English Major/Minor

The English department offers programs leading to the degrees of B.A. in English (general English concentration), and B.A. in English/Education (with New York state teacher certification in secondary or elementary education). The department also offers a minor in English for students majoring in other fields. Students enrolled in the undergraduate English program take a combination of university-wide liberal arts and general education requirements, and core courses and electives in British, American and world literatures in English according to several interrelated career paths:

  • Literature: Students acquire a broad understanding of literatures in English in order to develop their abilities to read literary texts in poetry, prose, drama and other genres with critical precision.
  • Education: Students acquire the skills and professional polish they need to teach language arts at various levels, working closely with a primary major through the College of Education.

Majoring in English

The general English concentration offers advised elective courses which can be combined by students in consultation with advisors as they decide on specific career-path development. These focal areas add to or reinforce competencies sought after by postgraduate degree programs in fields such as law, business and education; by corporate and professional employers; and by graduate English and education programs. Students may choose any one of the following focuses for their degree program:

Literature: Students gain a broad overview of Western literature and develop the ability to read with understanding and critical precision. Courses offer interpretive study of a wide range of literary selections, enabling students to participate intellectually in the cultural development of our civilization, and to prepare for graduate study.

Education: In conjunction with the College of Education, to provide the student with a sequence of studies that leads to certification in the state of New York for teaching English in grades K-12. These courses address the specific competencies in teaching methodology and literary and compositional knowledge necessary for the College of Education. Students may also elect to take a bachelor’s degree in English, followed by a master’s in Education. For more information, please examine the requirements for an English education concentration in secondary education or elementary education or talk to advisors in the College of Education.

Minoring in English

Students who minor in English take four required courses and two upper-level electives for a total of six courses. The minor in English focuses primarily on literature; if you are interested in writing, please see our minor in Writing Studies.

Minoring in Writing Studies

The Writing Studies Minor  offers advanced instruction in writing in a variety of contexts. The minor helps students translate their liberal arts/science degrees to workplace settings and emphasizes use of computer technology to produce professional texts: memos, letters, reports, oral presentations, web sites, and similar documents. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a writing internship. Most writing classes entail some service learning, in which students volunteer a few hours for a local charitable organization.