Chairperson: Wendy Nielsen

The English Department offers instruction in interpreting and creating informative and imaginative texts, in the description and historical understanding of the English and American languages, and in the cultural understanding of world literatures written in English.

The English Major requires a minimum of 37 credits or twelve courses at the 200-level and above, including:

  • Two required courses: ENWR 220: Writing in the Major and ENGL 300: The Pursuits of English;
  • At least one pre-1700 course, one pre-1800 course, two pre-1900 courses, and one post-1900 course.

Courses in the major should cover at least three different genres: poetry, film, drama, and/or fiction. Courses in the major must cover international issues, ethnic studies, women and gender studies, and class issues.

(See program guides for specific requirement details.)

For creative writing, film, journalism, or professional and public writing minors, only two minor courses may be counted towards the major

A minimum of 120 credits of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.0 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.0 major GPA. However, more than 120 credits may be required depending upon the major field of study. In addition to the major requirements, all university students must fulfill the set of General Education requirements applicable to their degree.

The English Department has identified four learning goals for an undergraduate education in English. English majors should be able to

  • read and interpret texts with attention to formal and theoretical issues;
  • understand the social, historical, and political contexts in which literature and other cultural texts are written and read;
  • possess an awareness of American, British, and other literary histories through the study of both canonical and non-canonical texts, in national and transnational frameworks; and
  • define their own intellectual interests, conduct research independently, and produce clear, coherent analytical essays.