Students choose to major in English because they love to read and write, and are curious about how language constructs the world in which they live. The program for English majors builds on these passions by developing the skills of attentive reading, thoughtful analysis, and graceful writing.
The analytical tools developed in the English major illuminate both literary texts and the societies in which they are produced. Our majors study principal authors of the American, British, and Anglophone traditions, just as they learn to interpret women’s writing, the poetics of the blues, and literary technologies from Gutenberg to digital.
By encouraging students to apply their interpretive and writing skills in multiple contexts, the English major prepares students to enter a wider variety of careers, to succeed in graduate or professional study, and to become engaged global citizens.
Requirements for Majors
Students majoring in English must complete ten courses, at least eight of which must be selected from the department’s literature courses (including ENGL-214). Required English courses include: ENGL-290W and one other course between 220 and 260; at least four 300-level colloquia, including one focusing on literature before 1800 and one focusing on literature after 1800 (ENGL-301 may count as a colloquium); and a 400-level seminar or honors. Elective courses may include any of the following: additional English courses; MCS-207 and MCS-208; FS-101, FS-250, FS-251, FS-252, FS-253, and FS-305; CLAS-224, CLAS-230, and CLAS-326; EAS- 224; and LAS 215. Only two electives outside of the department may count towards the major. Only one ENGL 100-level course may count towards the major. English majors can fulfill both the capstone requirement and the requirement for an oral presentation in the major by taking any of the following courses: ENG-441W, 442W, 443W, 444W, or 492W.
Students seeking teaching certification in English must fulfill all departmental requirements for an English major. Their courses should include literary genres, themes, histories, and major writers. In addition, students working toward certification must select the following courses: ENGL-214; and either MCS-205, or any FS course. Students are strongly recommended to take either ENGL-220 or a 300-level colloquium on Shakespeare and either IDS-101 or CLAS 326. It is also strongly recommended that the candidate participate in student journalism or theater activities. Students and their advisers should consult the Ursinus College Education Department.
Requirements for Minors
A minor concentration in English consists of at least five courses in English at the 200 level or above. No more than one creative writing course may be included in the English minor. ENGL-290W is strongly recommended.
A minor concentration in Creative Writing consists of at least five English courses, including ENGL-402 and at least three of the following creative writing courses: ENGL-106, 205, 206, 209 (one or more sections), and 302. MCS-207 may also be counted toward the minor. One literature course may count toward the creative writing minor. Participation in student publications is also required.