Major Requirements

The English major requires a minimum of 10 courses (30 credit hours) in addition to the literature course required of all students in the College of Arts and Letters. In completing the 10 courses students must satisfy the following requirements:

Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 30101). This course, which introduces students to college-level study of literature, is a concurrent prerequisite for the major (i. e. students cannot take a major elective unless they have completed this course or are currently enrolled in it).

Elective courses. Eight English courses at the 30xxx or above.

Distribution requirement. In selecting elective courses, students must fulfill the following distribution requirements (for details about counting courses toward this requirement see below). NOTE that a single course can satisfy more than one distribution requirement. For example, a course on Shakespeare's major plays would satisfy the 1500-1700, British, and drama requirements. It is possible to satisfy all of the requirements with five courses.

  • Literary History
    1 course in the period before 1500

    1 course in the period 1500-1700
    2 courses in the period 1700-1900

    1 course after 1900
  • Literary Culture
    1 course in British literature
    1 course in American literature
    1 course in a literature in English outside of Britain and the United States or in American ethnic minority literature
  • Genre
    1 course predominantly concerned with poetry

    2 courses predominantly concerned with 2 genres from the following list: fiction, drama or film, critical theory

A single course can fulfill the requirement in more than one distribution category, but it may not satisfy more than one category. For example, a survey of Renaissance literature might count for pre-1700 (history), British literature (culture), and drama (genre), but would not count for both poetry and drama (two genre categories).

Creative writing courses may satisfy the genre requirement, but no more than two may count toward the major.

The number of courses needed to satisfy the distribution requirement will vary, depending on the courses the student selects, but not all electives need fulfill a distribution requirement.

Research seminars do not fulfill the distribution requirement.

Research Seminar. In the research seminar (numbered ENGL 43xxx) students complete an original and substantial research project. With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies and the instructor, students may take a graduate course in place of the research seminar. The research seminar does not fulfill a distribution requirement. Students who are admitted to the Honors Concentration complete an honors thesis in place of the research seminar.

If you have questions about the requirements, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.