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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 32 credits in English at or above the 200 level, 16 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.

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

Literature Concentration

At least 28 of the 32 required credits must be in literature.

    Historical Breadth  (8 to 16 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. Noted as H1 after course description. 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. Noted as H2 after course description.

    Genre  (4 credits)   Students must take at least one course that focuses on a specific genre (ENGL 270-289; ENTH 229, ENTH 230)—fiction, drama, or poetry. Noted as G after course description.

    Comparative Topic  (4 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. Noted as CT after course description.

    Writers of Significance  (4 credits)  Students must take at least one course from the following:  ENGL 340-359, ENGL 313, 318, 441, or HON 308. Noted as WS after course description.

    Senior Seminar  (4 credits)  Students must take the Senior Seminar, a capstone course in literary theory and criticism (ENGL 470). 

English Secondary Education Certification (Literature Concentration)

Specific courses within the literature concentration fulfill secondary education certification requirements (for example, ENGL 313 Shakespeare satisfies the Writers of Significance requirement for the major.) The Departments of Education and English advise students about those requirements.

Courses required of all secondary education certification students are:

  • ENGL 202 Intermediate Expository Writing
  • 3-4 credits in effective communication:  CMA 207 or THEA 101 or THEA 102
  • ENGL 313 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 405 The English Language
  • ENGL 410 Literature for Adolescents

3-4 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 20th Century African-American Literature
  • ENGL 280 20th Century Ethnic Narratives: Writing Ourselves into America
  • ENGL 346 Erdrich, Silko, Alexie
  • ENHN 463 International Currents in Modern Fiction

  Creative Writing Concentration

 A minimum of 36 credits is required.

    Historical Breadth  (8 to 16 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. Noted as H1 after course description.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. Noted as H2 after course description.

    Genre  (8 credits)  Students must take two courses in two different genres from courses numbered ENGL 270-289; ENTH 229; ENTH 230—fiction, drama, poetry. Noted as G after course description.

    Creative Writing  (11-12 credits)  Students must take ENGL 219 and two of the following courses:  CMA 281, ENGL 420, ENGL 421, ENTH 303. 

    Writers of Significance  (4 credits) Students must take at least one course from the following:  ENGL 340-359, ENGL 313, 318, 441 or HON 308. Noted as WS after course description.

     Senior Seminar  (4 credits)  Students must take the Senior Seminar, a capstone course in literary theory and criticism (ENGL 470).  

Drama and Theatre Concentration


A minimum of 36 credits is required.

    Historical Breadth  (8 to 16 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. Noted as H1 after course description.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. Noted as H2 after course description.

    Genre  (12 credits)  Students must take ENTH 229, ENTH 230 and ENGL 313.  

    Theatre Practice (12 credits)  Students must take THEA 101 and the following courses (8 credits) in theatre practice:  THEA 102, THEA 210, THEA 254, THEA 255, THEA 370 

    Senior Seminar  (4 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 all requirements for the English major along with specific requirements for certification, indicated after the literature concentration listed above.