BA in English

English majors work with their advisors to design a coherent but wide-ranging course of study. We encourage all students majoring in English to explore the full historical range of offerings; to investigate the spectrum of textual differences to be found in the study of Anglophone literatures, film, and oral traditions; and to include exposure to recent approaches in English studies, such as women's, gender, and sexuality studies, literary theory, historical materialism, and cultural studies.

With the help of their advisors, English majors should seek to create programs of study that expand their knowledge and challenge their preconceptions. Students should take survey courses early in their academic career in order to establish the necessary foundation for more advanced classes.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Students must receive a grade of C- or higher in any course that they wish to count towards the fulfillment of English major requirements
  • Only courses offered by the English Department or cross-listed with an English Department registration number can count for the English major. ExCollege courses may not be counted towards the major
  • No more than four transfer courses may be applied towards the major. These must be taken in an English department.
  • The English Major Concentration Check Sheet must be submitted with the degree sheet.

Course Requirements

For the bachelor of arts degree in English, students must take at least ten courses (above English 1, 2, 3, and 4) as outlined below. 

  1. One survey course
  2. Two non-survey courses in American, British, or other Anglophone literature written before 1860, including at least one course in British literature. No more than one course used to fulfill this part of the requirement may be on Shakespeare. 
  3. Two non-survey courses in American, British, or Anglophone literature written after 1860.
  4. Five remaining courses of the student's choice from the department's listings. One semester of a Senior Honors Thesis may count as one of these courses, with the other semester counting as an eleventh course for the major.

Please note the following guidelines when applying creative writing courses towards the major:

  • English majors may count up to five creative writing courses towards the major's required ten courses.
  • Creative Writing courses are defined as courses numbered English 0005-0017. Fulfillment of the College Writing Requirement is a prerequisite for ENG 0005-0017.
  • A maximum of two Creative Writing courses at the introductory level in each of the areas offered (fiction, poetry, and journalism) may be applied towards the English major.
  • "ENG 0009: Writing Fiction: Intermediate" may be applied a maximum of two times.
  • "ENG 0010: Nonfiction Writing," "ENG 0011: Intermediate Journalism," and "ENG 0012: New Forms of Screen Narrative" may each count only once.
  • "ENG 0013: Writing Fiction: Advanced" may be applied a maximum of three times.
  • There is no limit on the number of times "ENG 0016: Forms of Poetry" may be applied.
  • Any creative writing course (except for "Nonfiction Writing," "Intermediate Journalism," and "New Forms of Screen Narrative") may be repeated for credit and applied towards the major within the above parameters

Senior Honors Thesis

English majors may apply to write an honors thesis in their senior year. An honors thesis, as opposed to an independent study, is a two-semester project involving an advanced level of work in an area that students have already studied as part of their major.

Learn about the English Senior Honors Thesis

Replacement Advisor, English Declaration of Major Representative