English, BA

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The English major provides instruction in and opportunities for writing in all of its classes. The department also offers an honors program in which students work closely with a faculty member to complete a major critical or creative project. See Honors in this section of the catalog.

Students interested in the English major should consult the academic advisor in the English undergraduate advising office.

Learning Outcomes

The goal is for students who graduate from the Department of English to demonstrate the skills of reflective reading, critical thinking, effective speaking, compelling writing, and engaged citizenship.

Reflective Readers

  • Analyze literary and cultural texts through close reading.
  • Gain broad knowledge of several fields of literature.
  • Grasp formal elements of key literary genres.
  • Learn to read comparatively to illuminate the aesthetic, social, and cultural contributions of texts.

Critical Thinkers

  • Approach texts with a spirit of critical inquiry and flexibility.
  • Formulate productive questions.
  • Use textual evidence to support individual interpretations.
  • Draw upon several different critical approaches to literature in English.

Effective Speakers

  • Express opinions about the texts they read through discussion and written assignments.
  • Listen respectfully to others’ opinions.
  • Work in class—whether through active listening or discussion—to learn by synthesizing a range of texts, insights, and opinions.

Compelling Writers

  • Express their ideas in clear, fluent, and lively prose.
  • Organize their ideas effectively.
  • Use textual evidence to illustrate and support their insights and arguments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write in different modes that are appropriate to particular contexts.
  • Engage properly with relevant scholarship and creative work.
  • Use research skills that include an understanding of methods, technology, and conventions.

Engaged World Citizens

  • Communicate respect and understanding for the literatures and cultures of diverse historical periods, geographical regions, and cultures.
  • Explore ethical issues raised by literature.
  • Reflect on the ways that literature addresses issues of social justice.
  • Use reading, speaking, and writing skills to engage with the ethical concerns raised by literature in their daily and professional lives.