Skip navigation
University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

English Major Requirements

Effective Fall 2013, our requirements are undergoing a major revision. If you are under the old requirements (prior to fall 2013), then you may choose to migrate to the new requirements. Below is a chart showing the differences between the old and the new requirements. We anticipate that many students will want to migrate to the new requirements. However, those of you nearly done with your major requirements will probably want to keep them as they are. Feel free to stop by the English undergrad office if you would like to be advised on whether it makes sense for you to follow the old requirements or migrate to the new.

In addition to the major requirements, students must fulfill their college requirements and General Education requirements.


English Major Requirements Effective
Fall 2013 and Later


                ____ English 200 Intensive Literary Studies Seminar

One of the following two:
                ____ English 201 Early British literature

                                      OR


                ____ English 221 Shakespeare

Two of the following three:
                ____ English 202 Later British literature and culture

                                    AND/OR

                ____ English 268 American literature and culture before 1865

                                    AND/OR

                ____ English 269 American literature and culture after 1865

____ global Anglophone or ethnic American literature, culture or rhetorics (any level)

____ elective at a 200 or higher level

____ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

____ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

____ Junior Year Writing (English 300 or 419)

____ Integrative Experience (English 494 or English 382 from the Professional Writing and Technical Communication specialization path. Important note: not every instance of English 494 is an approved Integrative Experience GenEd course. Please consult our list of courses by requirements from our online undergraduate course listings or stop by the English undergraduate office located at 252 Bartlett if you have any questions about this.)

To declare the major, stop by the English undergraduate office located at 252 Bartlett and we will complete the “change of major” form to add you on.

Majors must earn a C or higher in all requirements. You may take English 200 concurrently with any 200 level course. Before meeting the prerequisities for most 300 level courses, you must complete English 200 and one of the following English survey courses: 201, 202, 221, 268, 269. Exceptions to this rule will be noted on the course descriptions.

A maximum of three transfer courses (ie transfer and five colleges courses) may count toward the major. You should pre-approve these courses before taking them and can do so at the English undergraduate office.

Second majors are only required to complete junior year writing and the integrative experience requirements in their primary major.



Old Versus New Major Requirements

Old Requirements

effective for majors who declared prior to Fall 2013

 

New Requirements

for majors who declared Fall 2013 and later

 

___English 200 Intensive Literary Studies (B- or better)

 

 

 

___English 200 Intensive Literary Studies (C or better)


___ Shakespeare (221, 222, 421)

 

One of following two:


___ English 201 Early British literature and culture

OR


___ English 221 Shakespeare



___ British Literature pre-1700 at a 200 or higher level (201, 311, 313, 416, 502, 505)


___ British literature 1700-1900 at a 200 or higher level (202, 338, 348, 349, 358, 469)

 

 

Two of the following three:

 

___ English 202 Later British Literature & culture

 

And/Or

 

___ English 268 American literature & culture before 1865

And/Or

___ English 269 American literature & culture after 1865


___ American Identities (270)


___ American literature at a 200 or higher level

 

___ non-writing upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

 

___ global Anglophone or ethnic American literature, culture or rhetorics (any level)

 

___ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

 

___ elective at a 200 or higher level

 

___ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

 

___ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

___ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

___ upper-level elective at a 300 or higher level

 

 

___ Junior Year Writing (English 300 or 419)

 

 

 

___ Junior Year Writing (English 300 or 419)

 

 

___ Integrative Experience (English 494)

 

 

 

___ Integrative Experience (English 494)

 



The College of Humanities and Fine Arts Requirements

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts has a foreign language requirement that you must complete to be cleared to graduate. You may have fulfilled the requirement in high school or are bilingual and can test your proficiency. Please see the requirements below and contact the CHFA Advising office located at E20 Machmer if you have questions about this requirement.

Language Requirement: All students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level, by one of the following methods:

1. Completion of a foreign language course at the fourth semester level (Intermediate II or Intermediate Intensive courses numbered 240-249). Intermediate II courses may be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

2. Degree credit equivalent to such a course earned through an appropriate score on a College Board Foreign Language Test or a College Board Advanced Placement Test.

3. Proficiency demonstrated in a test designed by a University of Massachusetts language department, or a test administered and validated by a local faculty member if the language is not one offered by a department at the University.

4. Satisfactory completion in high school of either a fourth-level foreign language course, or of a third-level course in one language and a second-level course in another language.

5. Successful completion of one year in a high school in which English is not the language of instruction.

6. Successful completion of a semester or year’s study abroad program that leads to foreign language proficiency at the fourth semester (Intermediate II) level as approved by the appropriate language department.

Students who have not satisfied the Foreign Language requirement on admission to the College must select a foreign language course each term in residence until the requirement has been satisfied. The University offers sequences that satisfy this requirement in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian (available through the Five Colleges), and Spanish. Students who have not yet completed the Foreign Language requirement may not apply their Pass/Fail option to foreign language courses numbered below 240.

Students who are certified by the Disability Services Office as having a significant hearing impairment that is seriously limiting to the auditory reception of language may fulfill the Foreign Language requirement either by demonstrating proficiency in American Sign Language at the intermediate level, or by completing four courses (12 credits) taught in English on the history, culture, or literature of non-English speaking countries or regions. These courses must be in addition to courses used to fulfill the General Education requirements, and may not be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. A list of courses that may be used in this manner is available from the Arts and Sciences Advising Office.

Students with a documented learning disability may petition a consumer manager at Disability Services. To initiate such a petition, contact Disability Services, 231 Whitmore Administration Building, (413) 545-0892.

Students with questions about the language requirement should contact the CHFA Advising Center, E-20 Machmer Hall, 545-6152


General Education Requirements For Students Admitted Fall 2010 and Later

Curriculum Area # of courses required # of credits earned Fulfilling the Requirement
Writing 2 courses 6 credits One course (CW) or exemption (see Writing Program) and one upper level 3-credit course in your major department
Basic Mathematics 1 course 0-3 credits One course (R1) or a passing score on the Tier 1 Math Exemption Exam
Analytic Reasoning 1 course 3 credits One course (R2)
Biological & Physical World 2 courses 8 credits One course (BS) and one course (PS)
Social World 4 courses 16 credits One course (AL/AT), one course (HS), one course (SB), and one course (AL, AT, SB, I, or SI)
Social & Cultural Diversity 2 courses One course focusing on UNITED STATES diversity (U, ALU, ATU, HSU, IU, or SBU) and one course focusing on GLOBAL diversity (G, ALG, ATG, HSG, IG, or SBG)
Integrative Experience varies by department 3 credits A variety of options will be offered during junior or senior year in your major department. (*)