The English major includes five main elements, which are together designed to introduce students: (1) to the basic approaches for studying literature, rhetoric, and media; (2) to the structures and effects of the English language; and (3) to theories and practices of writing from the creative to the professional. The major offers students a foundation in multiple scales of history, from the local to the global, and in forms, methods, and writing—all with a sustained focus on civic and cultural engagement. Students also develop their own area of specialization, choosing from: literary and cultural studies; creative writing; media studies; or language, writing, and rhetoric. The major’s flexibility lets students participate liberally in a wealth of experiential- or service-learning opportunities around the department, the university, and the D.C. metro area, as well as to pursue a sustained research or creative project as part of our English Honors Program. These elements and opportunities together allow students to prepare for careers in fields such as education, law, journalism, creative writing, communications, professional writing, game or film development, and information science. Courses offered by the English Department may be found under the acronyms ENGL and CMLT.
Program Learning Outcomes
Our English graduates develop the following abilities crucial to today’s knowledge-based economy:
- Writing expertise in diverse genres relevant to literary, rhetorical, linguistic, and media inquiry
- Identifying and using relevant cultural historical information to situate creative and rhetorical texts in time, place, and tradition
- Selecting and analyzing appropriate information sources, both print and digital, to synthesize, integrate, and credit those sources in their work
- Suitably analyzing underrepresented experiences and cultural diversity, including structural and institutional inequity, using texts written by and about those culturally marginalized due to their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and/or physical or mental ability.
- Students also gain the following abilities in their selected major track:
- Producing close readings of texts that integrate terms and concepts related to literary expression and to literature’s function as a cultural force (Literary and Cultural Studies)
- Analyzing the relationship between language, thought, and communication and apply the power of language and other symbol systems to reach audiences and shape social realities (Language, Writing, and Rhetoric)
- Producing media analyses that integrate knowledge of how the material production, technologies, and cultural practices of diverse types of media shape meaning (Media Studies)
- Dexterity in one or more genres of creative writing and an understanding of the history and methods of craft (Creative Writing)
English and English Education Double Major
In conjunction with the College of Education, the English Department offers a special 125-credit program for students wishing to double major in English and English Education, allowing them to earn a certificate to teach English at the secondary level. For a list of requirements, contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office (1128 TWS, 301-405-3825).
All courses presented for the major must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
1. The English major requires 36 credits beyond the university Fundamental Studies requirements in ENGL101 and ENGL391, ENGL392, ENGL393, ENGL394, ENGL395. No more than two courses at the 1xx- or 2xx- level may be counted toward the major, and at least 12 credits must be at the 4xx-level.
2. A grade of C- or better is required to apply a course to the major. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 within the major.
3. Up to six credits of ENGL388 (Internship) may be included in the 36 credits, but not all of those credits may come from the same version of ENGL388. In other words, students must enroll in two courses with different letter suffixes (e.g., 388T and 388V).
4. No more than three credits of ENGL429 (Independent Study) may be included in the 36 credits.
5. One 3xx- or 4xx- level course in literature, rhetoric, or media in a language other than English, whether in the original language or in translation, may count as an elective.
|ENGL301||This is English: Fields and Methods 1||3|
|Element 2: Historical Studies||12|
|All majors take one course in each of the following broad periods:|
Beginning, Medieval, and Early Modern
Long Eighteenth Century
Long Nineteenth Century
Modern and Contemporary
|Element 3: Tracks||12|
|Majors select a track from among those listed below, and take four courses in that track. Restrictions: Courses must be taken at the 2xx-, 3xx-, and/or 4xx-levels. Students cannot overlap their track credits with credits applied to the Rhetoric or Professional Writing Minors; students cannot pursue the Creative Writing track and also be a Creative Writing Minor. If a course counts toward more than one requirement within a track, it may only be used to fulfill a single requirement.|
|Element 4: Electives||9|
|Elective credits may be filled by any English department course or any approved course outside of the department.|
|Element 5: Perspectives, Methods, and Writing|
|This last element is a set of co-requirements, meaning that these should be fulfilled in the process of completing Elements 2-4 of the major and do not themselves add credits to the degree.|
|Restriction: Students cannot count the same course for more than one of these co-requirements.|
Differences and Diasporas
Methods (must be taken at the 2xx-, 3xx-, or 4xx- level)
Advanced Writing (must be taken at the 3xx- or 4xx- level)
English majors must take ENGL301 before they take other 3xx or 4xx level English courses or concurrently with taking their first of those courses.
Literary and Cultural Studies Track
|Take one course on each of the following topics, leaving the remaining credits open for any literature course:||12|
Form, Genres, and Poetics
National, Transnational, and/or Global Literatures
Language, Writing, and Rhetoric Track
|Take one course on each of the following topics, leaving the remaining credits open for any language, writing, or rhetoric course:||12|
History, Analysis, and Theory
Practice, Performance, and Pedagogy
Media Studies Track
|Take one course in at least two of the following categories (two courses total), leaving the remaining credits open for any media course:||12|
Print and Script
Music and Sound
Image and Moving Image
Creative Writing Track
|Take one of each of the following course types, leaving the remaining credits open for any creative writing workshop course:||12|
2xx-level Creative Writing Workshop
3xx-level Creative Writing Workshop
Creative Form and Theory
|Restriction: To enroll in a 3xx-level workshop, students must receive an A or A- in a 2xx-level workshop or must submit an acceptable portfolio of work to the Creative Writing faculty. Students may substitute one approved UMD workshop course taught outside of the English department for their 3xx-level creative writing workshop, but may not take a 4xx-level workshop in the English department without taking a 3xx-level workshop in the department. Students may only count a Creative Form and Theory course once toward their 12 credits for the track.|
Students pursuing the major should review the academic benchmarks established for this program. See: www.4yearplans.umd.edu. Students will be periodically reviewed to ensure they are meeting benchmarks and progressing to the degree. Students who fall behind program benchmarks are subject to special advising requirements and other interventions.