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English Major Requirements

How to Declare

Students who wish to pursue an English major should understand that it is a writing-intensive degree that requires analytical as well as imaginative thinking.

Students who wish to major in English must:

  • Declare themselves by filling out a change-of-major form in the Undergraduate English Office in South College E345. 

  • Complete College Writing (English Writing 112 or 113). This course is the prerequisite to enrolling in English 200 and is normally taken in a student’s Freshman year. Some students may complete this requirement by receiving an exceptionally high grade on the Writing Placement Examination.

  • Complete English 200: Intensive Literary Studies Seminar for Intended Majors and earn a C or better and attend a Mandatory Advising session where students receive an overview of the department, the major, and programs and services available to them as majors. This course is normally taken in a student’s sophomore year. (It is also required for the minor.)


Major Requirements

New requirements effective fall 2016 and later.  Students who declared the English major prior to fall 2016 are under the old requirements, which are nearly identical to the new requirements. The new requirements require a 200+ English course to fulfill the Anglophone/Ethnic American literature requirement and require new majors to fulfill their electives with one 200+ English elective, one 300+ English elective and one 400+ English elective. A limited number of pre-approved courses may be offered as substitutes for 201, 202, 268, and 269 each semester. New and old requirements for the major are both listed below.

Printable checklist of major requirements
See a list of courses that fulfill each requirement


_____  English 200: Intensive Literary Studies Seminar for Intended Majors and Minors

  • First-year students accepted into the English TAP program will simultaneously complete both English 112 and English 200. With few exceptions, transfer students and students who decide to pursue the English major after their sophomore year must complete both of these requirements before progressing through the major. 
  • While enrolled in English 200, students may also take upper-level English courses that are designated for General Education (GE) credit, including American Identities (English 270) and Shakespeare (English 221), which will count toward the major; but they may not register for any other courses restricted to advanced English majors who have completed English 200. 


_____  One course in British Literature and Culture before 1700

221 Shakespeare counts


_____  Pick two (2) courses from the following three (3) categories:

  • British Literature and Culture after 1700 
  • American Literature and Culture before 1865
  • American Literature and Culture after 1865


_____  One course in Anglophone or ethnic American literature, culture or rhetorics

For students who declared the major before fall 2016, this can be any level.
For students who declared the major during or after fall 2016, this must be fulfilled with a 200+ level course.


_____  English 300: Junior Year Writing

Required for primary majors and dual degree. Waived for 2nd majors.


_____  One elective – 200 or higher level


_____  One or two electives – 300 or higher level

Students may count English 398 (a graded, 3-credit internship) towards this requirement.
Students who declared the major before fall 2016 must take two 300+ English electives.
Students who declared the major in fall 2016 or later must take only one 300+ English elective.


_____  One elective – 400 or higher level

Students who declared the major before fall 2016 do not have to take a 400+ English elective. 
Students who declared the major during or after fall 2016 must take at least one 400+ English elective.


_____  Integrative Experience

Required for primary majors only. Waived for 2nd majors and dual degrees.


Important Notes

  • You must earn a C or better in all courses taken toward the major.
  • Two upper-level electives may come from closely related 300- or 400-level courses in other departments with approval from one of the chief advisors in E345 South College.
  • If a course meets more than one requirement, a student may count 1 course twice but will then need to take an additional upper level elective for a total of three 300+ elective courses.
  • Second majors in English are not required to complete either junior year writing or the integrative experience.
  • Students pursuing dual degree must fulfill junior year writing in English even if they are listed on Spire as 2nd majors who are waived.
  • The successful completion of the professional writing and technical communications specialization path fulfills the integrative experience requirement.
  • If there is any doubt about the applicability of a particular course in another department, or from another school, check with the chief undergraduate advisors in E345 South College.
  • See advising FAQs.