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Major and Minor

Students who intend to become English majors should come to 311 McClung and fill out a Declaration of Major Form. At this time the student can declare a concentration which they may change at any time. Upon declaring, students are assigned a faculty advisor.

Requirements and Prerequisites


English majors satisfy three sets of requirements. University requirements and College of Arts and Sciences requirements are explained in the Undergraduate Catalog; college requirements are further detailed in the Curriculum Guide and Handbook (see Forms and Resources). English department requirements are explained in the English Major Booklet.

Before declaring an English major, all students must first satisfy the prerequisite of the major by completing English 101 and 102 or their equivalents, and taking two 200-level English electives. After satisfying the prerequisite, majors—in consultation with a departmental academic advisor—take ten courses numbered 300 and above, distributed to ensure both breadth and depth of study.

An English major can choose among four concentrations, but all four of the concentrations share a core of five courses with the following distribution:

  • One must be pre-1660 literature
  • One must be of literature written from 1660-1900
  • One must be post-1900 literature
  • One must be in language, theory, folklore, cultural, ethnic, gender, or film studies
  • One must be a special topics, major authors, or senior seminar

A list of approved courses for each distribution can be found in the English Major Booklet.  The remaining five courses will be used to complete the concentration requirements. Students may select from the following concentrations:

  • Creative Writing: Aims to help the student develop his or her artistic voice through the writing of poetry, fiction, and drama.
  • Literature: Involves study and analysis of novels, poems, plays, and non-fictional prose in English.
  • Rhetoric and Writing: Uses both writing workshops and theoretical approaches to help the student develop a mastery of self-expression and argument.

The specific distribution requirements for each concentration are detailed in the menus for that concentration. In addition to the four concentrations, a major may choose an individualized program. For students who wish to pursue studies or projects not adequately treated in existing courses, the department offers an opportunity to participate in independent study with a faculty member. In addition to approving such courses of study, the director of undergraduate studies is also empowered to approve individualized concentrations developed by students in consultation with their advisors. These programs should be designed to achieve academically sound objectives that are not addressed by the course requirements for established concentrations.

Courses may NOT count toward more than one category. Depending on the course content, special topics, major authors, senior seminar, junior—senior honors seminar, and any other course with variable content may be petitioned to count in a category where it is not listed.

Students may count the two 200-level English courses required for prerequisites to the English major toward their College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Distribution Requirements. The courses may also apply to the UT General Education requirement if they display a “WC and/or “AH” at the end of the course description.

If a student uses an upper-level course to satisfy a major requirement, he or she may not use it to satisfy an upper-level distribution requirement. Likewise, if an English course is used to satisfy the upper-level distribution, it may not be used to satisfy a major requirement.

English Major Advising

The faculty takes advising seriously because it wants students to make informed choices about their curricula and career goals. Each major is assigned a faculty advisor to consult with each semester. The electronic English Major Newsletter provides weekly information from the undergraduate office concerning advising and other matters of interest for subscribers.

In order to get the most benefit from advising sessions, students are strongly urged to prepare by reviewing their progress in meeting college and major requirements. During the meeting, advisor and advisee discuss courses, requirements, the design of the major curriculum, and post-graduation plans. For each English major, the departmental office keeps a file that may be consulted by students or their advisors any time during working hours.

Students are responsible for contacting their advisors to make an advising appointment. Office hours are the best time for contacting an advisor. Before each advising session, stop by Room 311, McClung Tower, to pick up an advising folder and prepare the following: (1) a DARS report; (2) a list of the courses you hope to take the following semester; and (3) specific questions concerning requirements or anything else. Students are also encouraged to talk with their advisors about career goals.

The English department is committed to making a student’s experience as an English major both personalized and rewarding. Students should not hesitate to contact their advisors for additional help.

Declaring English as a Minor

An English minor consists of at least 15 credit hours of English courses at the 300 and 400 level.

English minor with an emphasis in Technical Communications

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