The English major seeks to expose students to a wide range of literary works and critical methodologies, to develop an awareness of the forms, histories, and contexts of literary works, and to cultivate fundamental skills of critical reading and writing.
The major consists of ten courses. ENLS 2000 (“Literary Investigations”) is required of all majors. There are four additional distribution requirements: students must take one course whose primary emphasis is on literature before 1800, one course in American literature, one survey course from among the following three (ENLS 2010 and 2020, “Introduction to British Literature” I & II, and ENLS 2030, “Introduction to American Literature”), and one capstone seminar (ENLS 5010), to be taken in the junior or senior year. The remaining five courses are electives.
In addition to ENLS 2000 and the survey course, one other literature course may be taken at the 3000 level or below. The remaining seven courses must be advanced courses: literature courses at the 4000 level and above, and writing courses at the 2000 level and above. ENLS 2010 can simultaneously fulfill the pre-1800 requirement and ENLS 2030 can simultaneously fulfill the American literature requirement, in which case the student must choose one additional elective course to count towards the overall ten required courses. Honors theses can fulfill the capstone seminar requirement.
Students may, with the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, count one course taken in another department as an elective within the English major. With permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, up to three credit hours of internships (the equivalent of one course) may be taken for credit towards the major. For students pursuing departmental honors, four of the seven total credits for the honors thesis (the equivalent of one course) count towards the major requirements. Up to four transfer courses may be counted towards the major.
As courses will vary in content each semester, students should before enrolling consult the new course descriptions for each upcoming semester when they are posted on the English Department website and in the English Department office, Norman Mayer 122.
When declaring an English Major, you must take a Major/Minor Declaration Form (available at the Center for Academic Advising) to Professor Thomas Albrecht, Director of Undergraduate Studies, during his posted office hours. When you declare the Major, Professor Albrecht will assign a departmental advisor to you, will start a Major Checklist—a form that outlines all of the requirements for the Major—in your name, and will check off the courses you have already taken or are currently taking that fulfill these requirements. This sheet will help you and your departmental advisor keep track of the courses you take that count towards your English Major. It is also used, along with your audit, for certification at graduation.
Once you are a declared English major, a folder will be set up for you in the English Department office containing your Major Checklist. You should bring this folder with you every time you visit your departmental advisor for advising about past, present, and future coursework in the English Department.