The Major

The English Department offers options in three discrete curricular areas. Because a general English program is not available, students must choose one of the following options in order to complete the English degree. Students interested in studying English should contact the English Academic Advisor.

Creative Writing (CRWR)

Students focus on crafting work in Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry in a nationally ranked program and with critically acclaimed faculty authors. This option is ideal for writers hoping to develop and diversify their compositional and creative skills, students hoping to continue on to graduate study in writing, and those hoping to work in the publishing sector.

Literature (LIT)

Under the Literature option, students ground their study of literature in a series of introductory courses in major themes and historical approaches, intermediate courses in Shakespeare and literary theory, and a senior seminar that requires the development of a research project. Students complement these core courses with a selection of electives that engage specific genres, authors, and periods, as well as different disciplines and literatures of diversity (e.g. Native American Literature). M.A. students select graduate seminars in American, British, and world literatures as well as other disciplines, their course work culminating in either a traditional thesis or a portfolio of seminar papers revised in collaboration with a committee. The Literature option imparts an understanding of not only the aesthetic richness of canonical and emerging literatures but also the historical and cultural forces that have contributed to their making. The classes are of a size that makes discussion an important part of a student’s experience.

Literature and the Environment (LIT)

The English Department is pleased to offer an exciting new option in Literature and the Environment. The option is for students interested in literary expression that addresses the human relationship to our more-than-human world. The body of work encompassed by Literature and Environment includes oral and written “texts” spanning diverse cultural traditions through millennia of human experience. Though differing greatly in the kinds of rhetorical strategies they deploy, these “texts” share a common interest in fundamental ontological and ethical questions and the social and environmental implications of our answers to them. The many approaches to this body of literature, under the rubric of Ecocriticism, engage students in vital inquiry, an exploration of sustaining and sustainable aesthetic and environmental relationships.

General Linguistics (LING)

Students develop a strong foundation in linguistic analysis and concepts. The range of coursework offered by this option is ideal for students interested in graduate study in Linguistics.

Teaching English as a Second Language (LING)

Please note that this program does not provide a domestic teaching license. This option is ideal for those students who plan on living and teaching outside the US after graduation.

English Teaching (ENT)

The curriculum for this option includes content and licensure necessary to become a middle school or high school teacher in the U.S. with the completion of Bachelor of Arts degree. This option is ideal for students interested in becoming educators.

Notes on Requirements

  1. All students starting Fall 2009 and later are required to take at least one year (two semesters) of a spoken modern or classical language. Majors in Creative Writing, Literature, Linguistics, Teaching English as a Second Language and Film Studies are required to take a second year (two semesters) of the same language.
  2. Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language are collaborative programs with the Linguistics Department. Students interested in these areas may wish to speak with the Director of Linguistics, Dr. Tully Thibeau ( for more information about these options.
  3. Many options have requirements in common if you are considering multiple options.
  4. LIT 110, 236, 246 are intermediate writing courses. CRWR courses do NOT fulfill the intermediate writing requirement.
  5. LIT 300 and LIT 327 fulfill the required upper-division course.