Major Requirements

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The Literature Major in English

The Literature major offers five concentrations, along with a sixth option for a self-designed track, with a total of 12 courses (36 credits). The concentrations are the Invention of Literature; Media and Technology; English for the World; Environment, Science, and Culture; and Children and Culture. See below for details.

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the major

Required Courses:

ENGLIT 0506: Literary Field Studies

ENGLIT 1900: Project Seminar in research methods

ENGLIT 1910: Senior Seminar

Historical Period courses:

Choose any two period courses from your concentration (see the lists below).


Choose any seven elective courses; at least four of them should come from your chosen area of concentration. Students can apply for approval from the Literature Director to count an elective not previously listed in a given area of concentration.

  • All electives must be 0500-level or above, and at least three of them must be at the 1000-level. Download an easy-to-use chart of 1000-level courses and the requirements they satisfy.
  • Students may take up to two courses from the other programs in English (Writing, Film, Composition) designated within their area of concentration. Approved courses are listed below; students can apply for special approval from the Literature Director to count others.
  • At least one course should fulfill the breadth of study requirement (marked with *). Depending on the syllabus and instructor, one of your required courses or a Special Topics course may fulfill this requirement—simply ask your advisor.

Note: Courses such as ENGLIT 1901: Independent Study, ENGLIT 1904: Undergraduate TA, and ENGLIT 1907: Literature Internship may count toward any concentration, depending on the nature of the student’s work. Please consult the advising office for proper credit.

Below are the regular, designated courses for each concentration. We’ll update this list often and will add new courses in the coming years, too. Some titles have been changed; if you think you have already taken a course in a concentration under its old title, consult the course listing (ENGLIT xxxx) to verify that it’s the same one.


  • The Invention of Literature: Concentration in Literary History and the English Language Read more>
  •  Media and Technology: Concentration in Media Literacy and Narrative Read more>
  •  English for the World: Concentration in Global Literatures, Politics, and Professions Read more>
  •  Environment, Science, and Culture: Concentration in the Intersections of Humanities, Sciences, and the Natural World Read more>
  • Children and Culture: Concentration in Children’s Literature Read more>