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Requirements

  • Major in English

    We offer two areas of concentration: the Writing Track and the Literature Track.

    All majors learn how to read and interpret complex texts, how to relate one text to another and to a tradition, and how to read texts within historical and multicultural contexts. Majors who choose the writing track practice their craft with four targeted creative courses, including two intermediate workshops in topics such as fiction, new media writing, poetry, and environment writing. We offer literature courses organized in various ways, focusing on historical periods, single authors, literary types, thematic issues, multicultural literature, and gender issues.  Courses taken Pass-Fail may count towards the major or minor in English.

    Requirements for the Major:

    At least 10 credits

    Literature Track
    • Classics of Literature Sequence (must be taken in chronological order): 
      • English 210: Gods, Monsters & Questing Humanity: Ancient and Medieval Literature
      • English 211: From Fairyland to Flying Islands: Renaissance to Enlightenment English Literature
      • English 212: Romantics, Rebels, and Bohemians: English Literature in the Long 19th Century
    • American Literature Sequence
      • 1 course from the 19th century or earlier
        • English 203: Early American Literature
        • English 204: Nineteenth Century American Literature
        • English 216: African American Literature 1
        • English 316: Voices of Reform: Nineteenth-Century African American Writings
      • 1 course from the 20th century or later
        • English 205: Twentieth-Century American Literature
        • English 206: American Environmental Literature
        • English 217: African American Literature II
        • English 218: Blues Women in African American Literature
        • English 224: Special Studies: Literature of the Vietnam War
        • English 228: Women Writing Women
        • English 250: Contemporary Literature
        • English 264: The Beat Generation: Influences and Legacy
        • English 266: Reading the American Graphic Novel
        • English 325: Black Literature of the 60s and its Legacy
        • English 326: Postmodernism
    • 2 period courses chosen from:
      • English 220: Shakespeare
      • English 304: The Romantic Period
      • English 305: Victorian Literature
      • English 306: Happiness and the 19th Century Novel
      • English 309: Deceit and Desire in Chaucer’s Fiction
      • English 310: The Arthurian Tradition
      • English 316: Voices of Reform: Nineteenth-Century African American Writings
      • English 321: Modern Fiction
      • English 336: British Women Writers
      • English 341: Existentialism & Novel
      • English 347: Modernist Masters of Consciousness: Woolf, Joyce, Beckett
      • English 380: J.R.R. Tolkien and the Literature of the Inklings
      • English 403: Emily Dickinson
      • English 404: W.B. Yeats
    • At least 2 electives in English not including English 100 or English 101. Only one of these may be at the 100-level.
    • English 450: Theory of Literature to complete the Senior Studies Requirement (A senior thesis may be undertaken by approval of the Chair, but cannot be completed in lieu of the senior seminar.)
    Writing Track
    • Classics of Literature Sequence (must be taken in chronological order): 
      • English 210: Gods, Monsters & Questing Humanity: Ancient and Medieval Literature
      • English 211: From Fairyland to Flying Islands: Renaissance to Enlightenment English Literature
      • English 212: Romantics, Rebels, and Bohemians: English Literature in the Long 19th Century
    • American Literature Sequence 
      • 1 course from the 19th century or earlier
        • English 203: Early American Literature
        • English 204: Nineteenth Century American Literature
        • English 216: African American Literature I
        • English 316: Voices of Reform: Nineteenth-Century African American Writings
      • 1 course from the 20th century or later
        • English 205: Twentieth-Century American Literature
        • English 206: American Environmental Literature
        • English 217: African American Literature II
        • English 218: Blues Women in African American Literature
        • English 224: Special Studies: Literature of the Vietnam War
        • English 228: Women Writing Women
        • English 250: Contemporary Literature
        • English 264: The Beat Generation: Influences and Legacy
        • English 266: Reading the American Graphic Novel
        • English 325: Black Literature of the 60s and its Legacy
        • English 326: Postmodernism
    • Writing Courses
      • English 135: Creative Writing (formerly English 235)
      • 2 of the following:
        • English 243: Vampires & Villains: Writing Literary Horror
        • English 244: Writing Science Fiction
        • English 245: Novel Writing Boot Camp
        • English 246: Memoir Writing Boot Camp
        • English 248: Tales of Murder and Mystery: Writing Detective Fiction
        • English 269: Writing Fantasy: Fantasy Worlds and How to Build Them
        • English 342 / Theater 370 Playwriting
        • English 360: Fiction Writing
        • English 361: Poetry Writing
        • English 362: New Media/Electronic Writing
        • English 364: Creative Unwriting and Remix Workshop
        • English 365: Poetry and Nature
        • English 367: Environmental Writing (formerly English 332)
        • English 368: Advanced Nonfiction Writing (formerly English 330)
        • English 369: Professional Writing in the Digital Age
        • English 370: Emoji and Image Writing Workshop
        • English 392: Publishing Practicum
    • Any English course at the 300 level or above, or English 220.  English 440 and English 450 do not count for this requirement
    • English 440: Advanced Writing Seminar/Tutorial: Re-Writing Chicago to complete the Senior Studies Requirement (A senior thesis may be undertaken by approval of the Chair, but cannot be completed in lieu of the senior seminar.)

    Requirements for the Minor:

    At least 6 credits

    • English 210: Gods, Monsters & Questing Humanity: Ancient and Medieval Literature
    • 2 of the following 4 options  
      • English 211: From Fairyland to Flying Islands: Renaissance to Enlightenment English Literature
      • English 212: Romantics, Rebels, and Bohemians: English Literature in the Long 19th Century (prerequisite English 210 and 211)
      • 1 course from the 19th century or earlier
        • English 203: Early American Literature
        • English 204: Nineteenth Century American Literature
        • English 216: African American Literature 1
        • English 316: Voices of Reform: Nineteenth-Century African American Writings
      • 1 course from the 20th century or later
        • English 205: Twentieth-Century American Literature
        • English 206: American Environmental Literature
        • English 217: African American Literature II
        • English 218: Blues Women in African American Literature
        • English 224: Special Studies: Literature of the Vietnam War
        • English 228: Women Writing Women
        • English 250: Contemporary Literature
        • English 264: The Beat Generation: Influences and Legacy
        • English 266: Reading the American Graphic Novel
        • English 325: Black Literature of the 60s and its Legacy
        • English 326: Postmodernism
    • 3 electives in English not including English 100 or English 101