Academic Program and Curriculum

English is a lively discipline that is at the forefront of many recent developments in the humanities, while at the same time retaining its traditional focus on the study of literary texts and on the artful and thoughtful use of language. Majoring or minoring in English can help prepare one for a variety of careers or for further study in a wide variety of fields, including law, business, and education. 

Students interested in the field of English may choose to follow one of three pathways of study:

  • the Major in English, which provides a broad exposure to the study of literature and other aspects of the discipline
  • the Major in English with a Writing Emphasis, which combines a foundation of literary study with a sequence of writing courses focused on poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction, or on a range of nonfiction prose forms, including analytical, persuasive, and academic writing
  • the Major in English with a Teacher Education Emphasis (5-12), which prepares students for teaching middle and secondary school and requires coursework in linguistics, literature, writing, and writing pedagogy. This particular major also requires additional coursework from the Department of Teacher Education and the Department of Communication and Journalism.

Additionally, students who are interested in exploring the art of language by comparing literature written in English with literature written in another language may wish to consider the Major in Literary Studies, which is a joint program coordinated between the Department of English and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

To learn more about specific course requirements for each of the above tracks and the English minor, please see the drop-down boxes below.

B.A. in English

The general major in English allows students to take a variety of literature courses and to incorporate writing and cultural studies into their programs.

Core Courses from 2014-2016 Undergraduate Catalog

Under this sequence, students enroll in two 4-credit courses:

First Course
ENGL 121 Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing (4 credits)

Second Course (choose one of the following courses)
ENGL 201 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Genre and Craft (4 credits)
ENGL 202 Texts in Conversation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 203 Texts in Conversation: Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 204 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Language, Culture, and Literacy (4 credits)

Students with qualifying ACT scores can complete the core requirement in literature and writing by taking the following sequence: 

One ENGL 201-204 Texts in Conversation course (4 credits) 
plus
One of the following literature courses in English: ENGL 211, 212, 214, 215, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 297, 324, 325, 334, 337, 341, 361, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 370, 371, 372, 373, 390, and 395, or two 2-credit ENGL 295 courses during J-Term.

In addition to the above core curriculum courses, students must also select courses that fulfill the following course-level and area distribution requirements:

Course-Level Requirements

At least 12 credits numbered ENGL 211-299
At least 16 credits numbered ENGL 300-399
     Note: 4 of these credits must be from ENGL 380 Issues in English Studies (4 credits)
At least 4 credits numbered ENGL 400-499
     Note: ENGL 481 Seminar in English (4 credits) is strongly recommended for all majors
Plus 4 additional credits numbered ENGL 211 or above

Area Distribution Requirements

Four Credits in Early Literature
     ENGL 211 British Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 220 The Classical Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 221 The Modern Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 324 Genre Studies (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Crit Questions (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 360 Chaucer and the Medieval Period (4 credits)
     ENGL 361 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 362 Milton and Seventeenth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 364 Eighteenth-Century British Literature: The Age of Satire and the Novel (4 credits)
     ENGL 370 Colonial and Early-American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 371 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 11 only)

Four credits in American Literature
     ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 215 American Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 217 Multicultural Literature (4 credits, usually offered in fall) (section 21 only)
     ENGL 324 Genre Studies (4 credits) (section 21 only)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 21 only)
     ENGL 337 The Literature of Human Diversity (4 credits, usually offered in spring) (sect. 21 only)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Crit Questions (4 credits, usually offered fall) (sect. 21 only)
     ENGL 370 Colonial and Early-American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 371 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 372 Modern American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 373 Contemporary American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 21 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 21 only)

Four credits in British Literature
     ENGL 211 British Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 212 British Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 324 Genre Studies (4 credits) (section 31 only)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 31 only)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Crit Questions (4 credits, usually offered fall) (sect. 31 only)
     ENGL 360 Chaucer and the Medieval Period (4 credits)
     ENGL 361 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 362 Milton and Seventeenth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 364 Eighteenth-Century British Literature: The Age of Satire and the Novel (4 credits)
     ENGL 365 The Romantic Age in Britain (4 credits)
     ENGL 366 The Victorian Age in Britain (4 credits)
     ENGL 367 Twentieth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 31 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 31 only)

Four credits in Diversity Literature
     ENGL 217 Multicultural Literature (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 218 Literature by Women: Critical History (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 297 Topics (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 337 The Literature of Human Diversity (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Critical Questions (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 61 only)

Four credits in Writing
     ENGL 251 Writing in the Academy (4 credits)
     ENGL 255 Writing Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction (4 credits)
     ENGL 300 Theory and Practice of Writing (4 credits, usually offered in fall and spring)
     ENGL 304 Analytical and Persuasive Writing (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 321 Writing Poetry (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 322 Writing Fiction (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 323 Writing Creative Nonfiction (4 credits)
     ENGL 326 Topics in Creative Writing (4 credits)
     ENGL 405 Advanced Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Nonfiction Writing (4 credits)

Four credits in Issues in English Studies
     ENGL 380 Issues in English Studies (4 credits, usually offered in fall and spring)

All English majors should complete 44 credits in English and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in English. A minimum of 16 credits in English at or above ENGL 211 must be taken at St. Thomas.

