The English Major
Requirements: The Major in English requires the successful completion of eleven major courses.
- The courses must satisfy the following distribution requirements according to the Course Groups, listed below: at least 2 courses from Group I; at least 2 courses from Group II; at least 1 course from Group III; at least 1 course from Group IV.
- In addition, four courses must be selected as forming a concentration in one of the Concentration Areas listed below. Except in the case of students electing Concentration Area 003 (Literary History) these courses may also satisfy the Group requirements outlined above.
- One course must be a Special Topics Course (ENGL 60-67) or ENGL 90 (Foreign Study Program [FSP]). This course may also satisfy one of the Group requirements outlined above and/or be part of the four-course concentration.
- One course must be designated as satisfying the Culminating Experience Requirement; this may be an Advanced Seminar (70, 71, 72, 73, 75, or 85 or another Creative Writing course designated as fulfilling the Culminating Experience) or, in the case of students seeking a degree with Honors, the first term of ENGL 98. This course may also be part of the four-course concentration, but cannot be used to satisfy any of the Course Group requirements. The Culminating Experience course must be taken and completed after the sophomore-junior summer term.
Students electing the major in English should bear in mind the following:
- Transfer credits normally cannot be used in the major. Students wishing to be granted an exception must petition the CDC (Committee on Departmental Curriculum). If approval is granted, transfer courses are subject to the rules that apply to substitute courses.
- Two substitute courses (appropriate major courses from other departments at Dartmouth) are permitted within the major. One of those courses may be part of the concentration area. Students wishing to substitute more than one course in their concentration area must petition the CDC. Normally, substitute courses cannot satisfy the Course Group requirements.
- No substitute courses may satisfy the Culminating Experience requirement.
- To become an English major, students must consult with a professor to plan their concentration area. Students formally elect the major in English by submitting a proposed plan of courses—a completed major card and worksheet—to their major advisor. The major advisor’s signature constitutes admission to the major. Students must meet with their major advisor a second time in the last term of the junior year or the first term of the senior year in order to review their major plan.
- Students may petition the CDC to adjust a concentration area designation for a course. Such petitions must be endorsed by the faculty member teaching the course.
A list of courses in each concentration is posted on the web and available in the English Department office.
- Literary Theory and Criticism
Courses in this area stress questions on the nature of language and literature, problems in literary interpretation, the relations between readers and literary works, the history of criticism, and the various schools and theoretical approaches in literary analysis.
Students concentrating on genre should choose four courses dealing with one of following genres: poetry, drama, or narrative. Students wishing to deal with other genres or modes such as tragedy or pastoral or autobiography should formulate an independent proposal under Concentration Area 010.
- Literary History
Students concentrating on literary history must select four additional courses from Course Groups I, II, and III in the following manner: two courses from Course Group I and one each from Course Groups II and III. A course not included in Course Groups I, II, and III may be included if it is posted under Literary History in the list of courses by concentration area.
- Period Study
Students pursuing period study should select four courses from any one of the historical course groups (Course Groups I, II and III). Students may choose to have these four courses form a more precise focus such as medieval literature or Victorian studies.
- National Traditions and Countertraditions
Courses in this area address literary works and critical methods that invoke or question national identity and its dominant narratives. Courses may also examine the ways in which nations are defined and national practices and consciousnesses are constructed or challenged.
- Multicultural and Colonial / Postcolonial Studies
Courses in this area focus on literature in English other than British or American and on British or American literature that addresses colonial/post-colonial experience. The concentration involves attention to critical perspectives and theories on race, ethnicity, migration, colonialism, transnationalism, and globalization.
- Genders and Sexualities
Literary works and critical approaches that address, represent, or critique ideas of gender and sexual identity. This area includes courses on sexuality, feminism, gay and lesbian studies, masculinity, and queer theory.
- Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
Literary works, critical approaches and theories that draw together social, literary, and cultural discourses or challenge distinctions such as those between high and low culture, canonical and non-canonical literature, or the disciplines themselves. Courses in this area focus on issues such as class, the production of cultural value, the materiality of texts, and the social practices of reading, writing, and representation.
- Creative Writing
Students electing a concentration in Creative Writing must pass the prerequisite course, ENGL 80, prior to enrolling in any other Creative Writing course. Courses satisfying this Concentration Area must include:
One course selected from ENGL 81, ENGL 82 and 83
A second course selected from ENGL 81, ENGL 82, ENGL 83, or ENGL 85, or an approved special topics course in English with a significant workshop component, or an approved course in another department with a workshop orientation (for example, FILM 33, Writing for the Screen I; THEA 50, Playwriting I; or ENVS 72, Nature Writers), or a senior project (ENGL 97 or ENGL 98)
A course in contemporary poetry, prose, prose nonfiction or drama in the English Department, or any other course within the English Department carrying the CW tag, or a creative writing course offered by another department.
Note: Students must be admitted to one of the Creative Writing intermediate courses (81, 82, or 83) before they can elect the Creative Writing concentration. Until that time, students majoring in English must elect another concentration, which they can change when they are admitted to one of the intermediate courses. Students may not elect the minor in the Creative Writing concentration area until they have been admitted to 81, 82, or 83. A writing sample is required with the application to 81, 82, or 83.
