Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University’s residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student’s major or concentration area.
|Major in English||Credit Hours|
|Requirements: A minimum of 39 semester hours, exclusive of Freshman English.||39|
|Majors are required to take at least one survey sequence||6|
|EH 215/216 or
EH 225/226 or
|In addition to the survey sequence EH 300 must be completed prior to taking any 400-level courses||3|
|Any additional 200-level courses may be used to fulfill the 39-hour requirement; however, no more than four 200-level courses can count toward the major.|
|The remaining hours must come from courses at the 300 level or above and include:|
|1. At least one course in literature prior to 1660||3|
|2. At least one course in British or American literature from 1660 to 1900||3|
|3. At least one course in literature after 1900||3|
|4. One of the following courses||3|
|5. At least three 400 level English courses are required||9|
|6. A writing portfolio, to be submitted in the student's senior year, that includes two critical essays written for coursework in the Department as well as one reflective synthesis letter (details and deadlines are available in the English Department office).|
|A student wishing to deviate from the standard curriculum and devise a unique program of study must demonstrate in writing to the English Advising Committee that such a program best serves that student's intellectual needs or career goals.|
|General Education Requirements For English Majors|
|General Education Requirements for English with a concentration in creative writing are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences section. Note that Area II requirements are partially satisfied and the Sequence Requirement is fully satisfied by the major requirements specified above.|
Through its focus on the interpretation, analysis, and production of literary and other texts, the English Department teaches students how those texts shape and are shaped by the world around them. In so doing, the Department helps students acquire the critical skills they need to analyze and participate in these interactions and contribute to the shaping of their worlds. The faculty's teaching and research in literature, creative writing, and composition/rhetoric combine to foster excellence in critical reading, creative thinking, and effective writing.
For all students, the Department provides the composition skills essential for success at the University and offers courses introducing the cultural diversity and historical breadth of British, American, and world literatures. For students majoring or minoring in English, the Department teaches critical strategies needed for intensive study in creative writing, professional writing, and in diverse literatures in English. For students pursuing graduate study in English, the Department provides advanced training in creative writing, literary analysis, rhetoric, methods of scholarly research, and critical theory. In all cases, by asking students to read, discuss, and write about a wide variety of texts, the Department promotes an inclusive and evolving understanding of English Studies.
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100, First Year Experience, as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry. EH 300 will fulfill the technology proficiency requirement.
Honors in English
To be awarded Departmental Honors in English a student must:
- Complete all the standard requirements for the major in English.
- Maintain a 3.5 overall GPA (University requirement) and a 3.5 GPA in all course work in English.
- Receive permission from the Department Chair and agreement from a Department member to serve as mentor.
- Complete a Senior Honors Thesis (EH 499), with a grade of "A" or "B" in addition to the standard requirements for the English major. EH 499, Senior Honors Thesis (six semester hours credit), may be counted toward three hours of the 36 hours required for the major and toward three hours of the nine 400-level hours required for the major. Thus, the student receiving honors in English will be required to take a total of 39 hours in English instead of 36. In EH 499 the student will normally take three hours in the Fall semester for research and three in the Spring for writing. A final committee of three or more faculty members, including a representative of the University Honors College, will conduct an oral defense. The thesis must be approved by the director of the University Honors College.
The Master of Arts degree program in English is designed to meet the needs of students pursuing a terminal M.A. and of those planning to work toward the Ph.D. and a career in university teaching. The terminal M.A. serves such career tracks as junior college or secondary-school teaching and writing or editing in the business or corporate community. Creative writers find the degree meaningful in careers both in and out of the academic community.
Requirements for admission
Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission):
- For the Literature Concentration, an undergraduate major in English or at least 30 semester hours of course work in English beyond the freshman level. For the Creative Writing Concentration, at least 15 semester hours of course work in English beyond the freshman level.*
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in junior and senior level courses presented in fulfillment of requirement 1.
- A score of at least 153 on the new score scale on the Verbal sub test of the GRE General Test taken within the past seven years.
- For all applicants, a personal statement of no more than 500 words, a writing sample of 5-15 pages in the area of concentration (creative writing or literature) and three letters of recommendation.
- For applicants for whom English is a second language, a TOEFL IBT score of at least 79 or IELTS score of at least 6.5.
- For the Literature Concentration, a minor in English or at least 21 semester hours of course work in English beyond the freshman level, at least 12 of these hours in upper-division literature courses. Students lacking the literature component can qualify by completing additional upper-division courses in literature. For the Creative Writing Concentration, 15 semester hours of course work in English beyond the freshman level.* Provisional Admission with fewer semester hours than those stipulated requires specific approval of the Department's Graduate Committee.
- A minimum GPA of 2.50 in junior and senior level courses presented in fulfillment of requirement 1.
- To be admitted provisionally, applicants should have taken the GRE General Test in the past seven years. Applicants presenting a score of less than 153 on the new score scale on the Verbal sub test of the GRE General Test must enter in the Provisional category. In rare cases applicants may be admitted provisionally without submitting a score, but one must be submitted before the student can advance to Regular Status.
- Same as requirements 4 and 5 for Regular Admission.
*Students must specify their concentration at the time of application and may not thereafter change concentrations without the specific approval of the English Department's Graduate Committee.
Applicants for non-degree status in English will normally be admitted only if they meet admission standards for provisional admission. That is, they must have a 2.5 GPA overall and in junior-level and senior-level courses presented to meet the 21 hour (15 hours for creative writing) course work in English requirement. Following admission, non-degree students must have the permission of the Department Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies of the College for each course in which they wish to enroll. Enrollment will be on a space available basis with preference being given to degree students. Non-degree students must satisfy the same prerequisites as degree students to enroll in a course. Non-degree students may not enroll in directed studies courses. Non-degree students can change their status to Regular Admission by reapplying to the program after two semesters. Non-degree students can transfer up to 15 credit hours they earned as non-degree students.
The English Department awards both teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Teaching assistantships involve responsibility for freshman composition classes. Graduate students holding research assistantships are usually assigned tasks involving tutoring, research, editing, or administrative/clerical tasks. Awards are normally made for the academic year; occasionally, assistantships become available for spring semester. Applications are taken continuously; competition for appointments begins in May for the following year. See Graduate Coordinator for information and application. (See also Bulletin section on Graduate School, "Assistantships and Fellowships.")