Students who major in English with the Literature emphasis must take ten courses. Four courses are chosen from among the five core courses: four of those courses are historical survey courses that cover a variety of periods in English and American literature; the fifth course introduces students to literary theory and critical methods. Critical methods and literary theory are taught in many courses in the major, but English 202 provides an overview of literary theoretical debates, familiarity with some primary theoretical texts, and attention to research and critical practices in literary studies. This course is recommended for all students, particularly those who want to take advanced courses in literary theory or plan to pursue graduate studies in English.
All students with the Literature emphasis are strongly urged to begin their coursework with the required “four-of-five” courses that provide useful historical and theoretical contexts for subsequent, more focused study in the seminars. But, because specific 300-level seminars probably are not offered every semester, students are encouraged to take seminars, even before they have completed the required surveys, if they are interested in the topic. English 400, the Senior Seminar, is the English capstone course offered every semester on a variety of topics. Students who major in English with the Literature emphasis may choose to do a yearlong senior research project in literary studies (English 451-452). Students can transfer only two courses to the Major from off-campus.