Departments & Programs


Major in English

The B.A. Major in English provides majors with marketable skills in writing, text analysis, and critical thinking and allows them to explore the power of the English language in all its historical, persuasive, and expressive range. Requirements for the English major provide in-depth training in literary history and culture. Majors take courses in all periods of British and American literature, as well as more recent periods of ethnic and contemporary world literature. 

In addition to core requirements, students choose from an array of elective options in genre (poetry, fiction, and drama), media studies, popular culture, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, rhetoric, creative writing, and public and professional writing. In the department, majors can work with novelists and lexicographers, biographers and poets, rhetoricians and bloggers, experts in everything from medievalism to modernity, from nature writing to digital gaming, from Jonathan Swift to Taylor Swift.

Required Courses

Requires 33 credit hours, with at least 21 credit hours at the 300–400 level, including

  1. ENG L260 Introduction to Advanced Study of Literature (3 cr.), recommended within the first 9 credit hours of the major.
  2. One introductory genre course (3 cr.) approved for CASE Intensive Writing credit, chosen from
    • L203 Introduction to Drama
    • L204 Introduction to Fiction
    • L205 Introduction to Poetry
    • L206 Introduction to Prose
  3. Three literary history courses (9 cr.), recommended within the first 21 credit hours of the major.
    • L310 Literary History 1: Beginnings through the Seventeenth Century
    • L312 Literary History 2: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
    • L316 Literary History 3: Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
  4. L371 Critical Practices (3 cr.)
  5. Five English elective courses (15 cr.) including
    • Two courses at or above the 200 level
    • Two courses at or above the 300 level
    • One course at the 400 level

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 courses listed in the “Related Courses” section of this Bulletin.

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

Students wishing to pursue a more focused line of inquiry through the major may elect to participate in one of the Department’s concentrations. To complete a concentration, students typically need four courses in a specific area of inquiry; at least three of these courses must be at the 300 level or above. Please check the Department website for specific details of each program. The Department has designated ten areas of inquiry, reflecting the specializations and unique talents of its faculty, and each semester a list of courses that fulfill each concentration will be provided for students.

  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Narrative and the Novel
  • Drama and Performance
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Post-Colonial Literatures
  • Popular Culture and Cultural Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Media/Digital Media Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Public and Professional Writing