English Major Requirements

Overview

In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, the English major will meet the following requirements for the BA or BS degree. Students admitted before Fall 2017 may use either these major requirements, or the English major requirements of their catalogue year (2016 or earlier); the old requirements are listed at the bottom of this page.

Questions?

Contact an advisor in the Language, Culture, and Meaning Pathway.

Requirements for BA/BS in English

Critical Approaches and Methods (8 credits)
Historical Literacy (8 credits)
Culture, Difference, and Representation (4 credits)
Electives (40 credits)
Notes and Restrictions

Total Credits: 60

Use the BA/BS in English Advising Worksheet to track your credits.

 

Critical Approaches and Methods: (8 credits)

These courses reinforce foundational training in close reading, formal and rhetorical analysis, evidence-based argument construction, and research methods that are indispensable for higher-level work in English.

Students must take both Eng 300 and Wr 301.
Eng 300 Literary Form and Analysis (4)
Wr 301 Critical Writing in English (4)

Eng 300 is a prerequisite for 400-level courses. Wr 301 may be taken concurrently with 400-level courses.

 

Historical Literacy: (8 credits)

These courses provide students with the opportunity to explore different historical periods, regions, and genres, thus enabling them to find connections between multiple topics and cultural moments.

Take two courses from the following list.
Eng 301U Topics in Shakespearean Genre (4)
Eng 320U The English Novel I (4)
Eng 340U Medieval Literature (4)
Eng 341U Renaissance Literature (4)
Eng 342U Eighteenth-Century Literature (4)
Eng 343U Romanticism (4)
Eng 351 African American Literature (4) 
Eng 360U American Literature and Culture I (4) 
Eng 411 English Drama (4)
Eng 416 History of Rhetoric (4)
Eng 426 Advanced Topics in Medieval Literature (4) 
Eng 441 Advanced Topics in Renaissance Literature (4)
Eng 450 Advanced Topics in Eighteenth-Century Literature (4)
Eng 458 Advanced Topics in Romanticism (4)
Eng 460 Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1800 (4)
Eng 491 History of Literary Criticism and Theory I (4)

 

Culture, Difference, and Representation: (4 credits)

These courses explore the politics of representation in the contexts of identity and subject formation, cultural encounter and domination, and canon formation and contestation.

Take one course from the following list.
Eng 326 Literature, Community, and Difference (4)
Eng 327 Culture, Imperialism, and Globalization (4)
Eng 428 Canons and Canonicity (4)

 

Electives: (40 credits)

These courses provide students with the opportunity to pursue their own interests and design a purposeful course of study.

Take ten ENG or WR courses. At least seven courses (28 credits) must be at the 300- or 400-level. Three ENG courses (12 credits) may be at the 200-level; 200-level WR courses do not apply to the English major. Please read the “Notes and Restrictions” section below for more information. 

 

Notes and Restrictions

  • Eng 300 Literary Form and Analysis is a prerequisite for 400-level ENG courses.
  • Wr 301 is expected preparation for 400-level ENG courses but may be taken at the same time as 400-level ENG courses.
  • Students must take at least 3 courses (12 credits) at the 400 level.
  • Only courses taken under the differentiated grading option (i.e., a letter grade instead of pass/not pass) can be used to fulfilled the requirements of the English major and the minimum grade required is C.
  • A minimum of 28 credits in English and/or Writing must be taken at PSU to graduate from PSU with a major in English.
  • In the case of topics courses that may be taken more than once, no more than 8 credits of the same course number will count toward the English major.
  • One upper-division literature course (4 credits) in the Department of World Languages and Literatures may be used as an elective in the English major with adviser approval.
  • Ling 390 Introduction to Linguistics may be used as an elective in the English major.
  • Wr 200, 210, 211, 222, and 323 will not count toward the English major.
  • No more than 8 credits total from the following may be applied to the English major: Eng 401, 402, 404, 405, 408, 409 and Wr 404, 405.
  • No more than 12 credits taken for the minor in Writing may be applied to the English major.
  • No more than 8 credits taken for the minor in Film Studies may be applied to the English major.
  • Chiron Studies courses will not count toward the English major or the minors in English, Writing, and Film Studies.

