College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

Department of English

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Major in English


The primary track to major in English consists of at least 30 semester hours in English above the 100 level (including 15 hours at the 300 level or above). The required courses are:

ENGL 300 English Literature to 1800 3
ENGL 302 English Literature since 1800 3
or ENGL 308 American Literature
ENGL 380 Departmental Seminar 3
ENGL 395 Capstone Seminar 3
One of the following: 3
ENGL 310
History of the English Language
ENGL 312
ENGL 320
Renaissance Literature
ENGL 323
ENGL 324
Shakespeare: Histories and Tragedies
ENGL 325
Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
ENGL 327
Eighteenth-Century Literature
ENGL 328
Studies in the Eighteenth Century
ENGL 329
English Literature, 1780-1837
Fifteen additional hours of English courses, at least 3 of which must be at the 300 level 15
Total Units 30


(For a downloadable checklist of requirements, especially useful when meeting with your advisor, download the English Major Requirements.)

Because of the flexibility of departmental requirements and the variety of career paths to which the major may lead, all students should confer frequently and closely with advisors. No courses outside the department are required for the major, but the department recommends courses in comparative literature, history, philosophy, history and criticism of the fine arts, theater, and literature in other languages. Students planning to go to graduate school are reminded of the importance of foreign language study.

Completion of the university composition requirement (ENGL 150 Expository Writing or SAGES First Seminar) is a prerequisite for most English courses at the 200 level and above.


Major assessment portfolio

As part of the university’s federally mandated program for assessing student progress, every English major must assemble a portfolio of written work. The portfolio is meant to help the department understand how well it is doing in helping to educate you and how it might do better;  it is NOT an assessment of your abilities and achievements.

The portfolio consists of four items:

1. one graded paper from ENGL 300 (files of such papers are kept in the department office)
2. one graded paper from ENGL 380
3. an essay of 3-5 pages reflecting on one’s experience in the major
4. the graded capstone project/paper from ENGL 395

The four required papers listed above should be emailed to Susan Grimm in the English department office ( She will create the actual portfolio (a Blackboard function closed to students) from the listed materials.


Capstone opportunities and obligations

English majors normally fulfill the SAGES capstone requirement by taking ENGL 395.  This capstone is also open to non-majors who have taken the prerequisites ENGL 300 (English Literature to 1800) and ENGL 380 (the English departmental seminar).

English majors who wish to fulfill the capstone requirement in another department (and hence not to take ENGL 395) should petition the department chair and as part of the petition assemble the major assessment portfolio, including the reflective essay.

The capstone minor allows non-majors to take the English capstone. It consists of 15 hours at the 200 level or above, including ENGL 300 and 380 and culminating in ENGL 395.


Departmental honors

To qualify for honors, English majors follow a track consisting of at least 36 hours above the 100 level, including the general requirements for the major (see above); ENGL 387 Literary and Critical Theory, or approved substitute; at least 18 hours of approved electives in literary and cultural studies; and one of the following language courses, or an equivalent in a language for which 300-level literature courses are available:

FSCH 202 Intermediate French II 4
GREK 202 Introduction to Greek Poetry 3
GRMN 202 Intermediate German II 4
JAPN 202 Intermediate Japanese II 4
LATN 202 Vergil 3
SPAN 202 Intermediate Spanish II 4


The award of honors requires a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses taken for the honors program.