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Program Requirements

Major Requirements

English 1, 2: 6 credits or equivalent competency in English composition. (English 1 and 2 do not count toward course requirements in English, but they are counted as part of the major average); other competency requirements as necessary; College 101 for students entering as freshmen.

Core Requirements

  • Eight credits in lab science, 9 credits in History and Philosophy, 6 credits in Fine Arts, 6 credits in Political Science or Economics, 6 credits in Social Sciences, 3 credits in Mathematics, and competency requirements.
  • English 10: Introduction to Literature
  • English 11, 12: Survey of English Literature
  • English 85: Disciplinary Literacy in English
  • Five three-credit courses in English, one of these in a major figure, one in a historical period, and one in a genre.
    (Only two of these may be courses numbered below 13.)
  • Three 100- 200-level electives
  • One section of English 100 in addition to any courses used to fulfill other requirements.
  • Total: 36 credits in English, 38 credits in Core requirements, 54 credits of electives and correlated courses, including 6 credits in composition if applicable. Total credits needed for graduation: 128 (129 including Freshman Seminar). The cumulative average in English must be 2.25 at the completion of the degree requirements.

Although students pursuing a B.A. in English must fulfill the competency requirement in composition, they are exempt from the Core Requirement in literature or language. However, some college-level study of a foreign language is strongly recommended. Students contemplating graduate work in English are advised that many Ph.D. programs require a reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages and are urged to complete foreign language study through courses 11 and 12. Such students are also urged to take an advanced course in history and one of the following: LIN 11 Comparative Linguistics, LIN 12 Descriptive Linguistics, LIN 41 Applied Linguistics, or SPH 51 Phonetics of English.

The Department of English expects the student to choose English courses from a wide range of figures, genres and periods. Among the major figures regularly offered are Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, but the major figure requirement may be met by taking any special-topic course in which an author’s name appears in the title; such a course may not be used to fulfill the genre or period requirement.

The genre distribution requirement may be met by taking any course that names a genre (literary type or mode) in the title. The genres regularly offered include poetry, drama, fiction and autobiography.

The literary periods regularly offered cover the whole range of English, American and world literature; however, the period distribution requirement must be met with a course indicating in its title that it is limited in scope to an historical period of British literature or comparative literature. Some courses may count either as genre courses or period courses, but a course may not be used simultaneously to fulfill two distribution requirements.

The Department’s undergraduate academic counselor helps students plan their programs and solve academic problems.