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Benefits and Careers

The Honors Option is a special program that enables students, by working independently and in seminars, to develop a strong academic background in preparation for postgraduate study or careers in teaching, law, business, journalism, and in a host of other fields that require advanced critical thinking, writing,reading, and research skills.



"The Honors in English Program is the most rewarding experience I have had at CSUN. I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the camaraderie that has developed in our class. I am stimulated by our class discussions, which often extend beyond the boundaries of the classroom itself. I feel that the program topics provide me with an awareness of contemporary issues and trends in literature and critical theories. This, I am sure, is the result of the exceptional professors we have had, who have been selected for their expertise in their respective fields. The small, intimate gatherings provide us with an opportunity to build a strong network between ourselves and our professors that I am sure will benefit us now and in the future. These are just a few of the reasons why I think the program prepares me for the rigors of graduate studies in English. The program helps make me a more competitive candidate when I apply for graduate school."

Sheila Bare, English Honors Student

"I began the English Honors Program last year, at which time I was amazed at the small size of the classes. As the semester progressed, the students developed a rapport, which continues to this day. The small classes and seminar format led us to become very close and created a community. The professors chosen to teach the Honors Seminars are, without exception, extremely talented teachers. Though they retain the position of instructor, they are obviously interested in our ideas and go out of their way to help us develop them. I tend to write from a feminist perspective, and our assignments are broad enough for students to support that type of interpretation. The Honors Program has made all the difference in my college education. The other students give me support, help and constructive criticism. Further, the small class format ensures that students get the individual attention they deserve. Class discussions are intellectually stimulating, and the works we read introduce us to important writers and theorists. Though the program can demand a lot of its students, I have found it entirely worthwhile."

Erin Delaney, English Honors Student

"The English Honors Option helped prepare me as a pre-medical student to pursue a career in the medical field. The Honors Tutorials educated me in so many different aspects, from cultural studies and psychoanalytical criticism to postcolonial literature and literary realism. The Honors Tutorial taught me critical thinking and analytical skills, opened my mind to a broader way of thinking, and helped make me a well-rounded student.

As an Honors English Major, you have an advantage with the verbal reasoning section and the two required essays of the MCAT. The verbal reasoning and the essays are two of the most important and highly regarded sections of the exam. Also, medical schools want well-rounded students. They are not just looking for science majors to apply to their school; in fact, they encourage pre-meds to obtain a B.A. in non-science majors. Medical schools want doctors who can read and who are educated in the arts and humanities as well as the sciences.

When you listen to other people’s thoughts in the tutorials, your own way of thinking is broadened. I have been able to apply all that I have learned in the Honors classes not only to all of my English classes but to my science classes as well. Students who major in the Humanities tend to have higher grades in the pre-medical courses than science majors. One of the reasons this is so is that the courses that the non-science major takes in a semester are not all hard-core science classes taken all at once. There a lot of biology majors who apply to medical school and not as many English majors who apply. One would be applying not only as an English major but also as an Honors English major, which looks very good in the eyes of the admissions committees of medical schools.

All of my Honors English professors are kind, thoughtful, and enthusiastic about the class they teach. They have always been very helpful and their doors have been open for any questions, comments, or inquiries you may have. I am very happy with the education I have received in this option. As a pre-med, English Honors major, I have received the best of worlds, the arts and the sciences."

Nasim Bahadorani, English Honors/Pre-Med Student

"The Honors Program is not only beneficial for those who are going on to grad school in English. I feel being in the Honors Program has given me a solid foundation for going to law school. Taking the Honors Tutorials really sharpens key skills like analyzing and understanding complex texts, writing, critical thinking and giving oral presentations. Being in the program has allowed me room to explore texts in depth, often with my own choice of approach and methodology. The structure of the program has given me freedom to shape my education to my interests, both within the tutorials and with its allowance of many free elective choices. The support system created by smaller classes and engaged students and professors has given me the opportunity to try out ideas in an encouraging environment. When you leave a tutorial and your head is overflowing with new ideas, you really feel like you are part of something great. I recommend the Honors Program to any student in English who wants to get the most out of undergraduate education."

Natella Royzman, entering Law School Fall 2003

"While I never considered my English Honors Program classes to be wholly representative of my college English experience, they were certainly my favorite part, and they played the greatest role in building my character as a student, worker, lover of literature and admirer of culture—and most surprisingly as a business person. What makes the latter so strange is that while these classes were geared towards distinct, precise methodologies (psychoanalytic theory, postcolonial theory, etc.), the applications of which are best suited for careers in academia, the manner in which they were taught—stressing dynamic thinking, the scrutiny of popular conventions, and the analysis of culture through language—allowed me to expand the scope of my thought processes and to improve the forcefulness of my writing. I began to read, watch movies, and even listen to music with fresh eyes and ears. This kind of “thinking outside the box” mentality is a highly valued commodity in the business world, or so I learned once I graduated and began to apply such scrutiny to the previous methods by which my company had been projecting itself in business proposals. I began to re-tool the language; I opened up enough eyes to guarantee a permanent position with the company as a Proposal Strategist (less than a month after I had entered as an intern). I am very pleased to announce that although I did not follow the path towards a Ph.D. in English, I am currently entering an MBA program, fully confident that the analytical skills gained from CSUN’s English Honors Program will allow me to excel under any course of study . . . and perhaps surprise a few professors in the process."

  Matt Kaplan, English Honors Graduate, Spring 2002 College of Humanities Nominee for Outstanding Undergraduate Student



"The Honors Option in English is an amazing opportunity to enjoy literature in a way that is difficult to do in a non-Honors option. Smaller classes allow for fascinating discussion and critical thinking, and a consistent group of classmates allows for better peer relations. I have personally found this option to be beneficial for my career aspirations, since this program can be joined with the Credential Option for future teachers. Through the Honors Program, I have found many interesting topics that I can possibly teach my future high school students. I feel as though this option has helped me to gain a better understanding of English and specific types of literature, so that I will be more prepared to pass my knowledge on to my students. If you are planning on getting your credential and teaching, please don’t bypass the Honors Program! It is possible to do well in both. In fact, I highly recommend the Honors Program for anyone who is planning on a teaching career in the future!"

Abby Pikop, Honors/Credential Option