The English Major and Minor

Requirements, English Major

The English major consists of a minimum of 33 credit hours in English courses, beginning with English 200; all other courses are numbered English 300 or above. English majors who enrolled at VU before the 2004-2005 school year may choose to meet the requirements for the major from earlier catalogs (that is, a 30-credit major in addition to English 200 that does not require English 400) provided that they adhere to that same catalog for all of their degree requirements.

Courses must include the following:

  • 200 Literary Studies
  • 400 New Literacies, Cultures, and Technologies of Writing
  • 408 Methods of Literary Criticism and Research
  • 493 Seminar in English

    Plus one from the following:

    • 409 Literature of the Medieval Period
    • 410 Shakespeare
    • 420 Literature of the 16th and 17th Centuries

    Plus one from the following:

    • 430 Literature of the Restoration and 18th Century
    • 450 Literature of the 19th Century
    • 456 The Novel

    Plus one from the following:

    • 460 Twentieth Century Drama
    • 470 Twentieth Century Fiction
    • 475 Twentieth Century Poetry

    Plus one from the following:

    • 401 American Literature I
    • 402 American Literature II

    Plus electives totalling 9 credits for a total of 33 credits.

    In addition to either a departmental or an individualized major, students must complete one of the following: an academic minor, a second academic major, or the Liberal Arts Business Minor. A final option is to complete a first major of at least forty (but no more than forty-eight) credit hours.

    The Double Major

    This option requires that students fulfill the major requirements in two departments. As either a first or second major, English is both popular and practical. Combining the study of English with such disciplines as communication, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, theatre, or theology provides a broad background in the humanities. Further, such complementary courses of study offer attractive career options in publishing, business (personnel, public relations, management), government, and not-for-profit agencies. These combinations also prepare students for graduate study in those individual fields, as well as in business, law, library science, or medicine.

    The Forty Credit Major

    This option allows students to develop their literary interests in greater depth and breadth. No more than forty-eight credit hours in English may be applied to the 124 required for graduation. Students intending to pursue the study of English at the graduate level might find this option to be of special interest.

    Related Fields

    English courses also apply towards the following concentration areas: American Studies; Environmental Studies; Ethnic Studies; Film Studies; Gender Studies; Liberal Arts/Business Minor. (See the University Bulletin for specific requirements.)

    Declaration of an English Major

    Students may declare a major at any time, but it is advisable to declare no later than the first semester of the junior year. Those students interested in teaching English at the secondary level as a career should declare the major even earlier (see the Teaching Major and Minor below). Early declarations allow students to plan their programs more judiciously. When declaring a major, students must fill out a form which will be signed by their new English Department adviser.

    Advising

    The Department of English provides students with a permanent adviser who advises them throughout their undergraduate academic career. Advisers can help students understand University requirements and will assist in drawing up coherent plans of study. Students should stay in close touch with their advisers and are required to consult with them during each Advanced Registration period.

    The English Minor

    An English minor requires a minimum of 18 credit hours in English courses beginning with English 200; all other courses are numbered 300 or above. 

     Courses must include the following:

    • Engl 200: Literary Studies 
    Courses most also include one course selected from the following:
    • Engl 400: New Literacies, Cultures, and Technologies of Writing
    • Engl 408: Methods of Literary Criticism and Research
    • Engl 493: Seminar in English

    plus one course selected from the following:

    • Engl 409: Literature of the Medieval Period
    • Engl 410: Shakespeare
    • Engl 420: Literature of the 16th and 17th Centuries

    plus one course selected from the following:

    • Engl 430: Literature of the Restoration and 18th Century
    • Engl 450 : Literature of the 19th Century
    • Engl 456: The Novel

    plus one course selected from the following:

    • Engl 460: Twentieth Century Drama
    • Engl 470: Twentieth Century Fiction
    • Engl 475: Twentieth Century Poetry

    plus one course selected from the following:

    • Engl 401: American Literature I
    • Engl 402: American Literature II

    English minors who enrolled at VU before the 2004-2004 school year may choose to meet the requirements for the minor from earlier catalogs (that is, an 18-credit minor in addition to English 200 that does not require English 400) provided that they adhere to that same catalog for all of their degree requirements.