Requirements for the Major in English
The major requires twelve courses.
- Methods of Literary Study (2 courses)
- ENLG 067 PO. This introductory seminar acquaints students with certain historical and methodological dimensions of literary study, with an emphasis on close reading techniques. The course is a prerequisite for the advanced studies seminar (ENGL 170 PO) and senior thesis (ENGL 191 PO). It should be taken during the first or second year—either before or, at the latest, during the semester in which a student declares the major.
- One additional course designated “theory-intensive” (TH), in which the theory of literary criticism is a significant component of the course’s reading and approach. The course must be taken before, or concurrently with, ENGL 191 PO.
- Historical Breadth Requirement (4 courses)
- Courses centered in four of the following five periods:
- Medieval (H1)
- Renaissance/Early Modern (H2)
- 18th Century (H3)
- 19th Century (H4)
- 20th–21st Century (H5)
- Genre Requirement (2 courses)
- One course emphasizing the study of poetry and poetics (PO)
- One course emphasizing the study of prose and narrative (PR)
- Single-Author Study (1 course)
- One course focusing on the study of an individual author’s work (SA)
- Interpretive “Lenses” (2 courses)
- Courses emphasizing two of the following three sociopolitical areas:
- Race/Class (RC)
- Gender/Sexuality (GS)
- Diaspora/Geopolitics (DG)
- Advanced Studies Seminar (1 course)
- ENGL 170A PO, ENGL 170B PO, ENGL 170C PO, etc. Students must take ENGL 067 PO before taking ENGL 170 PO. Majors electing the thesis option are advised to take their seminar during the junior year.
- Senior Exercise (1–2 credits)
- Thesis Option
- Students who choose to write a senior thesis take the fall-semester ENGL 195 PO (Literary Interpretation: Advanced Methods, 1 credit) and the two-semester ENGL 191 PO (Senior Thesis; .5 credit/semester). Permission to write a senior thesis is based on an application solicited by the department in the spring semester of the student’s junior year.
- Seminar Option
- Those who elect not to write a thesis take a second 170-seminar series during either semester of senior year and register concurrently for the non-credit ENGL 190 PO (Senior Exercise/Seminar Option). In exceptional cases, the department may permit a student to replace one English advanced studies seminar (170-series) with an advanced seminar in another department or program.
All senior majors will present senior exercise research—either a portion of the senior thesis or written work produced for the second 170-series seminar taken—at the Department Symposium toward the end of spring semester.
- Elective courses (up to 5, Seminar Option; up to 4, Thesis Option)
- Students may petition to have one or sometimes two courses from outside the English Department count toward the fulfillment of this requirement. Such petitions must make clear why the course or courses in question are essential to the student’s curriculum. Note: Only two creative writing courses (from the ENGL064 and/or ENGL183 series) may be counted toward major requirements.
The Pass/No Credit (P/NC) grading option is allowed only by petition to the department chair. With rare exceptions, two P/NC courses are allowed for the major.
Beginning in Fall 2015, courses offered in the English Department will carry a designation or designations indicating which major requirement(s) they can satisfy. Most courses will carry multiple designations; one course can be used to satisfy, at most, two requirements, at the student’s option. No course can be used to satisfy more than one historical requirement.
Example: ENGL 161 PO, James Joyce (SA; H5; PR)
SA=Single-Author; H5=20th–21st Century; PR=Prose
Courses taken at other Consortium Colleges, in study abroad, or brought in by transfer for major credit will be evaluated for major requirement eligibility by the department chair. Students petitioning for such credit will be required to produce course syllabi.
Sample Program of Study*
ENGL 067 PO, 1 credit
ENGL 126 PO, California Poetry (PO; H5), 1 credit
ENGL 140 PO, Literature of Incarceration (RC), 1 credit
ENGL 134 PO, Women Medieval Authors (GS, H1), 1 credit
ENGL 145 PO, Gothic Tradition (H3, PR), 1 credit
ENGL 141 PO, Shakespearean Drama (H2, SA), 1 credit
ENGL 170L PO, Genre Theory (TH), 1 credit
ENGL 170I PO, Tragedy & Philosophy, 1 credit
ENGL 190 PO, Senior Exercise/Seminar, no credit
Free electives, 4 credits
ENGL 195 PO, Literary Interpretation: Advanced Methods, 1 credit
ENGL 191 PO, Senior Exercise/Thesis 2 semesters, 1 credit
Free electives, 3 credits
* Actual requirement designations will be assigned by the instructor teaching the course; designations suggested here are for purposes of illustration only.
Creative Writing Emphasis
An emphasis in creative writing requires that the student:
1. complete a course in the ENGL183 series, Advanced Creative Writing;
2. with permission of a creative-writing faculty member, submit a portfolio of creative work in the senior year, to be evaluated by the creative writing faculty; and
3. participate in a public reading during the senior year.
The portfolio must be accompanied by a brief, reflective introduction; students are required to leave a bound copy of the portfolio with the department. The portfolio and public reading entail neither credit nor grade; their content is at the discretion of the student, in consultation with a creative-writing faculty member.