High-performing students in the Senior Seminar & Research Workshop are eligible to apply for University Distinction in Research and Creative Works in the spring semester. Each year, this award acknowledges seniors whose exceptional work in the major goes above and beyond expectation. Students who apply for Distinction should submit research, creative and/or hybrid creative/critical work that meets the following criteria.

- For critical projects: conceptual sophistication, subtle textual analysis, sustained argument, depth and breadth of primary and secondary sources, innovative understanding of research (creative/critical hybrid), stylistic appeal, sense of voice

- For creative projects: significant literary ambition, including mastery of craft, style, technique, or depth of engagement with other literary traditions and forms

- For hybrid projects: interweaving of writing styles, forms of research, originality of purpose, and coherent overall presentation

Applications for Distinction will be judged by a departmental committee.

*Please note: These awards are competitive and there are sometimes successful, high-quality projects that are not selected. Students may opt to submit a completed long-form project or shorter, coherent writing or other hybrid example of work of approximately 25 pages. There is no minimum GPA requirement.

To apply for Distinction, students must do the following two steps:

1) Complete the online web form below (do not download the form) and once submitted, certify your email address:

  • fill in the form online and,

    • certify they are in good academic standing

    • attach a one-page letter of self-nomination explaining why Distinction should be considered

    • attach a description of no more than 500 words of their completed senior seminar project or stand-alone sample of work

2) Email to Anne Smith, amjsmith@rice.edu, a copy of their completed senior seminar project or stand-alone sample of work of at least 25 pages.

Spring applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2023. Please only attach PDF documents and do not download the form.

If awarded, Distinction will be noted on the student's transcript.