English Majors are responsible for satisfying the following requirements:

Completing TEN courses, in total, offered or approved by the Department. This includes:

  • At least ONE 100-Level course

  • At least TWO 200-Level courses
  • At least TWO 300-Level courses
  • At least TWO 400-Level course
  • At least ONE course addressing material from a period before 1800 (any level).

There is no capstone requirement beyond completing two 400-level seminars in English.

Policies for Major Requirements

The level and period requirements should be fulfilled with courses from Amherst College English Department offerings, however, two English-related courses outside the department may be counted as electives towards the overall major requirement of 10 classes, upon approval by the Academic Advisor.

Special Topics and Senior Tutorial courses have 400 numbers, but these courses cannot count towards fulfilling the 400-level requirement.

If a student is pursuing an Honors Thesis, only one of the two classes (either 498 or 499) may be counted towards fulfilling the 10-course requirement.

There is a maximum of three Creative Writing classes and three FAMS classes that may be counted towards fulfilling the major requirements. These may be used to fulfill level requirements.

The Department is stringent in ensuring that all English majors meet the course requirements, but we place no restrictions on how many of the courses that make up an English major may also be counted towards some other major at the college.

Transfer students may apply up to three English-related courses taken outside the department (i.e. from a previous institution) to their English major requirements provided that these courses fit in the rubric of the kinds of materials or approaches generally taught in the department. One of those courses may count towards the 100-level requirement and one may be used towards the pre-1800 requirement, if suitable. The Academic Advisor must approve any courses taken outside the department that you wish to use towards fulfilling the major.