Sample English Major

To give you an idea of what an English program might look like, here are some hypothetical examples of a completed major. Keep in mind that different courses are offered different semesters, so you cannot just "map" your own major onto one of these examples. In fact, it is an important aspect of the major that you develop your program in an individual way and take advantage of course offerings that may emphasize certain themes or ideas that are not shown by a course number and title. Sometimes these may fall into groupings - such as "gender and sexuality" or "Literature and the Natural World" - that will also make successful concentrations.

Example 1

Hypothetical example of a student who declares a major at the end of freshman year, and by the end of junior year, decides on a concentration in "Medieval and Renaissance" literature:

First semester sophomore year

The introductory poetry course and the first half of the British literature survey, 205 and 255

Second semester sophomore year

A course in Shakespeare and the second half of the British Literature survey, 311 and 256

First semester junior year

One course in Medieval/Renaissance drama other than Shakespeare and an interdisciplinary course, 310 and 386

Second semester junior year

Two courses in Medieval or Renaissance literature, 304 and 317

First semester senior year

A senior seminar and a course in British Romanticism, 481 and 330

In addition to 205, the student covers the area of concentration in medieval and renaissance literature by taking 311, 310, 304, and 317. The electives are 255, 256, 330, 481, and 386. Reviewing these courses, the distribution requirement has also been easily fulfilled: 311 (among others) for a course in British Literature before 1660; 330 (or 256) for a course in British literature after 1660; 250 for a course in American literature; and 386 for a course having a theoretical or interdisciplinary dimension.

Example 2

Hypothetical example of a student who declares a major junior year, having taken no prior English classes, and decides that his concentration will be "history of the novel".

First semester junior year

The introductory poetry course and one upper-level course on the Victorian novel, 205 and 336.

Second semester junior year

A survey course, a course in Renaissance poetry, and a course on the early English novel, 251, 315, and 325.

First semester senior year

Another survey course, a course in the nineteenth-century American novel, and a course in modern drama, 255, 354, and 365.

Second semester senior year

A senior seminar on the novel and an interdisciplinary course, 482 and 368.

In addition to 205 , the student covers the area of concentration in the history of the novel by taking 336, 325, 354, and 482. The electives are 251, 315, 255, 365, and 368. Reviewing these courses, the distribution requirement has also been fulfilled: 315 (or 255) for a course in British literature before 1660; 325 (or 336) for a course in British literature after 1660; 352 (or 251) for a course in American literature; and 368 (Literature and Cultural Studies) for a course having a theoretical or interdisciplinary dimension.