Considering an English Major?

The English department is home to a wide variety of scholarly and creative interests, and our majors are an important part of department life. Students are generally encouraged to declare the major during their second year. If you would like to join the English department, contact the Director of Studies, or a professor you have already had in the department. At that meeting you can discuss your interests and which classes you have already taken toward the required ten.

Once you are ready to declare, obtain a major declaration form from the Registrar's office (you can also download it here). Bring your form to the English Office, where Ms. Bette Abrams-Esche will be able to assist you in completing the form, choosing an advisor, and obtaining the proper signatures. Welcome!

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. This is to be completed over the course of your major, and is not a requirement for declaration.

All Majors are responsible for completing the following:*

  • ONE Level I course.

  • THREE Level II courses.*
  • ONE Level IV course.

  • ONE course addressing material from a period before 1800, taken at any level.

  • A Concentration Statement formulated with your advisor after declaration and revised periodically.

  • A two-part Comprehensive Examination taken in the fall semester of senior year.


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


Front door of Johnson Chapel