BA in English

The major in English (EN) offers students access to a thousand years of literature, from Beowulf to contemporary books in English from all over the world. Under the guidance of internationally known scholars and writers, students are exposed to a wide range of approaches. Many courses have an interdisciplinary dimension, making connections between literature and such fields as philosophy, religion, the arts, politics, science, material culture, and history. In small classes, students learn techniques of analysis, interpretation, and research that are applicable to many fields and professions (e.g., teaching, law, education, business, politics, journalism, and publishing). Courses in creative writing are also available to undergraduates.

Requirements

The total major requirement is 11 four-credit courses. A grade not lower than C is required in all courses toward the major.

All students must complete:

  • CAS EN 220 Seminar in Literature
  • CAS EN 221 Major Authors I
  • CAS EN 322 British Literature I
  • CAS EN 323 British Literature II

These courses are usually taken consecutively.

With the aid of their advisors, students should design a coherent major of at least seven additional English courses at the advanced level (numbered 300 or above), including one from each of the following groups:

Group 1.

American Literature before 1900: CAS EN 327, 471, 479, 533, 534, 545, 571, 587, 591, or courses specified as equivalent in any year.

Group 2.

Concepts and Methods of Literary Study: Any literature course listed from CAS EN 404, EN 406 through EN 490, or from EN 493 through EN 498.

Group 3.

British or American Literature before 1800: EN 363, 364, 521, 527, 529, 530, 566, 568, or courses specified as equivalent in any year.*

Group 4.

Diverse Literatures in English: EN 326, 370, 371, 572, 584, 586, 587, 588, or any courses specified as equivalent in any year.**

*Students who declared a major in English after September 1, 2010 must fulfill the requirement for Group 3; students who declared a major in English prior to September 1, 2010 are not required to fulfill the Group 3 or 4 requirements.

**Students who declared a major in English after September 1, 2011 must fulfill the requirement for Group 4; students who declared a major in English prior to September 1, 2011 are not required to fulfill the Group 4 requirement.

Note: Students may not satisfy the requirement for multiple groups with a single, overlapping course.

Upon approval of their advisor and the director of undergraduate studies, students may elect to substitute one upper-level literature course from Classical Studies, Modern Languages & Comparative Literature, Romance Studies, or the Editorial Institute, for one of their seven upper-division course requirements outside of the four categories specified above.

Languages

Majors planning on graduate study in English should continue work in foreign languages beyond the level required by the College. French, German, and Latin are the languages most commonly required for the PhD in English.