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English Department

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New English Program


Approved by the Faculty of the College of Arts and Science for Fall 2014
 For a more descriptive explanation of the new major, please click here. 

THE Department of English offers three distinct programs that allow students to individualize their studies while acquiring the breadth of knowledge and skills of the traditional English major. The curriculum provides courses in the history of British and American literature, in Anglophone literatures of other countries, in literary theory, and in expository as well as creative writing. These diverse courses reflect the interests of students and faculty and the expanding area of English literary study. Students use the concentration in English as a foundation for a variety of careers where the analytic, reading, and writing skills gained are especially valued, and as preparation for postgraduate work in literature. The department also regards its goals as helping students become readers of literature and culture throughout their lives.

While you will be able to sign up for the new major in Fall, 2014, you may certainly design your schedule now with these courses in mind, and your advisor will be happy to help you. To see which courses will count toward which area options, please see the Departmental Course Description Page

Program I Literary Studies (30 credit hours)

Students pursue a broad range of interests through a flexible approach to the study of literature. 30 total credit hours including:

1.         English 199, Foundations of Literary Studies (3 credit hours)

2.         6 credit hours in History (literature before 1800)

3.         6 credit hours of Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature)

4.         3 credit hours in Approach

5.         9 additional credit hours of electives in English, chosen from the courses that count toward the major

6.         English 299, Senior Capstone Seminar (3 credit hours)

Courses that fulfill the requirement in numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 above are described below under General Requirements and Advice for Majors and Minors in All Programs.

Program II Creative Writing (30 credit hours)

Students develop their creative writing while acquiring an overview of English literature. 30 total credit hours including:

1.       English 199, Foundations of Literary Studies (3 credit hours)

2.       12 credit hours of 200-level creative writing workshops in at least two different genres (from among: Nonfiction 200, 201; Fiction 204, 205; Poetry 206, 207). Admission to these courses is by consent of instructor.

3.       3 credit hours in History (literature before 1800)

4.       3 credit hours in Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature)

5.       9 credit hours from among 200-level courses that count toward the English major, which may include one additional creative writing workshop (beyond the four required in number 2, above) or one course in another discipline (with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies)

Courses that fulfill the requirement in numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5 above are described below under General Requirements and Advice for Majors and Minors in All Programs.

Program III   Specialized Critical Studies (36 credit hours)

Students design their own specialized course of study with a descriptive name and develop a contract of courses for it. 36 total credit hours including:

1.         English 199, Foundations of Literary Studies (3 credit hours)

2.         12 credit hours of course work concentrated in a particular period (e.g., nineteenth-century American), genre or movement (e.g., the novel), an aspect of intellectual history (e.g., law and literature, literary theory), or other area of special interest. Up to 9 credit hours may be taken in courses from other departments relevant to the concentration.  In consultation with a major adviser, each student selects specific courses, which are listed in a contract that is filed after the student has formally declared the major.

3.         6 credit hours in History (literature before 1800)

4.         6 credit hours in Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature)

5.         3 credit hours in Approach

6.         English 299, Senior capstone seminar (3 credit hours)

7.        3 credit hours of any 200-level English course

Courses that fulfill the requirement in numbers 3, 4, and 5 above are described below under General Requirements and Advice for Majors and Minors in All Programs.

General Requirements and Advice for Majors and Minors in All Programs:

Students must take English 199 for the major, ideally during the freshman or sophomore year, or as soon as possible after declaring the major. Other than 199, 100-level courses do not count toward the major. All 200-level courses (except 290b) count toward the major. English 272, 272W, 273, 273W, 274, 274W, and 288 may be repeated for credit when the topics are different. The survey courses, 208a, 208b, 211, and 211W, are recommended for sophomores to provide a background for advanced courses. Students considering Program II (Creative Writing) may wish to take 122 or 123 as preparation during their freshman or sophomore year, although those courses will not count toward the major.

Note: A course cannot be used to satisfy more than one requirement in the major.

Courses that fulfill the History requirement (literature before 1800) include 208a, 209a, 209b, 210, 210W, 219, 220, 221, 230, 236, 236W, 240, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252a, 252b, 278, 278W, 282.

Courses that fulfill the Diverse Perspectives requirement (ethnic American or Anglophone literature ) include 263, 263W, 271, 275, 276, 277, 277W, 278, 278W, 279, 279W, 283, and appropriate courses from other departments as approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Courses that fulfill the Approach requirement include 214a, 214b, 241, 243, 243W, 244, 245, 246, 247, 259, 262, 262W, 280.

Courses that fulfill the Program II creative writing workshop requirement include 200, 201, 204, 205, 206, 207.

In addition, suitable sections of 272, 272W, 273, 273W, 274, 274W, 280, 288, 288W, 289a, 289b (as appropriate) and other courses may fulfill the categories listed. Detailed course descriptions appear on the Department of English website for the upcoming semester and are available in the department. Majors are required to consult with their advisers during registration to identify what specific requirements the courses offered in that semester might fulfill.

One course from another department, appropriate to the student’s course of study, may be counted toward the requirements of any program with permission of the director of undergraduate studies; for Program III, this course may be in addition to the 9 credit hours already allowed from other departments.

Honors Program

To graduate with honors in English, students must (a) complete all the requirements of the English major, with at least 6 credit hours in honors sections (an appropriate graduate seminar or seminar in a study abroad program may be substituted for one honors seminar); (b) 3 credit hours of 290a; (c) maintain at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and 3.6 in the major; (d) be admitted to the Honors Program in the spring of the junior year; (e) write a thesis (290b) and pass an oral examination about its subject in the spring of the senior year. For secondary education double-majors, EDUC 3007 can be substituted for 290b with the consent of the director of undergraduate studies.

To comply with all requirements, every honors student will complete 33 credit hours. Exceptional achievement on the thesis will earn highest honors. Majors who wish to apply to the Honors Program must be within 6 credit hours of completing all AXLE requirements, must have made reasonable progress toward the major, and must have at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and 3.6 in the major. Applications are accepted in April of the junior year. Additional information is available from the director of undergraduate studies. Students need not be enrolled in the Honors Program to take honors sections. Honors sections are seminars open to any student beyond the freshman year who has completed the sophomore writing requirement of AXLE and has earned at least a 3.4 grade point average. Students are encouraged to enroll in honors sections prior to applying to the program.

Minor in English

At least 18 credit hours of course work in English are required. These courses must include English 199, 3 credit hours from History (literature before 1800) and 3 credit hours of Diverse Perspectives (ethnic American or Anglophone literature).

Licensure for Teaching

Candidates for teacher licensure in English at the secondary level should refer to the chapter on Licensure for Teaching in the Peabody College section of this catalog.