The Honors program is currently undergoing some changes to better respond to the needs of our students. For more information, please contact the Honors advisor at sathya.rao@ualberta.ca

The BA Honors Program in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies is a degree of specialization. It offers exceptional students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of their area of major study and to make this knowledge their own through the completion of a faculty-guided Honors Essay in their final year.

Students planning to apply for admission to the Honors program should consult the admission requirements and the Faculty of Arts regulations concerning the Honors program.  For specific information on the MLCS Honors Programs please refer to the UofA Calendar.


There are several advantages to the Honors and Combined Honors programs:
  • Community
Joining an MLCS Honors program also means joining a community. Honors students meet monthly to discuss interests and concerns related to all areas of their academic studies. MLCS faculty members also regularly join the meetings to informally chat on a variety of topics, including the graduate school application, academia as a life-learning process, or methodological approaches to language and culture. MLCS Honors students also organize the annual MLCS Undergraduate Student Conference each March.
  • Mentorship
The program encourages students with shared interests to forge a deeper relationship to faculty members through ongoing contact with a supervisor in the students subject area(s). Additionally, students must register for an Independent Study (495 or INT D 520) in their final semester during which time they will complete an Honors Essay prepared under guidance of their chosen supervisor. This allows students to develop their research skills, their ability to organize a sustained argument and to work on their written expression.
  • Future 
Graduating with a BA Honors or BA Combined Honors signals to future employers and/or graduate admissions committees your ability to work in close contact with supervisors, to take individual initiative in problem-solving and research, to organize information into a logical and critical presentation and finally to express yourself in an eloquent and persuasive manner. These qualities are made even more attractive by the interdisciplinary nature of studying a language and culture. A BA Honors or BA Combined Honors degree means you possess a uniquely exceptional ability to linguistically understand and interpret cultural artifacts and to express yourself and communicate information across languages and cultures.


Students with a GPA of 3.3 in their major area of study and a 3.0 overall are encouraged to apply for admission to the MLCS Honors Program and Combined Honors Program at the end of their first year, second, or third year. Application should be made to the Registrar’s Office before March 1.


While students are welcome to discuss the possibility of pursuing an Honors degree with professors and potential Honors supervisors in their area of study, prospective and current Honors students are encouraged to obtain information and advice at any time by consulting with the current MLCS Honors Mentor, Dr. Sathya Rao

billy Ray Honours student

MLCS Professors: Odile Cisneros, Carrie Smith, Laura Beard and Andreas Stuhlmann celebrating with Billy-Ray Belcourt, MLCS Honors Major in Comparative Literature and Rhodes Scholar-elect, Spring 2016