Joint Honours Program

Joint Honours English - Literature (new revised program)

Joint Honours English - Drama and Theatre (new revised program)

Joint Honours English - Cultural Studies (new revised program)

Students who wish to study at the Honours level in two Arts disciplines may apply to combine Joint Honours program components from two Arts disciplines. For a list of available Joint Honours programs, see "Overview of Programs Offered" and "Joint Honours Programs." Applications to do a Joint Honours program in English and another subject in the Faculty of Arts should be submitted once a minimum of 9 credits, and no more than 18 credits, have been completed in English. There are normally two possible application dates for Joint Honours in English: either by the end of January (by which time first-term courses are completed and the grades are available), or at the same time as the Honours application date, typically in mid-April. (Only students who will have completed more than 18 credits in English by the end of January may apply in the Fall.) The minimum CGPA for application to the Joint Honours program is 3.30; the minimum program GPA (grade average in English courses) is 3.5. Students with a CGPA lower than 3.3 and at or above 3.0 (but with the requisite 3.5 program GPA) may consult the Director of the Honours program for special permission to apply. Students with a program GPA lower than 3.5 and at or above 3.3 (but with the requisite CGPA of 3.3) may also consult the Director of the Honours program for special permission to apply. The application form is available in the Department's General Office (Arts 155), and the specific submission requirements are described by that form.

The maintenance of a 3.50 program GPA is required for continuation in Joint Honours. Graduation with Joint Honours requires a minimum CGPA of 3.00, a minimum program GPA of 3.50, and a minimum mark of B+ on the Honours Essay. Graduation with First Class Joint Honours in English requires a minimum CGPA of 3.50, a minimum program GPA of 3.70, and a minimum mark of A on the Honours Essay.

Each academic year, there is a special adviser for Joint Honours students, and the receptionist in the General Office can provide their name and contact information. The Department's website http://www.mcgill.ca/english/ provides additional information on the Joint Honours program and applications, and this website should also be consulted prior to contacting the Adviser.

Admission to Honours is by application. You can download a copy of the form here:  joint_honours_application.pdf, or pick up a hard copy in the Department's General Office Office (Arts 155), and the specific submission requirements are described by that form and below. The application will take some time to prepare, and allowance for such preparation (at least several weeks) must be made in order to meet the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The application form requires these submissions:

  1. A one-page statement providing the rationale for combining English and the other discipline in terms of a specific interest to be pursued through the combined program. If you intend to include the Honours Essay (ENGL 491) in your English program, as the Department of English strongly prefers that you do, state your current idea for the topic and explain how the other discipline will complement it.
  2. A sample of your academic writing (6-8 pages).
  3. A completed Program Course Proposal/Graduation Audit Sheet (provided with the application form) for your intended English option (Literature, Cultural Studies, or Drama and Theatre). Courses should be selected to complement your one-page statement of rationale.
  4. An outline of the program of study in the other discipline to be combined with your intended English option.

Acceptance into Joint Honours English may be conditional on particular revisions to the Program Course Proposal to be submitted with the application form. This proposal goes on file in the General Office with the other submissions. Only course choices that are appropriate, given the nature of the Joint Honours program proposed, including the Honours Essay if applicable, will be approved. In order to graduate with Joint Honours, all subsequent course substitutions in your initially approved Joint Honours English program must be endorsed by the Joint Honours advisor when they are made (i.e., at the start of each term) and entered on your Program Course Proposal/Graduation Audit Sheet with the advisor's initialled approval. Students who neglect to obtain such approvals jeopardize their graduation.

Program Descriptions

Complementary Courses: (24 credits)

To identify courses that fulfill specific requirements, see the lists of complementary courses on the Department’s website: www.mcgill.ca/english/undergrad. Joint Honours students are encouraged to take courses at the 300 level and above. A maximum of 9 credits may be taken at the 200 level, and none in the final year of the program. All Joint Honours programs of study must also include 6 credits of study at the 400 level or above. Finally, all Joint Honours programs must include at least 3 credits of Complementary Courses taken at the 500 level. 500-level courses should be selected to have the greatest possible relevance to the student’s Honour’s Essay topic.

Note on Topics Courses: The Department of English offers courses which change topic from academic year to academic year. Depending on the topic in a specific year, these courses may count toward different program requirements for Complementary Courses. At the time they register for a topics course, students should confirm with their program adviser the program requirement it fulfils for that academic year.

Advanced Study: (9 credits--Honours Essays and 500-level courses)

Joint Honours students have three options for combining requirements for the Honours Essay and for 500-level courses.

Option 1) Honours Essay (6 credits) and 1 500-level course (3 credits);

Option 2) No Honours Essay and 3 500-level courses (9 credits);

Option 3) A “joint” Honours Essay (3 credits in English, and 3 in another department’s program) and 2 500-level courses (6 credits).