B.A. in English with a Writing Emphasis

The major in English with a Writing Emphasis combines a foundation of literary study with a sequence of creative writing courses focused on poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction; coursework in academic writing, writing theory, and analytical and persuasive writing may also be taken.

Core Courses from 2014-2016 Undergraduate Catalog

Under this sequence, students enroll in two 4-credit courses:

First Course
ENGL 121 Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing (4 credits)

Second Course (choose one of the following courses)
ENGL 201 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Genre and Craft (4 credits)
ENGL 202 Texts in Conversation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 203 Texts in Conversation: Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 204 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Language, Culture, and Literacy (4 credits)

Students with qualifying ACT scores can complete the core requirement in literature and writing by taking the following sequence: 

One ENGL 201-204 Texts in Conversation course (4 credits) 
plus
One of the following 4-credit literature courses in English: ENGL 211, 212, 214, 215, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 297, 324, 325, 334, 337, 341, 361, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 370, 371, 372, 373, 390, and 395 or two 2-credit ENGL 295 courses during J-Term.

In addition to the above core curriculum courses, students must also select courses that fulfill the following course-level and area distribution requirements:

Course-Level Requirements

At least 12 credits numbered ENGL 211-299
At least 16 credits numbered ENGL 300-399
     Note: 4 of these credits must be from ENGL 380 Issues in English Studies
At least 4 credits numbered ENGL 400-499
Plus 4 additional credits numbered ENGL 211 or above

Distribution Requirements

Sixteen credits from the following writing courses:
     ENGL 251 Writing in the Academy (4 credits)
     ENGL 255 Introduction to Imaginative Writing: Writing Poetry, Fiction, & Creative Nonfiction (4 credits, offered in both fall and spring)
     ENGL 300 Theory and Practice of Writing (4 credits, usually offered in both fall and spring)
     ENGL 304 Analytical and Persuasive Writing (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 321 Writing Poetry (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 322 Writing Fiction (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 323 Writing Creative Nonfiction (4 credits, usually offered in fall or spring)
     ENGL 326 Topics in Creative Writing (4 credits, usually offered in fall or spring)
     ENGL 405 Advanced Poetry, Fiction, or Creative Nonfiction Writing
                         (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 421 Literary Magazine Practicum, Part I (2 credits, offered in fall)
     ENGL 422 Literary Magazine Practicum, Part II (2 credits, offered in spring)

Note: The creative writing sequence normally includes:
     first –  ENGL 255      then – ENGL 321 and/or ENGL 322 and/or 323      then – ENGL 405

Plus: Twelve credits in literature to include:
     Four credits in Early Literature
     ENGL 211 British Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 220 The Classical Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 221 The Modern Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 360 Chaucer and the Medieval Period (4 credits)
     ENGL 361 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 362 Milton and Seventeenth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 364 Eighteenth-Century British Literature: The Age of Satire and the Novel (4 credits)
     ENGL 370 Colonial and Early-American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 371 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 11 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 11 only)

     Four credits in Diversity Literature
     ENGL 217 Multicultural Literature (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 218 Literature by Women: Critical History (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 297 Topics (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 337 The Literature of Human Diversity (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Critical Questions (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits) (section 61 only)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits) (section 61 only)

     Four additional English credits in literature numbered ENGL 211 or above 
     ENGL 211 British Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 212 British Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 215 American Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 217 Multicultural Literature (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 218 Literature by Women: Critical History (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 220 The Classical Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 221 The Modern Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 222 The Catholic Literary Tradition: Medieval to Modern (4 credits)
     ENGL 297 Topics (4 credits)
     ENGL 324 Genre Studies (4 credits)
     ENGL 325 Special Studies in Genre, Region, or Theme (4 credits)
     ENGL 337 Literature of Human Diversity (4 credits, usually offered in spring)
     ENGL 341 Literature by Women: Crit Questions (4 credits, usually offered in fall)
     ENGL 360 Chaucer and the Medieval Period (4 credits)
     ENGL 361 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period (4 credits)
     ENGL 362 Milton and Seventeenth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 364 Eighteenth-Century British Literature: Age of Satire and the Novel (4 credits)
     ENGL 365 The Romantic Age in Britain (4 credits)
     ENGL 366 The Victorian Age in Britain (4 credits)
     ENGL 367 Twentieth-Century British Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 370 Colonial and Early-American Ltierature (4 credits)
     ENGL 371 Nineteenth-Century American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 372 Modern American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 373 Contemporary American Literature (4 credits)
     ENGL 390 Major Literary Figures (4 credits)
     ENGL 395 Issues in Literature and Culture (4 credits)
   
