Degree Requirements

English Major

Students who major in English must choose an advisor in the English Department to assist them in selecting and sequencing classes to meet their academic and professional goals. All students who major in English must complete a minimum of ten classes in the department. The English major and minor each have two options: the literature emphasis and the creative writing emphasis. The two courses of study overlap and complement one another. Both literature and creative writing students should graduate from Denison with a strong knowledge of the history and practice of literary studies.

Each semester, students who want to take classes in English should read the semester's course descriptions, available online and from the English office, which provide more detailed information about specific classes than what appears below.

Literature Emphasis

The English literature major consists of 10 courses, from introductory survey courses at the 200 level, through upper-level seminar courses at the 300 level, to the 400-level capstone senior seminar. Students are encouraged to begin their coursework with 200-level survey courses that provide useful historical and theoretical contexts for subsequent, more focused study in the 300-level seminars. However, because specific seminars are probably not offered every year, students are encouraged to take seminars, even before they have completed 200-level coursework, if they are interested in the topic.  ENGL 400 - Senior Seminar is the English capstone course offered every year on a specialized topic. Students who major in English with the literature emphasis may choose to do a year-long senior research project in literary studies (ENGL 451 - Senior Research - ENGL 452 - Senior Research), which can replace one 300-level seminar requirement. 

English literature majors must take:

Four 200-level literature courses, at least 2 of which must be pre-1900. Note: ENGL 237 - Introduction to Creative Writing is not included in this category. 

Currently, the following courses fulfill the pre-1900 requirement:
ENGL 213Early British Literature
ENGL 21418th and 19th-Century British Literature
ENGL 215Shakespeare
ENGL 230American Literature Before 1900
Additional pre-1900 courses may be developed.

Four 300-level courses. A year of senior research can also count toward the 300-level requirement.

One 400-level senior seminar.

One elective at any level.

At least 1 of the above 10 courses must be a course in a literary tradition of historically underrepresented or marginalized people. 

Currently, the following courses fulfill this requirement:
ENGL 225Women in Literature
ENGL 245Queer Literature
ENGL 251Survey of Asian American Literature
ENGL 252Caribbean Literature in English
ENGL 254African American Literature
ENGL 255Ethnic Literature
ENGL 260Contemporary African Novels in English
ENGL 325African - American Women's Literature
ENGL 326Native American Literature
ENGL 340Contemporary Drama
ENGL 355The Harlem Renaissance
ENGL 356The Narrative of Black America
ENGL 357Postcolonial Literature and Criticism

Creative Writing Emphasis

Students who major in English with the creative writing emphasis must take ten courses. English majors with a  creative writing emphasis will read and write extensively, learn from practicing published writers, and hone their skills while studying a wide range of literary texts. Students majoring with an emphasis in creative writing will choose from a variety of courses divided among workshops and literature courses. The core of the creative writing courses is the workshop. Writing students take a series of increasingly advanced workshops to culminate in a year-long senior writing project conducted on campus. The senior capstone is ENGL 453 - Senior Writing Project - ENGL 454 - Senior Writing Project in which students complete a collection of their work (poetry, stories, drama, and/or nonfiction) by year’s end.

The English creative writing major consists of 10 courses, including literature courses at the introductory and upper levels and a four-course creative writing workshop sequence.

English creative writing majors must take:

4 courses in the creative writing workshop sequence:
ENGL 237Introduction to Creative Writing
At least 1 of the following upper-level workshops:
ENGL 383Fiction Writing
ENGL 384Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENGL 385Poetry Writing


ENGL 453 - Senior Writing Project and ENGL 454 - Senior Writing Project. English 453-454 serves as the capstone experience for English majors with the creative writing emphasis; this 8-credit course consists of weekly group workshops, individual tutorials, a monthly colloquium and practicum, as well as a series of master classes and workshops with visiting writers. Students must submit a writing sample and show reasonable progress in creative writing courses at the end of their junior year to get permission to take the year-long senior project to complete the major with a creative writing emphasis.

Three 200-level literature courses, at least 1 of which must be pre-1900. Note: ENGL 237 - Introduction to Creative Writing is not included in this category. (See the list of pre-1900 courses under the English literature major description.)

Three 300-level courses. ENGL 400 may also count toward this requirement. A year of senior research may also count toward the 300-level requirement.

At least 1 of the above 10 courses must be a course in a literary tradition of historically underrepresented or marginalized people. (See the list under the English literature major description.)

English Minor

Literature Emphasis

The English literature minor consists of 6 courses, evenly spread between introductory survey courses at the 200 level and upper-level seminar courses at the 300 level.

English literature minors must take:

Three 200-level literature courses, at least 1 of which must be pre-1900. Note:  ENGL 237 - Introduction to Creative Writing is not included in this category. (See the list of pre-1900 courses under the English literature major description.)

Three 300-level courses. ENGL 400 may count toward this requirement. A year of senior research may also count toward the 300-level requirement.

At least 1 of the above 6 courses must be a course in a literary tradition of historically underrepresented or marginalized people. (See the list under the English literature major description.)

Creative Writing Emphasis

The English creative writing minor consists of 6 courses, including introductory survey courses at the 200 level, upper-level seminar courses at the 300 level, and a two-course creative writing workshop sequence.

English creative writing minors must take:

Two courses in the creative writing workshop sequence:

ENGL 237 - Introduction to Creative Writing

At least 1 of the following upper-level workshops:
ENGL 383Fiction Writing
ENGL 384Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENGL 385Poetry Writing

Two 200-level literature courses, at least 1 of which must be pre-1900. Note: ENGL 237 - Introduction to Creative Writing is not included in this category. (See the list of pre-1900 courses under the English literature major checklist.)

Two 300-level courses. ENGL 400 may also count toward this requirement. A year of senior research can also count toward the 300-level requirement.

At least 1 of the above 6 courses must be a course in a literary tradition of historically underrepresented or marginalized people. (See the list under the English literature major description.)

Off-Campus Study

Students partaking in off-campus study during their Denison career can transfer that coursework as part of their major or minor requirements. Typically, an English literature or creative writing major studying abroad for one semester or for a summer term may transfer up to two courses as part of their degree requirements, while a minor studying abroad for one semester or a summer term may transfer one course toward their minor requirements. An English literature or creative writing major studying abroad for a full year may transfer up to three courses as part of their degree requirements, while a minor studying abroad for a full year may transfer up to two courses toward their minor requirements.

English creative writing majors and minors must complete their required workshop sequence (ENGL 237; one of ENGL 383, 384, or 385; and the year-long senior writing project, English 453-454) at Denison. Similarly, English literature majors must complete their required senior seminar (ENGL 400) at Denison. Students should consult with their academic advisors and the department chair regarding their off-campus study coursework.

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