Departments & Programs


Major in English with a Concentration in Public and Professional Writing

Students must complete 33 credit hours in English, 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.
  3. ENG W231 and W350.
  4. Two courses (6 cr.) in Public and Professional Writing, of which at least 3 credit hours must be at or above the 300 level, chosen from ENG L240, W240, W270, W280, W321, G302, G405, and L498 (with approval, up to 3 credit hours of L498 internship in editing may be applied to the concentration).
  5. One course (3 cr.) at the 400 level (student work in G405 or L498 could count for this requirement).

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

Note: W202 and W205 are not approved for inclusion in the major or minor.


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 website 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.