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The English Major

The English Major at the University of Denver provides a liberal undergraduate education through the study of the following:

  • The history of literature in English and in English translation.
  • The production of literature as a creative act.
  • The interpretation of literature as aesthetic, social, economic, cultural and/or political text. 

REQUIREMENTS & CONCENTRATIONS

Students majoring in English declare one of the four concentrations depending on their prospective career interests. Below are descriptions of the concentrations and their requirements. (Students who entered the major before Fall of 2012 may choose to follow either the old or new concentration requirements.)

Major I: LITERARY STUDIES

This concentration is for students who wish to study the historical development of literature in English. Students explore a range of writing from medieval British to post-colonial literatures of the Americas. The program is appropriate for those who plan careers in secondary education or for those who plan to attend graduate school for the MA or PhD in English. Note: no more than 8 credit hours may be taken at the 1000 level. At least 3 courses must be taken at the 3000 (junior & senior) level.

New Requirements (for students entering major Fall 2012 and after):

8 hrs. British Literature Survey (2100, 2200, or 2300)

8 hrs. American Literature (2750, 2751, or 2752 )

4 hrs. Shakespeare

4 hrs. Ethnic Literature

4 hrs. International Literature

4 hrs. Rhetoric/Theory (e.g., 2026, 2815, 3813, 3815, 3817, 3818, 3823, 3825, 3852)

12 hrs. English Electives

Old Requirements (for students entering major before Fall 2012):

12 hrs. British Literature Survey (2100, 2200, 2300)

12 hrs. American Literature Survey (2750, 2751,2752)

4 hrs. An ethnic or international literature course

16 hrs. Electives

Major II: TEXTUAL STUDIES

This concentration is for students seeking the opportunity to pursue interests in rhetoric and theory, perhaps in preparation for professional graduate programs (e.g., law school, MBA). Neither the British nor the American Literature Surveys are required, although students are required to choose at least two courses in both literatures. This program of study may also be appropriate for those who plan careers in secondary education or those who plan to attend graduate school for the MA or PhD in English. Note: no more than 8 credit hours may be taken at the 1000 level. At least 3 courses must be taken at the 3000 (junior & senior) level.

New Requirements (for students entering major Fall 2012 and after):

8 hrs. British Literature (one course before and one after 1789)

8 hrs. American Literature (one course before and one after 1900)

4 hrs. Ethnic Literature

4 hrs. International Literature

8 hrs. Rhetoric/Theory (e.g., 2026, 2815, 3813, 3815, 3817, 3818, 3823, 3825, 3852)

12 hrs. Electives (in consultation with the student's advisor)

Old Requirements (for students entering major before Fall 2012):

8 hrs. British Literature (one course before and one after 1789)

8 hrs. American Literature (one course before and one after 1900)

4hrs. An ethnic or international literature course

24 hrs. Electives (in consultation with the student's advisor)

Major III: CREATIVE WRITING

This concentration is for students who wish to create original works in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or translation and who seek training from practicing writers in these areas. The program emphasizes more than many such programs the study of literature and theory, and is appropriate for students who plan to seek the MFA or Ph.D. in English. Note: no more than 8 credit hours may be taken at the 1000 level. At least 3 courses must be taken at the 3000 (junior & senior) level.

New Requirements (for students entering major Fall 2012 and after):

4 hrs. Introduction to Creative Writing

8 hrs. Intermediate Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or translation)

8 hrs. British Literature (one course before and one after 1789)

8 hrs. American Literature (one course before and one after 1900)

4 hrs. International Literature

12 hrs. Electives (one of which should be a 3000-level creative writing course)

Old Requirements (for students entering major before Fall 2012):

4 hrs. Introduction to Creative Writing

8 hrs. Intermediate Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or translation)

8 hrs. British Literature (one course before and one after 1789)

8 hrs. American Literature (one course before and one after 1900)

4 hrs. An ethnic or international literature course

12 hrs. Electives (one of which should be a 3000-level creative writing course)

Major IV: ENGLISH EDUCATION

This concentration requires 44 quarter hours beyond First-Year writing, and is for students who wish to teach English language and literature at the secondary school level. Students explore a range of writings from medieval British to post-colonial literatures of the Americas, and in addition take courses in language and writing. Note: no more than 8 credit hours may be taken at the 1000 level. At least 3 courses must be taken at the 3000 (junior & senior) level.

