Major Requirements

The following courses are required for students pursuing an English Degree.

New English Major beginning in Fall 2018

Thireteen Required courses.

Four Foundation courses that introduce and develop the skills that we identify as learning outcomes for the major.

English 19:  Intro to Literary Analysis

English 29: Approaches to Literature

English 175: Shakespeare

English 196: Senior capstone

NOTE: English 19 is Pre-requisite to English 29.  English 196 is to be taken in the senior year.


Nine Area courses where students develop deep knowledge in the field, and practice skills introduced in the lower division Foundations courses.  Students are required to take one course from each of the following areas.

I. Historical surveys

These courses offer a survey of a broad sweep of historical time, illuminating the evolution of literary production and consumption, the relationship between the present and the past, and the formation of literary tradition. 

(Courses: 103 British I, 104 British II, 118 20th Century Literature, 150 American Literature Before 1800, 151 American Literature 1800-1900, 152 20th Century American Literature, 160 Development of English Fiction 1, 182 The Drama)


II. Movements and Eras

These courses immerse students in a specific movement or period of historical time and focus on a community of writers who create a network of ideas and share common concerns and problems.

(Courses: 119 Contemporary Literature, 141 Studies in Medieval Literature, 142 Studies in Renaissance and 17th Century Literature, 143 Studies in Restoration and 18th Century Literature, 144 Studies in 19th Century Literature, 153 American Ethnic Writers and Oral Traditions, 154 Studies in African-American Literature, 163 Anglophone Literature, 171 Literary Movements, 173 Women Writers, 183 Topics in Drama, 184 Contemporary Drama).


III. Authors and Genres

These courses focus on the in-depth study of either the work of author(s) (no more than two) or of a single genre and its formal conventions (such as Dream Visions, Science Fiction, Slave Narratives). While some of the courses will undoubtedly consider the influences of historical or cultural change, the chief purpose of these courses will be to introduce the work and evolution of the various authors or genres.

(Courses: 23 American Voices, 105 Children’s Literature, 115 Chaucer, 120 The Short Poem, 130 Single Author, 138 Short Fiction, 140 Studies in a Literary Genre, 161 English Novel, 162 The American Novel, 180 Milton, 185 Individual Dramatist).


IV. Theories & Methodologies

These courses explore how theories and methods such as, but not limited to, feminism and gender studies, critical race theory, queer theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, performance theory, critical discourse analysis, linguistics, rhetoric and dramaturgy, have influenced the production, reading and study of texts.

(Courses: 110 Linguistics, 111 Topics in Linguistics, 122 Law and Literature. 167 Literary Criticism [Part 1], 168 Literary Criticism [Part 2], 170 Problems in Literary Theory).


V.  The Art of Writing and Other Literacies

In this area students will take courses that will stretch and challenge their conception of literacies through the study of the creative process, rhetoric, and non-literary or non-traditional texts (film, comic books/graphic novels, new media, live performance etc.).  This area promotes writing praxis, explores language’s elasticity, and complicates traditional definitions of “texts.”

(Courses: 25 Creative Writing Multi Genre, 100 Advanced Composition, 102 Creative Writing (rotating focus fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting), 125 Film, 126 Topics in Film).

To ensure breadth, students must be sure to take one course that focuses on each of the following topics (these requirements can be satisfied in the Area courses from above.)

  • British Literature 
  • American Literature 
  • Pre-1800 Literature (not including Shakespeare)
  • Diverse literatures. 


Previous Major Requirements for enrollment Fall 2017 and before.

Lower Division

  • English 19: Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • English 29: Issues in Literary Study 

(These courses must be taken in sequence. English 19 is prerequisite to English 29. English 29 is prerequisite to English 167, 168, and 170.)

Upper Division

  • English 103: British Literature
  • English 104: British Literature II  
  • English 175: Shakespeare
  • One course in Literary theory, chosen from the following: 167, 168, 170
  • One course in American literature surveys, chosen from the following: 150, 151, 152
  • One course in English or American literature before 1800
  • One course in English or American literature before 1900

Four additional courses in English. No more than one of these may be lower division.