The English Department is dedicated to the teaching of careful reading, creative and analytical writing, critical thinking, a historical and worldly appreciation of literature, and astute cultural awareness. Towards those ends, the department supports a variety of majors and minors: the major in English, the dual major in English and Childhood Education, a minor in English, a minor in Comparative Literature, and a minor in journalism. All majors and minors include foundational courses, core courses, upper-level courses, and elective courses.
Foundation Courses (should be taken by the end of sophomore year)
Three Units: EN 111, EN 211, EN 212
Core British and American Courses
Pre-1800 British Literature
Post-1800 British Literature
Required Upper-Level Courses
EN 330, EN 400, EN 425
Please note that additional core courses from the list above may be counted as electives.
Also note that, a maximum of two course from either of the following two categories may be counted as electives: 1) Film courses designated as ―F‖ (EN 230, 356, 357, and 291 or 593, when they focus primarily on film). 2) Courses devoted primarily to writing rather than literature (EN 280, 329, Journalism [JR] courses, and 291 or 593, when they focus primarily on writing).
Only courses with a grade of C- or higher may be applied to the requirements of the major in English. Although the study of a foreign language is not required, students majoring in English are strongly urged to undertake such a study.
JR 011: .5 Unit course taken twice
Two units: either two different one-unit internships [JR 397 two separate times] or one two-unit internship [JR 497 one time].
EN 111, EN 211, EN 212
Core British and American CoursesPre-1800 British Literature
Post-1800 British Literature
Elective upper-level courses
Required upper-level course
EN 330 Shakespeare Survey
Please note: One of the core or elective courses must be an intercultural course (designated by “I”).
One Unit: EN 215, EN 316, TH 290, FM 322
One Unit: JR 011 is not applicable.
Two Units: EN 200 level or above
One Unit: from any of the above areas.
Internship or Additional Elective
Comparative Literature addresses literary study from an international perspective. This approach to literature advances the idea that the study of literature is enhanced by knowledge of surrounding texts, languages, and cultures, and thus Comparative Literature emphasizes intersections between literature and global cultural, philosophical, and linguistic contexts.
One Unit: EN 229, or EN 212
Literature or Language Courses
300 level EN course
200-300 level French, Spanish, or Italian course
At least one course must be conducted in French, Spanish, or Italian
Initial eligibility for departmental honors in English: Students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.0 at the end of their junior year are eligible to pursue departmental honors by writing an honors thesis and passing a defense of that thesis in their senior year.
Those who wish to do so may wish to register for an independent study (EN 593) to be directed by a faculty mentor during the fall of their senior year. Though a student may elect to pursue departmental honors without taking an Independent Study s/he should know that blocking out sufficient time to focus on the project is easier if there is an Independent Study obligation.
It is essential that any student planning to pursue honors talk with a mentor during spring of junior year in order to begin work on the project during the summer prior to senior year. The same thesis may be counted toward the Wagner Honors Program and departmental honors in English.
It is important that you understand that you should undertake this project only if you have a keen desire to do the work involved. If you miss a deadline (in spring of junior year or after), you will not be allowed to proceed to the defense, though you should complete your work in time to receive a grade for the Independent Study if you have registered for one (it would usually be the completion of an incomplete from fall of senior year)
Please note that the departmental honors thesis does not satisfy the writing requirements of the SLC. The two courses in the SLC require substantial writing and analysis. The departmental honors thesis is the experiential component of the SLC for those students who are eligible to pursue it and complete the undertaking.
Also note that if you pursue departmental honors and take an independent study as part of that work, the paper alone is not sufficient to earn departmental honors. After meeting all earlier deadlines in the process, you must successfully submit (with your mentor’s approval) the final polished version to readers, pass an oral defense of the paper and submit a clean, edited copy to the chair to earn departmental honors.
Outline of Procedure for Departmental Honors:
In order to earn departmental honors you must do all of the following:
1) spring of Junior year by the last day of classes: identify an area of interest that will be the focus of your departmental honors thesis and fill out the ENGLISH HONORS CONTRACT identifying your topic and mentor (if you are writing a thesis for the honors program that focuses on an appropriate area, you may count this project as your English thesis). Give the ENGLISH HONORS CONTRACT to the Chair of English.
2) spring of Junior Year: register for an Independent Study for the fall of 2019 if that is part of your plan (see note above)
3) summer between Junior and Senior Years: do all research and background reading over the summer
4) fall of Senior year: a working annotated bibliography is due to your mentor and the Department Chair (on paper–no e-mail) by the end of the day (4pm) on the last day of the drop/add period
5) fall of Senior Year: prepare a prospectus of at least 5 pages. Due by the third Monday in October. The prospectus must include a working Bibliography of critical works and must be submitted both to your mentor and the rest of the English Department (via e-mail). See your mentor for the guidelines for the prospectus.
6) fall of Senior Year: Meet with others working toward Departmental Honors in November. Workshop session (the chair will find a time/place for you to gather)
7) spring of Senior Year: Meet with others pursuing Departmental Honors in January. Workshop session (the chair will find a time/place for you to gather). You must have at least 20 pages written by this time.
8) spring Senior year: request readers by the end of February (email the chair; do not ask individual faculty members).
9) spring of Senior Year: complete the final, polished version of your thesis by the week prior to Spring Break and submit paper copies to your mentor and the two readers
10) During late March or early April in spring of Senior Year: successfully defend the thesis in a meeting with your faculty mentor and two other readers from the department (full-time English faculty members)
11) Submit a clean paper copy of the thesis to the Department Chair by the end of April.