Four credits in Issues in English Studies
      ENGL 380 Issues in English Studies (4 credits, usually offered in both fall and spring)

Four credits in another English course numbered ENGL 211 or above

All English with Writing Emphasis majors should take 44 credits of English coursework and maintain a GPA of 2.0 in English. A minimum of 16 credits in English at or above ENGL 211 must be taken at St. Thomas.

B.A. in English with a Teacher Education Emphasis (5-12)

Plan A (Effective Fall 2014)

The English with a Teacher Education Emphasis major requires courses in linguistics, literature, writing, and writing pedagogy. In addition to completing the English with a Teacher Education Emphasis (5-12) major, students seeking essential for students seeking licensure.

English Coursework
(44 credits/11 courses at 4-credits each)

Under this sequence, students enroll in two 4-credit courses:

First Course
ENGL 121 Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing (4 credits)

Second Course (choose one of the following courses)
ENGL 201 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Genre and Craft (4 credits)
ENGL 202 Texts in Conversation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 203 Texts in Conversation: Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 204 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Language, Culture, and Literacy (4 credits)

Students with qualifying ACT scores can complete the core requirement in literature and writing by taking the following sequence:
 

One ENGL 201-204 Texts in Conversation course (4 credits) 
plus
One of the following 4-credit literature courses in English: ENGL 211, 212, 214, 215, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 297, 324, 325, 334, 337, 341, 361, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 370, 371, 372, 373, 390, and 395 or two 2-credit ENGL 295 courses during J-Term.

In addition to the above core curriculum courses, you must also select courses that fulfill each of the following four area distribution requirements:

ENGL 211 British Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in fall semester)
or
ENGL 212 British Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in spring semester)

ENGL 214 American Authors I (4 credits, usually offered in spring semester)
or
ENGL 215 American Authors II (4 credits, usually offered in fall semester)

ENGL 217 Multicultural Literature (4 credits, usually offered in fall semester)
or
ENGL 218 Literature by Women: Critical History (4 credits, usually offered in spring semester)

ENGL 220 The Classical Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in fall semester)
or
ENGL 221 The Modern Tradition (4 credits, usually offered in spring semester)

All of the following courses are required:

ENGL 300 Theory and Practice of Writing (4 credits, usually offered in fall and spring semester)
ENGL 305 Linguistics: English Language (4 credits, usually offered in fall semester)
ENGL 361 Shakespeare and the Early Modern Period
                    (4 credits, usually offered in spring semester and occasionally in Summer Session I)
ENGL 380 Issues in English Studies (4 credits, usually offered in fall and spring semester)

You must also complete one of the following:

Four additional credits EITHER in English at the 300 or 400 level or COJO 326 Modern American Rhetoric or COJO 328 Communication of Race, Class & Gender

Completion of the above courses completes the requirements for the B.A. in English with a Teacher Education Emphasis (5-12). Students seeking Minnesota teacher licensure in Communication Arts and Literature (5-12) must also complete coursework in Communication and Journalism and in Education. The requirements for these two areas is listed below.

Communication and Journalism Coursework
(16 credits/ 4 courses at 4-credits each)

COJO 100 Public Speaking (4 credits)*
COJO 211 Communication Theories and Methods (4 credits)*
COJO 212 Rhetorical Criticism (4 credits)*
COJO 260 Electronic Media Production (4 credits)*

*To register for COJO courses without the prerequisite of COJO 111 Communication and Citizenship, please contact the faculty member teaching the course in advance of registration. COJO 111 is not required for licensure, but a student completing COJO 111, the COJO courses required for licensure, and a 300- or 400-level COJO course will have completed a minor in Communication and Journalism. 

Education Coursework
(34 credits/Courses vary in credits)

It is recommended that students take Education courses in the following sequence:

EDUC 210 Education's Place in Society (4 credits)
EDUC 211 Field Experience I (0 credits)
      NOTE: This 50 hour field experience must be taken concurrently with EDUC 210

Basic Skills Test (MTLE) or other Minnesota BOT approved exams required for MN licensure must be completed in order to register for the remaining education courses.

