The New Literature Major: FAQs

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What’s different about the new major? And is it harder?

The new English major allows students more flexibility and adaptability in their studies. We listened to you, the students, and loosened the requirements on historical period courses, for example, and created five new concentrations (with a self-designed option also available). We also revamped and retitled the required courses in order to prepare you for a whole range of futures in both your studies and your career. You’ll have more room for electives within the major, you’ll gain new skills in research and writing, and you’ll choose the direction of your own studies. Please consult the new major sheet for your requirements and options.

How do I declare the new English Literature major?

If you’re already an English major, it’s simple: just talk to your advisor and choose either a concentration or design your own. If you’d like to declare as a new major, please visit the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences advising office for the major sheet and then submit your paperwork.

I declared as an English major before 2016, and I would like to continue with the previous version of the major. Can I do that?

Yes. If you declared the Literature major prior to 2016 and you wish to continue with the previous version of the major, please visit the page that lists those requirements. Some of the courses might have different titles, but the structure remains the same and is available to you.

Do the courses I’ve already taken toward my English major count in the new concentrations? 

Yes! In fact, many students have already been pursuing tracks exactly like those we have named. Just consult the list of courses and see where yours fall; any questions about them, talk to your advisor.

I think a course not regularly listed in my concentration should count toward my track for the major: what do I do?

Simply talk to your advisor, in consultation with the Literature Director. Different versions of the same course have different foci; just bring the syllabus to your advisor and describe the work you did (if a final project, for example, was a key component of what made your course different) and they will help you take care of the rest.

I see a lot of new courses listed. When will they be available? 

Yes!  We are creating many new courses, revising and retitling many others. Talk with your advisor about specific courses, but in general, we’ll be offering new courses every semester going forward, so keep checking the course listings on PeopleSoft.

Do I need to take How to Do Things with Literature I and II in order?

Not necessarily, though we recommend it. Both will be offered quite often, so it shouldn’t be hard to do them in order.

What is the “breadth of study” requirement and how do I fulfill it?

English Lit majors should take at least one course whose primary content comes from writers of traditionally underrepresented groups. These can be racial, gendered, sexual, global, class, or other minority groups. We have marked the courses that will always fulfill this requirement, but many others will count, too, depending on the syllabus of the individual instructor. Just ask your advisor if you have any questions.

How many credits are required for the new major?

36: the same as before.

How many credits are required for the minor?

18: the first two core courses (ENGLIT 0505 and 0506) plus four electives from any concentration; two of those electives must be 1000-level or higher, and we recommend one of the project seminars as part of that final pair.

Can I do two concentrations?

The better option in that case—because A&S limits how many credits you can take in one major—is to design your own. Your advisor can help with that, as can your instructor in most any course.

How many courses can I take in other programs or fields?

You may take up to 6 credits of courses not designated ENGLIT. These may include courses in ENGWRT, ENGCMP, and FILM, for example. Simply ask your major advisor for permission to substitute these courses for existing requirements in the new major.

Can I still double major in other fields?

Yes, exactly the same as before.

What about certificates? Can I still combine those with my Lit major?

All of the same certificates are available, and in fact, the new courses we are offering will count toward a broad range of certificates across the university.

What about my internship (ENGLIT 1907): where does it count?

Internships count toward your concentration as long as they fit the rubric (which they most likely will)—just talk to your advisor.