english major requirements

The Pre-1900 Literature Requirement

At least 15 credits in the English major (language & literature or creative writing) must be focused on Pre-1900 literature. These courses must be ENGL courses or cross-listed with ENGL; they cannot be literature courses taught by another department. These credits may overlap with other English major requirements (with the exception of ENGL 301/297 and 302).

How do I know if a course will count towards the Pre-1900 Literature Requirement?


By course title: There are several English courses where the title of the course clearly indicates whether or not the class will be focused on pre-1900 literature.

By using your knowledge of literary history: It's our hope that English majors will be able to recognize major authors and place them into historical contexts (or to learn how to do so as they progress through the major). Pre-majors and new majors may find Bartleby's, Wikipedia, and this literature timeline to be helpful resources.

By reading course descriptions: ENGL special topics courses can also be focused on Pre-1900 Literature. Take a look at the instructor subtitles, course descriptions, and required texts. If the majority of the readings are from the 19th century or earlier, then the course can usually count towards the requirement. Contact English Advising for confirmation. If the course meets the requirement, an adviser will post an exception to your Degree Audit (DARS report).

Is there a list of Pre-1900 courses on your website?

No. Why not?

  1. English majors should be developing an understanding of literary history;
  2. The English Department's course offerings are diverse and vary from quarter-to-quarter. It would be difficult to maintain an exhaustive list;
  3. If we provided a list, many students would take only the courses on that list without investigating other options, which could constitute a missed opportunity to take a great class.

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