You must take at least 12 courses (36 hours). Of these, you must take 8 courses (24 hours) at 300-level or higher. Double majors: take 10 courses (30 hours). Of these you must take 6 courses (18 hours) at 300-level or higher. You won't be able to use AP credit towards the major.
Here are the courses you must take to be an English Major or double major. If possible, please do them in the following order:
For questions regarding the degree and undergraduate courses, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in English.
Major Concentration: Creative Writing
Students must complete a minimum of 4 courses (12-13 credit hours) from departmental (ENGL) course offerings with the creative writing designation. Of these 4 courses, students must complete at least 2 courses (6-7 credit hours) at the 300-level or above, and at least 1 course (3-4 credit hours) at the 400-level or above. The remaining required course can be selected from any of the approved Creative Writing coursework.
Advanced Independent Study
The senior thesis option allows students the opportunity to pursue a substantive research or creating writing project with a faculty advisor. Students who successfully complete the thesis with an A grade will be eligible to apply for Distinction in Research and Creative Works. Senior thesis students present their work at an end-of-the-year departmental forum.
The English Major’s required core courses provide the groundwork for the major. These courses help students become more skilled analytical readers and writers, while a wide range of electives enables students to pursue their own interests and intellectual passions.
Training the Imagination
ENGL 200, Critical Reading and Writing, emphasizes close reading and critical writing about literature, while familiarizing students (at a basic level) with the extra-literary contexts within which imaginative works are produced and interpreted. Students engage basic questions: What is literature? How does it work? Can we distinguish literary language from everyday language? What are the most recognizable genres of literature? What does it mean to engage with literature critically? While the central aim is to analyze the formal principles of literary production, the course also introduces students to literary criticism and theory.
Mastering Theoretical Concepts and Methods
ENGL 300, Practices of Literary Study, extends students’ knowledge of a range of approaches to reading and writing and offers the opportunity to explore further the relation of literary and other cultural texts to key concepts in cultural theory. In their reading and writing students engage a variety of theoretical problems and modes of reading, among them close textual analysis, critical attention to representation of the (racial, gendered, sexual, class) subject, and what it means to read a text’s relation to philosophical traditions, power relations, history, and empire.
The pre-1900 and pre-1800 course requirements allow students to acquire an understanding of past traditions and their influence on the present. Topical courses as well as general surveys in British and American Literature track continuities and discontinuities in literary history while engaging questions about history as a narrative and cultural archive.
While the historical courses introduce students to the long traditions of British and American Literature, core courses in non-canonical literature intercept and broaden understanding of these traditions using the divergent strands of minority, transnational, postcolonial and global literatures. Students learn how cultural productions of various kinds disclose these traditions as sites of struggle, imitation, and critique.
Fundamentals of Research
The content of the Major Capstone Courses varies according to instructor and semester, but all capstone courses build toward a longer seminar paper (15-20 pp.) that trains students to do independent research on a topic chosen by them in consultation with the instructor. These capstone papers often include a combination of close analysis of a body of literary material with a critical approach informed by reading in secondary literary criticism/theory and/or primary research in literary and/or historical contexts. Majors should take capstone courses in the junior or senior year