Requirements for English Majors

The information on this page applies to all students interested in taking English courses in general. Majors, however, are responsible for taking courses at each level. Current majors should go here for their specific guidelines, and prospective majors should click here for more information on getting started in the department.

Majoring in English requires the completion of 10 courses offered or approved by the Department. Students are encouraged to explore the Department’s wide range of offerings in literature, film, and culture. Rather than prescribe any particular route through its curriculum, the Department helps its students develop their own interests and questions, which are then recorded in the students' concentration statements.

Majors are also responsible for a two-part Comprehensive Examination, taken in the fall semester of senior year.



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are writing-attentive and writing-intensive courses on a variety of topics. They introduce students to a variety of genres and media, entail frequent writing, and cultivate students' skills in close reading.

Realism and Having Arguments are writing-intensive courses with admission by invitation only.





emphasize a particular approach to genre, media, discourses, terms, methods, or periods. They include introductory courses in creative writing as well as literary, film, or cultural study.

Creative writing courses often carry special requirements for enrollment. Check the specific course listings for more information on how to sign up for these courses.



are electives designed to foster immersion into literary, film, and cultural studies and creative writing. They help students learn skills and/or study materials that will prepare them for independent work in their 400-level seminars. They are open, however, to both majors and non-majors across the college, and generally do not carry prerequities for admission. Starting with the Class of 2018, majors will be required to take at least two of them.




courses are junior and senior seminars emphasizing independent inquiry, critical and theoretical issues, and extensive writing. These courses teach students the intellectual skills vital to framing a research question and conducting independent research. Starting with the Class of 2018, majors will be required to take two of them.

In Level IV courses,some preference might be given to enrollments by English majors.


Questions regarding courses and the major should be directed to Professor Judith Frank, the Director of Studies.


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