist: Dr. Thomas William parsons as translator of Dante's Inferno." 2013.
  • Anne Fildes. "Great Power Requires Great Sacrifice: Power Dynamics and Family Structures in ABC's Once Upon A Time." 2013
  • Anthony Prescott. "Identity Through Creation: An Exploration of the Homeric and Biblical Traditions in Melville's Moby Dick." 2013.
  • Bernard Widell. "Waiyaki and Asogba: Failure and Departure From the Bildungsroman Structure." 2013.
  • Geoffrey van der Woude. 2012.
  • Kristopher Wilson. 2012.
  • Carter Jones. "Mandolin's Meats." 2011.
  • Amanda Sherman. "Standard English as the Great Silencer: Composition Work from SRTOL to 'Language Difference in Writing.'" 2011.
  • Brenna Link. "The Rhetoric of Villains in Spartacus: Blood and Sand." 2010.
  • Henric Nielsen. "A Swedish Tiger." 2010.
  • Chelsea Summers. "School Shootings in Contemporary Film and Fiction: A Study in Media Mythologies." 2010.
  • Kathryn Goloski. "The Pursuit of Nihilism in Herman Melville's Late Fiction." 2008.
  • Rebecca Jewell. "Local Women of Suffrage." 2008.
  • Emily Lazovik. "The Medical Connotations of Female Villainy in Gothic Literature." 2008.
  • Matthew Short. "Reading Italo Calvino." 2008.
  • Kelly Currier. "William Blake and Childhood in the Romantic Period." 2006.
  • Adam Bulizak. "On Magic Realism." 2006.