Through sustained practice in reading, writing, and discussion, our students develop critical literacy for a digital age. Our programs foster enduring habits of mind such as intellectual curiosity, thoughtful analysis, a playful imagination, an openness to change and uncertainty, and a passion for literature in its myriad forms.
Our courses and programs advance the Department’s mission by fostering a number of distinct but related student learning outcomes.
All majors take at least 5 courses in the department's lower-level common core, including 2 gateway courses and 1 course in each of 3 areas. For English and Writing, the gateways introduce students to the aims and practices of literary study (ENG 38 Literary Study) and multi-faceted approaches to writing and revision (ENG 39 Writing Seminar); for Rhetoric and Media Studies (RMS), the gateways are ENG 39 and a course that engages students in the ethics and practical concerns of speaking and oral representation (ENG 37 Public Voices). English and Writing students select courses from the areas of History and Traditions, Culture and Identity, and Writing: Topics and Genres, and RMS students select from History and Traditions, Culture and Identity, and Media Studies.
With second semester sophomore standing, students begin registering for upper-level electives and, for Writing and RMS students, their choice of three upper-level core courses. Electives may be taken outside the department with advisor permission. Independent studies, internships, and study abroad may also be part of the program. All majors culminate in a Capstone course.
Minors are compatible with a wide range of programs, from other majors in the Arts & Sciences, to Business programs, to Health Sciences. Minors complete two gateways, two core courses in their program of study, and two electives.
Students may not double major or have a major and minor within the department. We do encourage students to use their English Department classes as a bridge to other areas of interest, such as a minor in Black Diaspora Studies, a concentration in Women's and Gender Studies, or courses in Artificial Intelligence or Law, Politics, and Society; English courses fulfill requirements in all those programs as well as others.