Best Practices for the Major

Our major gives students the flexibility to balance requirements and electives. We also offer a variety of courses with which to fulfill requirements. Below are a list of best practices for navigating the major. These suggestions are designed to help you develop the skills and foundations you need to excel in coursework, explore known passions, and discover unexpected areas of interest.

  1. The English Department has designed the major with a specific order in mind. We advise that you take the introductory course ENGLISH 101 in your sophomore year. It will teach you the building blocks of critical reading and writing literary analysis.
  2. Take one of the two required Area I courses by your junior year. You will then gain crucial exposure to the canonical works of literature that shape subsequent literary movements.
  3. Take at least one course that will expose you to the diverse communities and continents that have produced some of the best literature in the English language. We offer courses in African, Asian, Caribbean, diasporic, and minority literatures that will broaden your perspective on English as a global language.
  4. Challenge yourself in areas of greatest interest. Take a 400-level or 500-level English course as a senior on a specialized topic about which you are passionate.
  5. Write an Honors Thesis. It will give you the opportunity to conduct independent research and cultivate a strong relationship with a faculty mentor. Writing a thesis is often the most memorable educational experience of one’s college career.