Requirements (no change)

8 hrs. British Literature Survey (2100, 2200, 2300)

8 hrs. American Literature Survey (2750, 2751,2752)

4 hrs. Shakespeare

4 hrs. Ethnic literature course

4 hrs. International literature

4 hrs. English Grammar or History and Structure of the English Language

4 hrs. Advanced Writing/nonfiction

4 hrs. Literary Interpretation

4 hrs. Poetry Genre

In addition to the English major course work, the student must take one class in Oral Communication.

Please Note: This concentration is for students who want to receive teaching certification upon completion of the BA or to go on for the dual degree option in Teacher Education.  Students must complete all requirements for this major by the end of the junior year with a grade point average of 3.0 minimum.  In their senior year, these students must complete the 40-hour Teacher Education Program. Inasmuch as the student may take an additional 16 hours in the major beyond the 44 required hours (or a maximum of 60 credit hours), we highly recommend students in English Education confer with the College of Education 's Teacher Education department for its recommendations on what additional areas students might want or need to cover in their English Major.  Students who do not complete the TEP year will need to switch to the Textual Studies concentration before graduation.

Further information on the English Major

Credit Hours

All English majors must take a minimum of 44 credit hours in the English Department.  However, a student may take up to 60 credit hours in English courses toward meeting the 183 quarter hours required for the Bachelor's degree at the University.  A student must earn a C- or better in any course taken to satisfy the requirements of the English Major.  English 2021: Business Technical Writing does not count toward the Major.  Each English major is assigned an academic advisor.

Study Abroad

Students in good academic standing may participate in the University's Cherrington Global Scholars Study Abroad Program at no cost beyond regular tuition, and with travel expenses paid by the University. Upper division Study Abroad credits in English literature, international/ethnic literature, or creative writing may count toward the major, although in unusual cases they may be designated as fulfilling the University's unrestricted electives requirement

Departmental Distinction in English

Students with a 3.5 GPA or above in the English major are eligible for Departmental Distinction.

Thesis Requirement

"Distinction in English" students write a 40-page thesis during the fall and winter quarters of their senior year. See "Instructions for Distinction in English," "Undergraduate Distinction Statement of Intent" and "Summary of Thesis" forms for full details, but note that by the end of the 1st week of the Spring Quarter, students submit either:

  • a 40-50 page analytic research thesis or
  • a fiction and/or poetry project of a length to be determined by the student and the faculty director

Two copies of the work should be submitted, unbound, to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Each thesis will be read by the thesis director and one other faculty member. Written reports and recommendations for ?Distinction? will be returned to the students and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A final, bound copy of the thesis, with all required changes and corrections, must be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by May 15 of the Spring quarter of the senior year.

Course Requirements

Students who intend to write a critical literary thesis must also complete:
1) 3800 Bibliography & Research (only offered in the Fall)
2) 3995 Independent Research [Distinction Colloquium ] (2 hrs.?Winter)
3) One 3000-level Theory course [e.g., 3035, 3036, 3823, 3825]
4) One other 3000-level course

Students who intend to write a creative thesis must also complete:
1) 3852 Topics in Poetics or 3800 Bibliography & Research
2) 3991 Independent Study with Thesis Director (2 hr.)
3) One 3000-level Theory course [e.g., 3035, 3036, 3823, 3825]
4) One 3000-level Creative Writing course

The National Honor Society

The English Department is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the national honor society for English. See the Department for details.

Foothills, The Undergraduate Literary Journal

All undergraduates at the University of Denver who are interested in creative writing, journalism, or the visual arts are encouraged to participate in Foothills, a literary journal published annually by a committee of undergraduates who work with a faculty advisor from the Department of English.