English Major

Students begin the major by taking a seminar that introduces them to literary analysis and a selection of literary genres.  They then complete a series of requirements that familiarize them with a broad range of English and American literature and expose them to important new thinking about the relation of gender and ethnicity to representation, as well as to how literature matters outside the classroom.  Students also may elect to study postcolonial literature and film and visual culture.  Courses may focus on literary periods, such as Medieval, Renaissance, Eighteenth Century, Colonial American, Romantic Victorian, 19th Century American, 19th Century African-American, Modern and Contemporary, 20th Century African-American; genres such as the dream vision, the Gothic novel, or horror film; areas such as Asian-American, Chicano-Latino or postcolonial literature, gender and sexuality in literature, film and visual culture, or cultural studies; authors such as Chaucer, Austen, Dickinson, Wilde; major works such as Hamlet , Ulysses , or Beloved ; critical theory; the history of the English language; and creative writing.  Combining tradition with innovation, structure with flexibility, the program allows students considerable freedom within the major to select courses according to their own interests.


University Requirements

General University requirements are University wide requirements which all undergraduates must satisfy. See the Undergraduate Studies section in the General Catalog for a complete listing.

College Requirements

Students must fulfill all breadth requirements of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. For a detailed list of requirements and a summary of units, see Degree Requirements under College of Humanities and Social Sciences in the Undergraduate Studies section of the General Catalog.

Major Requirements (EFFECTIVE FALL 2017)

  1. English 20A, 20B, and 20C (15 units). These courses are normally required of all English majors as a prerequisite to upper division courses.
  2. English 102 (4 units), 102W (4 units). This course should normally be taken prior to or concurrently with the student’s first upper-division English course.
    Include at least one course (in bold) that deals with race and ethnicity (within
    requirements 3 and 4).
  3. Four courses (16 units); one course from each of the following areas:
    1. English Literature to 1660: English 117A, 117B, 117C, 117T, 128E, 128F, 128G, 129A, 147F, 147S, 148Q, 149, 151A, 151B, 151T, 152, 153, 154;
    2. English Literature from 1660-1900: English 125A, 125B, 128I, 128J, 128K,
      128M, 128N,129B, 147G, 147V,148P, 148X, 148Y, 148Z, 161A, 161B, 161T, 166A, 166B, 166T, 172A, 172B, 172T;
    3. American Literature to 1900: English 120A, 126A, 127A, 128O, 128Q, 130, 131, 132, 138A, 147M, 148W;
    4. Literature after 1900: English 120B, 120T, 125C, 126B, 127B, 127C, 128R, 128S, 128T, 128U, 128V, 128W, 128X, 129C, 133, 134, 135, 136, 136T, 138B, 138T, 139, 139T, 147I, 147U, 148E, 148G, 148M, 148R, 148S, 176A, 176B, 176C, 176T;
  4. One course (4 units) on Literature and related fields, including theory, or on a
    literary theme or genre, Postcolonial literature, Literature and gender, or
    Literature and sexuality, to be chosen from among the following: English l00E-Z, 101, 104, 121E-Z, 122E-Z, 124A, 124B, 127T, 140E-Z, 141E-Z, 142E-Z, 143E-Z, 144E-Z, 145E-Z, 146E-Z, 179A, 179B, 179T;
  5. English 189: Capstone Research Seminar
  6. Four additional upper-division English courses (16 units). Only four units from either English 103 or any upper-division Creative Writing course will be accepted toward the fulfillment of this requirement. Four units of English 190 may be counted toward this requirement. Proposals for English 190 must be approved by a sponsoring faculty member and the department chair. If the student wishes to offer units from English 190 as part of the 16 units, a copy of an approved petition will be placed in the student’s file.

Total units in major: 59 units, at least 15 units and no more than 20 units of which are at the lower division level.

Students are encouraged to take at least one of the following courses as a college breadth requirement or as an elective:

  • World Literature 17A-17B-17C;
  • Classics 27A-27B, 40;
  • Ethnic Studies 71, 114, 120, 124, 138, 170;
  • Any literature course in a language other than English.

Students are also encouraged to take a course in British or American history, such as History 17, 150, 151, 152.

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor for help in shaping a program and following it through to graduation. Students are expected to see their advisors on a regular basis, normally once per quarter prior to registration. Information about advisors is available in the Department Office from the Undergraduate Student Affairs Assistant. See our “Four Year Sample Program.”