EDUC 329 Diverse Learners and Families (4 credits)
EDUC 330 Psychology for Teaching and Learning (4 credits)
     PREREQUISITE: EDUC 210
EDUC 332 Field Experience II: Learning and Teaching (0 credits)
     NOTE: This field experience must be taken concurrently with EDUC 330
EDUC 355 Reading for the 5-12 Teacher (4 credits)
     Usually offered in late afternoon/evening; also offered in summer

EDUC 316 Curriculum and Methods for Communication Arts and Literature (5-12) (4 credits)
     PREREQUISITE: EDUC 330 & Education program admittance; NOTE: Offered per week in late afternoon; only offered in fall semester
EDUC 336 Field Experience III: Communication Arts and Literature (0 credits)
     NOTE: This field experience must be taken concurrently with EDUC 316
EDUC 345 Adolescent Literature (2 credits)
     PREREQUISITE: EDUC 210; Usually offered in late afternoon/evening

Pedagogy and Content Tests (MTLE) or other Minnesota BOT approved exams required for licensure.  

In order to student teach and complete the Education program, the English major and EDUC 316 and EDUC 336 must already be completed.

EDUC 431 Use of Technology for Instruction (2 credits)
     NOTE: This is completed online
EDUC 460 Clinical Practice: Student Teaching and Seminar (10 credits)

Plus demonstrated competence on all state required standards

Important Note Regarding Plan A Credit Hours

Because of the number of courses required under Plan A, it is difficult for students to graduate in four years unless they take twenty credits worth of coursework instead of the standard sixteen credits during the regular semester and/or do coursework in J-Term or Summer Session I and/or II.

Under Plan A, students earn more than the minimum 132 credits required for a baccalaureate degree at St. Thomas; in most cases, students will earn anywhere from 142 credits (34 in Education, 44 in English, 20 in Communication and Journalism, and 44 in general education) to 154 credits for those that have not already fulfilled their Foreign Language requirement (an additional 12 credits). Those who prefer to begin their teacher licensure at the undergraduate level and complete it at the post-baccalaureate level should consider Plan B.

Have additional questions?

Please contact Dr. Brenda Powell in the English Department.

B.A. in Literary Studies

Students wishing for excellent preparation for the many occupations in which the ability to use language effectively is absolutely essential may be interested in the literary studies major.

The primary aims of the major in literary studies are to extend to highly motivated students the opportunity:

  1. To deepen their mastery of two languages.
  2. To provide them with double evidence that literature, as the highest form of language art, is based on the skillful use of adequately developed languages in the creation of an aesthetic world of the human spirit.
  3. To enable them to experience firsthand that much is lost in the translation of a great literary work.
  4. To help them appreciate more deeply that literature transcends national and cultural boundaries.

The Curriculum:

The curriculum requires students to take at least sixteen credits in courses examining the literature of a non-English language. Note that upper division courses in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages have prerequisites; students must meet these prerequisites in order to take the curriculum required of Literary Studies Majors.

Option I (administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages):

Twenty credits in courses numbered 300 or higher in the literature of a non-English language, chosen in consultation with the chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Plus: Sixteen credits in courses numbered 300 or higher in English literature, chosen in consultation with the chair of the Department of English

Option II (administered by the Department of English):

Twenty credits in courses numbered 300 or higher in English literature, chosen in consultation with the chair of the Department of English

Plus:
Sixteen credits in courses numbered 300 or higher in the literature of a non-English language, chosen in consultation with the chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Plus:
(required under both options)
Four credits in European history

Recommended: An additional four credits in European history, four credits in aesthetics, and courses in a third language, preferably a classical language if the second language is modern.

Courses such as phonetics, conversation, composition, and civilization (if not based on literature) will not count as courses in literature.

Minor in English

Students majoring in a discipline other than English may wish to consider adding a six-course minor in English to enhance their critical reading and writing skills.

The minor in English consists of twenty-four credits:

Core Courses from 2012-2014 Undergraduate Catalog

Under this sequence, students enroll in two 4-credit courses:

First Course
ENGL 121 Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing (4 credits)

Second Course (choose one of the following courses)
ENGL 201 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Genre and Craft (4 credits)
ENGL 202 Texts in Conversation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 203 Texts in Conversation: Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives (4 credits)
ENGL 204 Texts in Conversation: Perspectives on Language, Culture, and Literacy (4 credits)

Students with qualifying ACT scores can complete the core requirement in literature and writing by taking the following sequence: 

One ENGL 201-204 Texts in Conversation course (4 credits))
plus
One of the following 4-credit literature courses in English: ENGL 211, 212, 214, 215, 217, 218, 220, 221, 222, 297, 324, 325, 334, 337, 341, 361, 362, 364, 365, 366, 367, 370, 371, 372, 373, 390, and 395 or two 2-credit ENGL 295 courses during J-Term.

Plus:

Eight credits of ENGL courses numbered 211-299

Eight credits of ENGL courses numbered 300-399