- Independent Proposal
Students may propose, by petition to the Committee on the Departmental Curriculum, a Concentration Area different from those listed above. Such proposals, together with a written rationale, must be submitted before the end of the junior year.
Students may propose a modified major in English by designing a special program of study in consultation with a faculty advisor in the Department. One may modify the major in English with a selection of courses from other departments and programs, or one may modify a major in another department or program with a selection of English courses. In both cases the modifying courses nominated must be courses that qualify for major credit in their home department or program. The Culminating Experience should be satisfied according to the primary department’s or program’s rules. Proposals for modifying the major in English should also explain the rationale for modifying the standard major and show how each of the modifying courses relates to the Concentration Area selected.
Proposals for both kinds of modified majors must be submitted to the Vice Chair of the English Department as a formal petition and proposal. Proposals to modify another major with English courses must be approved by the Vice Chair of English before going forward to the primary department or program for final approval as a major program. Proposals to modify the major in English with other courses must be submitted, along with an authorizing signature from the secondary department or program, to the Vice Chair of English and the CDC for their deliberation and approval. The Vice Chair’s signature signifies final approval of a modified major in English.
Modified major in which English is the primary subject:
Requirements: This major requires the successful completion of eleven major courses.
- All students proposing a modified major with English as the primary department must complete at least 2 courses from Group I; at least 2 courses from Group II; at least 1 course from Group III; at least 1 course from Group IV.
- In addition, proposals for this modified major must elect Concentration Area number 10 (Independent Proposal) to satisfy the Concentration Area requirement. The proposal for a modified major in English also serves as a proposal for an independently proposed Concentration Area. At least one and no more than two of the four modifying courses selected from other department or program offerings must be included in the independently proposed Concentration Area.
- Four courses from another department or program must be selected, approved by the CDC, and completed successfully. One or two of these courses must form part of the independent proposal for a Concentration Area.
- One course must be a Special Topics Course (60-68) or ENGL 90. This course may also satisfy one of the Group requirements outlined above and/or be part of the four-course concentration.
- One course must be designated as satisfying the Culminating Experience Requirement; this may be an Advanced Seminar (ENGL 70, ENGL 71, ENGL 72, ENGL 73, ENGL 75, or ENGL 85), or, in the case of students seeking a degree with Honors, the first term of ENGL 98. This course may be part of the four-course concentration, but may not satisfy any of the Course Group requirements. The Culminating Experience course must be taken and completed after the sophomore-junior summer term.
Modified major in other departments or programs modified with English courses.
Requirements: Four English courses selected from those numbered 10-75 and 90-91. No substitutions or transfer credits are permitted.
The Minor in English
The minor in English requires the successful completion of six major courses. Four courses must be selected as forming a concentration in one of the Concentration Areas listed above. No substitutions and no more than one transfer credit will be permitted.
The Major in English with Honors
Students enrolled in the major in English who have completed at least six major courses by the end of their junior year and have a grade point average (GPA) in the major of 3.4 or higher and an overall college GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply for the Honors Program. Eligible students apply by submitting their college record to the Honors Directors along with a formal proposal of an honors thesis. Students formally approved and enrolled in Creative Writing as a Concentration Area normally propose a creative writing project as a thesis. Students with other Concentration Areas normally propose a critical thesis. The thesis may be completed during one or two terms of English 098, the first of which counts as the Culminating Experience in the major. The second English 098 constitutes a twelfth course in the major program, separate from all other requirements outlined above. The theory requirement should be satisfied before the term in which the candidate completes the honors thesis and submits it for evaluation. That is, no one may satisfy the theory requirement and the thesis requirement in the same term.
For complete information about applying to and successfully completing the Honors Program, including further regulations, deadlines, and advice, please consult the Directors of Honors.
English Study Abroad
The English Department offers two Foreign Study Programs (FSPs), one offered annually at the University of Glasgow and one held biennially in alternating years: Dublin (2013, 2015). Both English FSPs are held during the fall academic term. Participation in both English FSPs is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors. To participate in the program for a given year, students must have completed all first-year requirements and one English course (other than ENGL 7) with a grade of B or better. (The English course requirement may, in certain circumstances, be waived by the director.)
Students enrolled in English FSPs register for ENGL 90, ENGL 91, and ENGL 92. Students who successfully complete either of the English FSPs will be awarded credit for ENGL 90, ENGL 91, and ENGL 92. ENGL 90 and ENGL 91 will carry major or minor credit; ENGL 92 will carry one non-major college credit. In no case will students receive more than two major or minor credits in English for work completed on an ENGL FSP. The major requirements satisfied by ENGL 90 and ENGL 91 vary with each program. For specific information on FSPs and major requirements please consult with the FSP directors and the English Department’s website at URL http://www.dartmouth.edu/~english/
Please check the English Department website for up-to-date information on course offerings http://www.dartmouth.edu/~english/