English Major

Contact UsContact Admissions Request InfoGet on our mailing list Visit SHUSchedule a Campus Visit Apply NowCreate your account

The major in English requires the completion of 39 credits and is organized to include the major core of 24 credits, plus 15 credits taken in one of two areas of concentration: Literature or Writing.

Required Courses for All English Concentrations

  • ENG 221/222 The British Tradition I/II
  • ENG 231/232 American Voices I/II
  • ENG 321 Shakespeare
  • One upper-level writing course
  • Two Literature offerings from the 300 level or above, one of which must deal with literature written prior to 1900.

Additional Required Courses for Literature Concentration

  • ENG 361 Literary Theory
  • Four courses from the 300-level or higher literature offerings exclusive of courses used to fulfill the English major core requirements

Students taking a concentration in Literature are urged to elect advanced studies in related disciplines such as Fine Arts, History, Media Studies, Philosophy, Psychology and Religious Studies.

Additional Required Courses for Writing Concentration

Five courses from the following:

  • ENG 250 Journal Writing
  • ENG 358-359 Studies in Writing: Special Topics
  • ENG 253 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • ENG/MS 211 Introduction to News Writing and Reporting I
  • ENG 252 Developing a Writing Voice
  • ENG/MS 311 News Writing and Reporting II
  • ENG/MS 351 Screenwriting
  • ENG 362 Rhetoric & Composition Pedagogy
  • ENG 380 Independent Study/Internship

The Department offers ENG 360 History and Structure of the English Language in fulfillment of the Connecticut State requirement for K-12 English Teachers.

Policy Statement Regarding the English Major Survey Courses
The four English survey courses—EN 221, 231, 222, and 232—are foundational to the English major and must be taken by every English major, irrespective of concentration, usually in his/her sophomore year. The courses must be taken in sequence over two semesters. Until they are completed, no upper-level literature course may be taken. Upper-level literature courses cannot be taken simultaneously with any one of the survey courses. Any writing course or non-literature course may be taken at the same time as the surveys.

Like all major courses, the four surveys must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher to count toward satisfying major requirements. These courses cannot be repeated. Students are given only one chance to pass them. (A student withdrawing within the first couple of weeks would not be deemed to have “taken” the course and consequently could sign up to take it at a later time.)

After passing all four of the surveys, students will be eligible to enroll in virtually any English course. A student failing to receive at least a grade of “C” in any of the survey courses should consult with the chair of the department.