Main Content


The English Department has a dual aim: to teach students how to read literature appreciatively and expertly, and to help them develop a mastery of written and oral expression. To accomplish the first aim, the department offers courses which require students to read widely-primarily in British and American literature-and courses which introduce students to literary theory and history. Together, both types of courses acquaint the student with the rich variety of literary works, their relationship to historical events and intellectual currents, and changing conceptions of literature. The department seeks to produce readers who can recognize literary excellence in ancient poetry or modern novels, and who can discern the humanistic values intrinsic to these works. To accomplish the second aim - skillful writing - the department offers a wide range of courses from basic to advanced composition, journalism, and creative writing. Students are encouraged to develop clear, graceful, and effective prose.

English Major Requirements: As of Fall 2014, students majoring in English are required to complete ten courses, as outlined below.  This ten-course major requirement applies to all students in the classes of 2017 and 2018. Students in the Class of 2017 will choose to fulfill the new ten-course major requirements or to continue with the twelve-course major requirements that were in place when they joined the College.  They should meet with their advisors to declare their intention in regards to this choice.

Students in the Classes of 2015 and 2016 will fulfill the twelve-course major requirements for the English major that were in place before Fall 2014.

Course 1

  • EN106 Introduction to Literary Studies

Course 2 and Course 3
Choose 2 courses from the following pre-1800 courses

  • EN233 Studies in Medieval Literature
  • EN234 Studies in Renaissance Literature
  • EN236 Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature

Course 4 and Course 5
Choose 2 courses from the following post-1800 courses

  • EN241 Studies in Nineteenth Century American Literature
  • EN237 Studies in Romantic Literature or EN238 Studies in Victorian Literature
  • EN242 Studies in Modern American Literature or EN 239 Studies in Modern British Literature

Note that of the ten courses required for the English major, at least one must be in American literature.

Course 6, Course 7, Course 8, Course 9
Choose any 4 electives from the offerings of the English Department.

Note that in addition to other elective offerings, students may choose as electives any course listed in the "required" categories above if they have not already used that course to fulfill a required category. At least two of the student's four electives need to be literature courses that are at the 200-level or above. one  of the four electives may be an English Department sponsored internship.

Course 10

  • EN475 Senior Seminar

As requirements for graduation, English majors must write and defend a senior thesis (done within the Senior Seminar course) and take a written comprehensive examination that tests general literary knowledge.

Course Sequence - Classes of 2015 - 2016

Please refer to the College Catalogue and consult with your academic advisor for recommended course sequencing. Revised graduation requirements for each graduating class can be found in the Guide to the Core Curriculum.

Course Sequence - Class of 2017, 2018 and Beyond

English majors should take EN 105 in the fall semester of their freshman year and EN 106 in the fall or spring of their freshman year, or as soon as they have declared English as their major. The sequence in which they take major courses and fulfill core requirements will vary depending upon the various choices a student makes (i.e. minor(s), a second major, study abroad, internships). Students should work closely with their academic advisors in planning their course schedules and longer range plans. Note that students pursuing teaching must take Introduction to General Linguistics (English 355) and either Public Speaking (English 221) or Oral Interpretation of Literature (English 222). Students pursuing a major in both English and Communication should work with their advisor to determine the number of courses that will fulfill requirements in each.