Departments & Programs


Major in English

Required Courses

Students must complete 30 credit hours in English above the 100 level, including:

  1. ENG L202 and L371
  2. At least one approved 300-level course appropriate to each of four periods in the history of literatures in English: beginnings through the sixteenth century; sixteenth through eighteenth centuries; the nineteenth century; and 1900 to the present.

Note: The following courses are not approved for inclusion in the major or minor: W202, W205, and courses completed through Independent Studies. Students may substitute 3 credit hours from the related courses listed at the end of this section.

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.


The department recommends that majors considering graduate work in English take elective courses in a variety of periods of English and American literature. Especially recommended are courses in Chaucer (L305); Shakespeare (L313-L314); Milton (L318); the major figures of nineteenth-century American literature (L351-L352); and 400-level senior seminars. Students interested in pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Writing should consider completing the major’s concentration in creative writing. For advice in planning a course of study, students should consult their departmental advisor and the department’s Web site Each semester, the department publishes detailed descriptions of courses to be offered the following semester.

Foreign Language Recommendations  

Students who expect to do graduate work in English are advised to take substantial work in two foreign languages. Graduate schools commonly require French, German, or Latin.