Further details on each of the above options:

Option 1) The English Department strongly encourages all Joint Honours students to include the Honours Essay as part of their program, and the great majority of Joint Honours students do indeed choose this option—considering the opportunity to complete an Honours Essay among the prime benefits offered by the Joint Honours program.

Option 2) A few students each year opt not to include an Honours Essay in their program of study. This is primarily the case for a student who finds that the department of their other discipline requires that they complete the Honours Essay in that other department.

In these cases the student replaces the Honours Essay in English with 2 500-level courses, and then is also required to take another 500-level course to fulfill the Advanced Study requirement. While the Department strongly encourages students choosing this option to take 3 500-level courses, in certain special cases the Joint Honours advisor, after consulting with the student, may give permission to designate an advanced 400-level course as the equivalent of the 3rd required 500-level course. The Joint Honours advisor will then confirm that special permission by signing the student’s Audit Sheet to that effect.

Option 3) In extremely rare cases, this third alternative may be approved at the discretion of the Joint Honours advisor: a single “joint” thesis done in two disciplines with two supervisors, with only half of the 6 credits counting towards the English Joint Honours program. Option 3 students would then need to take 2 500-level courses.

Stream 1: Joint Honours in English (Literature) (36 credits)

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • ENGL 202 (3) Departmental Survey of English Literature 1
  • ENGL 203 (3) Departmental Survey of English Literature 2
  • ENGL 311 (Fall) (3) Poetics
  • ENGL 360 (3) Literary Criticism

Complementary Courses (24 credits)

3 credits of theory:

  • ENGL 317 (3) Theory of English Studies 1
  • or ENGL 318 (3) Theory of English Studies 2
  • or ENGL 319 (3) Theory of English Studies 3
  • or ENGL 322 (3) Theories of the Text
  • or ENGL 346 (3) Materiality and Sociology of Text
  • or ENGL 352 (3) Theories of Difference

3 credits from lists of courses in one of the following areas: Backgrounds of English Literature, Old English, Medieval, Renaissance

3 credits from lists of courses in one of the following areas: Restoration, 18th Century, Romantic, Victorian, 19th-Century American

3 credits from lists of courses in one of the following areas: Early 20th Century, Modernist, Postmodern, Contemporary

6 credits of Advanced Study: 491 Honours Thesis (6 credits); or 2 500-level seminars (3 credits each)

6 credits chosen from all Literature Stream offerings

At least 3 of the complementary course credits listed above must be devoted to a course on a Major Author.

Stream 2: Joint Honours in English (Drama and Theatre) (36 credits)

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • ENGL 230 (Fall) (3) Introduction to Theatre Studies
  • ENGL 355 (Fall) (3) Poetics of Performance

Complementary Courses (30 credits)

3 credits of theory:

  • ENGL 317 (3) Theory of English Studies 1
  • or ENGL 318 (3) Theory of English Studies 2
  • or ENGL 319 (3) Theory of English Studies 3
  • or ENGL 322 (3) Theories of the Text
  • or ENGL 346 (3) Materiality and Sociology of Text
  • or ENGL 352 (3) Theories of Difference

3 credits from the following practice-based courses: 269, 365, 368, 372, or 377

3 credits chosen from among Department offerings in Dramatic Literature

3 credits from a list of courses in Theatre History

6 credits of Advanced Study: 491 Honours Thesis (6 credits); or 2 500-level seminars (3 credits each)

3 credits from a list of performance-oriented courses

9 additional credits from among Department offerings

Stream 3: Joint Honours in English (Cultural Studies) (36 credits)

Required Courses (9 credits)

  • ENGL 275 (Fall) (3) Introduction to Cultural Studies
  • ENGL 277 (Fall) (3) Introduction to Film Studies
  • ENGL 359 (Fall) (3) Poetics of the Image

Complementary Courses (27 credits)

3 credits of theory:

  • ENGL 317 (3) Theory of English Studies 1
  • or ENGL 318 (3) Theory of English Studies 2
  • or ENGL 319 (3) Theory of English Studies 3
  • or ENGL 322 (3) Theories of the Text
  • or ENGL 346 (3) Materiality and Sociology of Text
  • or ENGL 352 (3) Theories of Difference

3 credits from a list of Cultural Studies courses with a historical dimension

3 credits from a list of courses on a Major Figure in Cultural Studies

3 credits from a list of courses in theory, from the option’s offerings at the 400 level or above

6 credits of Advanced Study: 491 Honours Thesis (6 credits); or 2 500-level seminars (3 credits each)

9 credits in additional courses in Cultural Studies

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