Programs of Study
Curriculum and Unique Features
The undergraduate major consists of a core of three required courses, two in major British writers and one in major American authors. English core courses usually are taken in the sophomore year and provide the foundation for seven to ten upper-division English courses. These courses help students achieve a breadth of historical and critical exposure, chiefly but not exclusively in British, American, and Irish literature and culture. The English major may include creative writing workshops taught by novelists or poets, including Visiting Writers-in-Residence, of national and international reputation. The program is characterized by flexibility as well as rigor, and the individual student's major and minor are planned in close consultation with faculty advisors.
Classes characteristically are small (15-20 students) and emphasize lecture and discussion, focusing on both primary texts and the materials of literary research and scholarship. Writing is central. Approaches to critical writing go hand in hand with approaches to critical reading, and essay examinations and term papers typically are required.
Extracurricular life originating in the Faculty of English is rich and varied. An undergraduate literary magazine is published annually, and there are close ties to performances in the Faculties of Theatre and Music, as well as to special programs in related disciplines such as art, communication, foreign languages, and history. In addition, undergraduates benefit from a number of guest lecturers, visiting artists, and special conferences brought to campus each year by the English department.