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Bachelor of Arts
School of Arts and Humanities

The English program encourages students to develop sophisticated ways of understanding, creating, and responding to texts. English majors and minors study the historical development of literary and rhetorical traditions, of literatures written in English, as well as world and European literatures in English translation. Students in the literature option read a wide range of literature from various cultures and historical periods. Students in the writing option also read a great deal of literature and study literary method, but focus their coursework on the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. English/Secondary Education majors must choose the Literature option and take one additional course, ENG 312 Descriptive Grammar.

The English faculty emphasizes critical thinking, the analysis of texts, clear and effective writing, aesthetic appreciation, and theoretical sophistication. We value small class sizes and personal contact between faculty and students, and we work closely with students as academic advisors to plan the course of study. Faculty members also guide students to consider such opportunities as a semester of study abroad or a writing internship.

In addition to fostering a lifelong appreciation of literature and language and a high degree of literacy, a degree in English provides a range of personal and professional opportunities. Surveys of employers consistently stress the value of the skills we teach: the ability to communicate effectively with others, to think critically and creatively, to read carefully, and to write with clarity and purpose. English majors go on to graduate and professional schools; they work in the field of teaching; they become writers; and they are employed in publishing, journalism, business, public relations, library science, and many other fields.


Each student must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English as specified by the Language Requirement for Students with Majors in the School of Arts and Humanities.


40 credits minimum


40 credits

Literature Option

Students choosing the Literature option in English must complete a minimum of ten courses.

  • ENG 215 Literary Analysis (must be taken before completing 9 credits toward the major)
  • ENG 315 Literary Form and History (prerequisite: completion of ENG 215)
  • ENG 395 Advanced Sequence I
  • ENG 495 Advanced Sequence II
  • Six additional English courses: one at the 200 level, four at the 300 level, and one at the 400 level - either ENG 402 or ENG 490. (At least four of these six courses must be in literature.) One course must be in pre-1800 literature (may be satisfied with an appropriate sequence). One course must be a Differing Cultural Perspectives course (may be satisfied with an appropriate sequence).
  • Additional Requirement for English/Secondary Education majors: ENG 312 Descriptive Grammar

Writing Option

Students electing the writing option in English must complete a minimum of 10 courses. Students may not pursue both the Writing option and the Writing minor. English/Secondary Education majors may not choose the Writing option.

Choose one course from:

  • IAENG 204 Creative Writing
  • IAENG 202 Creative Nonfiction Writing

Also required:

  • ENG 215 Literary Analysis (must be taken before completing 9 credits toward the major)
  • ENG 315 Literary Form and History (prerequisite: completion of ENG 215)
  • ENG 402 Theory and Practice
  • ENG 405 Writing Portfolio (must be completed in senior year)
  • Two ENG electives in literature at the 300 or 400 level

Choose three additional writing courses (two courses must be at the 300 level or 400 level, other than ENG 402 and ENG 405):

  • ENG 201 Writing with Style
  • IAENG 202 Creative Nonfiction Writing (if not previously completed)
  • ENG 203 Women's Writing
  • IAENG 204 Creative Writing (if not previously completed)
  • ENG 208 Topics in Writing (if not previously completed)
  • ENG 301 Fiction Workshop
  • ENG 302 Poetry Workshop
  • ENG 303 Nonfiction Workshop
  • ENG 306 Autobiography Workshop
  • ENG 307 Writing in the World
  • ENG 308 Advanced Topics in Writing
  • ENG 497 Writing/Publishing Internship

Certification as an English Teacher

Dual Major in Education

  • Secondary Education

Additional Major Requirements

  • ENG 312 Descriptive Grammar


Select courses to reach a total of 120 credits for the degree.


120 credits