The William G. Cooper, Jr. Honors Program in English is a unique honors program that provides qualified students with funding and bespoke research and creative opportunities. Students seeking honors in English are supported not only with scholarship funds but also with mentorships tailored to their individual interests and gifts. The program is sustained by an endowment created by the family of Dr. W. G. Cooper, Jr. in honor of his distinguished service on the Little Rock University Board of Trustees and the UA Little Rock Board of Visitors.
Honors Program Requirements
The Cooper Honors Program consists of a 6-hour block of courses, including at least one Honors Seminar (4350), one Honors Tutorial (4260), and one Honors Writing Project (4270).
The 6-hour block, part of the 33 hours required for an English major, is taken in addition to the required 16-hour core of courses for an English major.
Honors Seminars are open to all students regardless of major on a space-available basis.
Honors Tutorials and the Writing Projects are open to English majors only. Students seeking to complete the Cooper Honors Program should consult with the Director of the Honors Program, Prof. Heather Hummel, to plan a course of study with a mentor in the English Department; ideally, the Tutorial and Writing Project are taken in consecutive semesters.
Exit requirements for the Cooper Honors Program include an overall grade point of 3.25, a grade point of 3.5 in English courses, satisfactory completion of the block of Cooper Honors courses, and a letter of certification from the Director of the Program.
Applications for the Cooper Honors Program in English will be open soon and will be available in Scholarship Universe until May 2, 2023.
- Writing samples (up to 3 pieces, if available; ideally, these should represent the spectrum of your work: literary or linguistic analysis, research, creative writing).
- A personal statement of interest in the Cooper Honors Program; this statement (no more than 2 typed single-spaced pages) should clarify what your career goals are (including post-graduate education) and how you think this program will further those goals. If there is anything affecting your application that might need explanation (e.g. grade problems), this is the place to do it.
- Confidential letters of recommendation from two faculty members, at least one of whom is a member of the UA Little Rock English faculty.
Any English major may apply for a Cooper stipend. Students currently taking World Literature or Mythology, but who have had no other English courses, may still apply on recommendation of their teacher. Stipend winners must be declared as primary English majors by the start of the semester in which they first receive their stipend.
In addition to stipends for Honors students, the Cooper Program offers additional scholarships for promising English majors. These include:
- Cooper Promise Award:
The Cooper Promise Award is a one-time scholarship for incoming students enrolling at UA Little Rock. The recipients must declare a major in one of the English department concentrations (English, English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, or English with an emphasis in Secondary Education). To be eligible, applicants must apply to UA Little Rock before the scholarship deadline (including submission of all transcripts).
- Cooper Success Award:
The Cooper Success Award is granted to students who are currently taking at least 6 hours and who have a declared major in English. To be eligible, applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in English. Preference will be given to students who are not yet in the Cooper Honors Program. Financial need and potential for academic success will be strongly considered. If all things are equal, financial need will be the deciding factor.
The Cooper Honors Program offers students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member by assisting with advanced research or another project. Assistantships pay up to $600 per semester.