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English Major, B.A.

The English department offers a variety of courses designed to expose the student to a wide range of literary texts and critical approaches. In English classes, students read, analyze and write about literature from a number of historical periods. The faculty provides the personal attention that enables each student to learn to write well, to think critically and thus to acquire the skills necessary for success in any profession. We believe that such study enhances the love and appreciation of literature, exercises the imagination and frees the mind from credulity and conformity.

Requirements for the Major

English majors must take a minimum of 30 credits in English at or above the 200 level, 15 credits of which must be 300 level or above (excluding independent study and internships).

Six credits in English, exclusive of independent study and internships, must be taken during the senior year. Transfer students must complete at least 12 credits in English at Hood. The senior seminar (ENGL 470) must be taken at Hood.

Of the 30 minimum credits, 27 must be in literature and include the following requirements:

Students will choose one of two concentrations: Literature or Creative Writing. In each concentration, the student must fulfill a requirement that involves historical breadth and one literary genre; all concentrations culminate in the senior seminar (ENGL 470). 

Literature Concentration 

    Historical Breadth  (6 to 12 credits)  

    Students must take either ENGL 222 or two courses in literature before 1800.  The English department, through the advising process, will determine which courses fulfill the pre-1800 requirement. 

    Students must take either ENGL 223 or two courses in literature after 1800.  The English department, through the advising process, will determine which courses fulfill the post-1800 requirement. 

    Genre  (3 credits)  

    Students must take at least one course that focuses on a specific genre (ENGL 270-289)—fiction, drama, or poetry. 

    Comparative Topic  (3 credits)  

    Students must take at least one course that offers a comparative perspective on literature—across cultures, artistic modes, media, etc.  The English department, through the advising process, will determine which courses fulfill the comparative topic requirement. 

    Writers of Significance  (3 credits)  

    Students must take at least one course that focuses on one, two, or three authors:  ENGL 340-359, ENGL 313, 318, 330, 414, or HON 308. 

    Senior Seminar  (3 credits) 

    Students must take the Senior Seminar, a capstone course in literary theory and criticism (ENGL 470). 

Creative Writing Concentration

    Historical Breadth  (6 to 12 credits)  

    Students must take either ENGL 222 or two courses in literature before 1800.  The English department, through the advising process, will determine which courses fulfill the pre-1800 requirement. 

    Students must take either ENGL 223 or two courses in literature after 1800.  The English department, through the advising process, will determine which courses fulfill the post-1800 requirement. 

    Genre  (6 credits)  

    Students must take two courses in two different genres from courses numbered ENGL 270 to 289—fiction, drama, poetry. 

    Creative Writing  (9 credits)  

    Students must take ENGL 219 and two of the following courses:  CMA 281, ENGL 420, ENGL 421, ENTH 303.* 

    Writers of Significance  (3 credits) 

    Students must take at least one course that focuses on one, two, or three authors:  ENGL 340-359, ENGL 313, 318, 330, 414, or HON 308. 

     Senior Seminar  (3 credits)  

    Students must take the Senior Seminar, a capstone course in literary theory and criticism (ENGL 470).  

English Secondary Education Certification

English majors may obtain certification to teach English at the secondary level in Maryland, with reciprocity for teaching in certain other states. Students may obtain certification by completing the following requirements, comprising 36 credits at the 200 level or above.

  • ENGL 221 World Literature
  • ENGL 222 British Literature through the 18th Century
  • ENGL 223 American Literature
  • ENGL 313 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 405 The English Language
  • ENGL 410 Literature for Adolescents
  • ENGL 470 Seminar
  • 3 credits in a thematic course (250-269)
  • 3 credits in a genre course (270-289)
  • CAEN 202 Intermediate Expository Writing
One of the following two courses:
  • CMA 207 Principles of Speech Communication
  • THEA 101 Elements of Acting
3 credits of a literature of diversity course from among the following (or equivalent approved for content by the Chair of the English Department and the secondary education program coordinator):
  • AFEN 265 African-American Voices Before the 20th Century
  • AFEN 266 The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: 20th Century African- American Literature
  • ENGL 280 20th Century Ethnic Narratives: Writing Ourselves into America
  • ENGL 346 Erdrich, Silko, Alexie
  • ENGL 361 Primal Literature
  • ENHN 463 International Currents in Modern Fiction

Students also must meet the requirements specified by the education department.