The Major in English

The English Department offers a choice of three major concentrations: Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Film/Media Studies. Students intending to major in English who are unsure of their concentration choice are encouraged to begin their coursework with ENGL 198 Ways of Reading, ENGL 199 Survey of English and American Literature and a 200-level literature course.

The English Department urges majors to take the required survey course (ENGL 199) as early as possible in their major coursework, as this requirement is designed to introduce students to important questions concerning literary history relevant to the broader concerns of the major. All English majors will receive formal instruction within the major related to the educational goals of the College Core Curriculum, including writing within the major, formal presentation skills, and information literacy.

Note: Courses in women's literature, cultural studies, minority literature, and literary theory fulfill requirements for historical period requirements and/or seminars when so organized.

Concentration in Literary Studies

Learn more about coursework requirements and literary studies faculty.

Concentration in Creative Writing

The Concentration in Creative Writing combines courses in literary studies with a series of courses in creative writing. This option allows students to learn to write creatively and artistically while encountering models for good writing through the study of literature.

Learn more about coursework requirements and creative writing faculty.

Concentration in Film/Media Studies

The Concentration in Film/Media Studies applies traditional literary practices of close reading and critical thinking to the realm of film and media. This option allows students to learn about film and media practices through historical study of American and world cinema, theoretical analysis, and creative production.

Learn more about coursework requirements and film/media studies faculty,

The Minor in English

Two minors are available in the English Department:

  • The English minor in Literary Studies consists of five courses in English above the 100 level (with the exception of ENGL 198 and ENGL 199, which does count toward the minor). One of the five courses must be a seminar. Students planning to minor in Literary Studies are strongly encouraged to meet with a professor in the English Department to construct a coherent minor that focuses on a particular area of study (for example, Race and Ethnic Studies, Dramatic Literature, Literary Theory, Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Women Writers, or Anglophone Literature)
  • The English minor in Creative Writing requires five courses: two creative writing courses at the 200 level, one creative writing seminar at the 300 level, and two film and media studies or literary studies courses in the English Department (at the level of 198 or above).

Honors in English

The student, under the guidance of a faculty member, undertakes a specifically tailored sequence of courses and independent work culminating in an honors thesis, evaluated by a panel of three faculty members. Students may also write a departmental thesis without applying for Honors in English. Students writing theses should enroll in ENGL 379 Senior Thesis during the semester in which they plan to complete the thesis.

For information on teaching English and communication in secondary school, see Professor Saundra Morris.

Culminating Experience

In addition to completing a body of specialized coursework, students in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete an approved culminating experience in their senior year. The successful culminating experience draws together a student's disciplinary experiences and provides a more coherent appreciation of the major's academic discipline. All English majors complete The English Experience:a Culminating Experience. Current students can learn more about this at


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