Old Requirements for BA in English

Students admitted before Fall 2017 may use either the new major requirements listed above or the English major requirements of their catalogue year (2016 or earlier). The requirements listed below applied to catalogue years 2016 and earlier. Note that the BA is the only degree option available for these requirements.  

Total Upper-Division Credits: 52
Total Credits: 60 

 

Lower-division courses

Two courses selected from the following (8 credits):

  • Eng 201 Introduction to Shakespeare
  • Eng 204 Survey of English Literature
  • Eng 205 Survey of English Literature
  • Eng 253 Survey of American Literature
  • Eng 254 Survey of American Literature
  • Eng 260 Introduction to Women's Literature
  • Wr 200 Writing about Literature

 

Upper-division courses

Group A: Theory

  • Eng 300 (4 credits)
  • Elective in advanced criticism and practice (4 credits):
    • Eng 414 Contemporary Composition Theories
    • Eng 416 History of Rhetoric
    • Eng 491 Literary Criticism
    • Eng 492 Literary Criticism
    • Eng 493 Advanced Topics in Feminist Literary Theory
    • Eng 494 Topics in Critical Theory and Methods

Group B: Literatures of Ethnicity, Gender, Class, and Culture Electives (8 credits)

  • Eng 305 Topics in Film
  • Eng 309 American Indian Literature
  • Eng 330 Jewish and Israeli Literature
  • Eng 351, 352, 353 African American Literature
  • Eng 367 American Literature and Culture
  • Eng 372 Topics in Literature, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Eng 373 Topics in Literature, Race, and Ethnicity 
  • Eng 387 Women's Literature
  • Eng 420 Caribbean Literature
  • Eng 421, 422 African Fiction
  • Eng 441 Advanced Topics in Renaissance Lit. and Culture
  • Eng 443 19th Century British Women Writers
  • Eng 444 20th Century British Women Writers
  • Eng 445 19th Century American Women Writers
  • Eng 446 20th Century American Women Writers
  • Eng 467 Advanced Topics in American Lit. and Culture
  • Eng 469 Asian-American Literature and Culture

Group C: Period Studies in British and American Literature (12 credits)

At least 8 credits at the 400 level, plus 4 credits of pre-1800 literature.

Pre-1800 courses

  • Eng 301 Topics: Shakespeare
  • Eng 311 Tragedy
  • Eng 312 Comedy and Satire
  • Eng 314 The Epic
  • Eng 320 The English Novel
  • Eng 340 Medieval Literature
  • Eng 341 Renaissance Literature
  • Eng 342 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
  • Eng 343 Romanticism
  • Eng 360 American Literature to 1865
  • Eng 411 English Drama
  • Eng 426 Advanced Topics in Medieval Literature
  • Eng 430 Sixteenth Century Literature
  • Eng 440 Advanced Topics in Seventeenth Century Literature
  • Eng 441 Advanced Topics in Renaissance Culture
  • Eng 450 Advanced Topics in Eighteenth Century Literature
  • Eng 458 Advanced Topics in Romanticism
  • Eng 460 Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1800

Other Group C courses

  • Eng 313 The American Short Story
  • Eng 321 English Novel
  • Eng 344 Victorian Literature 
  • Eng 345 Modern British Literature
  • Eng 351 African American Literature
  • Eng 352 African American Literature
  • Eng 353 African American Literature
  • Eng 363 American Literature 1865-1965
  • Eng 364 American Fiction I
  • Eng 365 American Fiction II
  • Eng 366 American Fiction
  • Eng 367 American Literature and Culture
  • Eng 384 Contemporary Literature
  • Eng 385 Contemporary Literature
  • Eng 412 English Drama
  • Eng 461 Topics: American Literature to 1900
  • Eng 464 American Literature: 20th Century
  • Eng 467 Advanced Topics: American Literature and Culture
  • Eng 475 Advanced Topics in Victorian Literature
  • Eng 477 American Poetry
  • Eng 478 American Poetry 
  • Eng 480 Advanced Topics in Twentieth Century British Literature 
  • Eng 484 Modern Drama 
  • Eng 485 Contemporary Drama 
  • Eng 486 Contemporary American Novel 
  • Eng 487 Contemporary American Short Story 
  • Eng 488 Contemporary American Poetry

Group D: Writing, Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics (8 credits)

4 credits upper-division writing course, and 4 credits upper-division elective.

  • Eng 331 Intro to Rhetoric and Composition Studies
  • Eng 413 Teaching and Tutoring Writing
  • Eng 414 Contemporary Composition Theories
  • Eng 415 Research Methods in Composition
  • Eng 416 History of Rhetoric
  • Eng 425 Practical Grammar
  • Eng 490 Advanced Topics in Rhetoric and Composition Studies
  • Eng (appropriate advisor-approved course offered under omnibus number)
  • Ling 390 Introduction to Linguistics
  • Wr 300 Topics in Composition 
  • Wr 312 Intermediate Fiction Writing
  • Wr 313 Intermediate Poetry Writing
  • Wr 323 Writing as Critical Inquiry
  • Wr 324 Advanced Writing About Literature
  • Wr 327 Technical Report Writing
  • Wr 328 Media Editing
  • Wr 330 Desktop Publishing I
  • Wr 333 Advanced Composition
  • Wr 394 Writing Careers for English Majors
  • Wr 412 Advanced Fiction Writing
  • Wr 413 Advanced Poetry Writing
  • Wr 416 Screenwriting
  • Wr 420 Writing: Process and Response
  • Wr 425 Advanced Technical Writing
  • Wr 426 Document Design
  • Wr 427 Technical Editing
  • Wr 428 Advanced Media Writing
  • Wr 429 Writing Computer Documentation
  • Wr 430 Desktop Publishing II
  • Wr 456 Forms of Nonfiction
  • Wr 457 Personal Essay Writing
  • Wr 458 Magazine Writing
  • Wr 459 Memoir Writing
  • Wr 460 Introduction to Book Publishing
  • Wr 461 Book Editing
  • Wr 462 Book Design Software
  • Wr 463 Book Marketing
  • Wr 464 Business of Book Publishing
  • Wr 470 Intellectual Property and Copyright
  • Wr (appropriate advisor-approved, upper-division course)

Group E: Upper-Division Electives (16 Credits)

Any 300- or 400-level ENG or WR course.

 

Additional Information on Requirements

  • Eng 300 Introduction to the English Major is a prerequisite for all 400 level Eng courses in the English major.
  • English majors in upper-division English courses are expected to be able to write a library research paper when required. The department recommends that majors without prior training in research paper writing enroll in Wr 222.  Wr 222 does not count for the English major.
  • Any course used to satisfy departmental major requirements, whether taken in the department or elsewhere, must be taken under the differentiated grading option and must have been assigned a grade of C or above.
  • No more than 12 credits of coursework taken for the Writing Minor may be applied to the English major.
  • No more than 8 credits taken for the Minor in Film Studies may be applied to the English major.
  • A minimum of 24 credits in English and/or writing at PSU is required.
  • One upper-division WLL literature in translation course may be used in English with advisor approval.
  • Chiron courses will not count toward the English major or the minors in English, Writing, or Film Studies.
  • English majors will be expected to choose their courses in consultation with their advisors. For upper-division coursework in the several groups, consult the following lists of acceptable courses.
    • Alternate Courses. The following courses, depending on their content, may fulfill major requirements in Groups A, B, C, or D. Students should consult specific offerings each term and meet with their advisor to have them approved.
    • Eng 305 Topics in Film
    • Eng 399 Special Studies
    • Eng 404 Cooperative Education/Internship
    • Eng 407 Seminar
    • Eng 410 Special Topics
    • Eng 447 Major Forces in Literature
    • Eng 448 Major Figures in Literature