Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$root.page}}

English Major

Effective Winter 2018

Exclusions:

Students who elect a major in English may not also elect minors in English or English-Creative Writing.

Advising

Students are encouraged to discuss their academic program and related concerns with an English department advisor. Appointments are scheduled on the English Department's website under academic advising. For questions of immediate concern or general questions about the major, students may speak with the Undergraduate Administrator by phoning 734.764.6330 or by coming to 3187 Angell Hall.

Peer Advising Program

The English Undergraduate Office offers Peer Advising hours where students can come in and ask questions about the various programs, and declare their major while getting a student’s perspective on what it’s like to be an English major. Check on the website or in the main office for their advising hours.

Grade Policies

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the major requirements.

Prerequisites

ENGLISH 298: Introduction to Literary Studies

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Department of English Language and Literature offers three main routes toward the major, the General Program, the Creative Writing Program, and Honors.

The General Program

Students in the General Program must successfully complete 30 credits in ENGLISH courses. A maximum of six credits of coursework at the 200 level from the approved list of courses may be counted toward the 30 credits required for the major.  200 level courses cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements of the major listed below.  These courses must include at a minimum:

  • two courses on literature written primarily before 1830, at least one of which must be on literature written primarily before 1642
  • one course on literature taken prior to 1900
  • one course in American literature
  • one poetry course
  • one course designated "Identity and Difference"

The department will offer in any one term a considerable range of courses designed to meet these requirements. A list of which courses meet a given requirement will be available each year in the English Undergraduate Office, online at www.lsa.umich.edu, or from an English department advisor.

Approved 200-level courses:

  • ENGLISH 201: Readings in U.S. Literatures: "American" and Other Fictions
  • ENGLISH 203: Intro to Rhetoric
  • ENGLISH 215: Great Women Writers
  • ENGLISH 216: Intro to Disability Studies
  • ENGLISH 221: Literature Outside the Classroom
  • ENGLISH 230: Intro to Short Story and Novel
  • ENGLISH 232: Intro to Visual Culture
  • ENGLISH 235: Intro to Autobiography
  • ENGLISH 240: Poetry for Non-majors
  • ENGLISH 242: Interdisciplinary Studies in English
  • ENGLISH 245: Intro to Drama and Theatre
  • ENGLISH 250: Intro to Language Studies
  • ENGLISH 258: Bible as Literature
  • ENGLISH 260: Intro to British Literature
  • ENGLISH 267: Shakespeare and his World
  • ENGLISH 270: Intro to American Lit
  • ENGLISH 274: Intro to Afro-American Lit
  • ENGLISH 275: Intro World Lit in English
  • ENGLISH 280: Intro to Digital Cultures
  • ENGLISH 282: Native American Literature
  • ENGLISH 285: Intro to 20th C Lit
  • ENGLISH 290: Topics in Lang & Lit
  • ENGLISH 292: Themes in Lang & Lit (mini-course)
  • ENGLISH 293: Great Works of Lit (mini-course)

Students considering the major in English should elect ENGLISH 298 during the sophomore year. Then, while fulfilling the requirements for the major, they may elect such a pattern of courses as will provide the course of study they find most helpful and satisfying.  

The Creative Writing Program

Students interested in the department's offerings in creative writing should begin with ENGLISH 223, an introduction to the reading and writing of modern poetry and prose fiction and to the workshop method of critiquing student writing. ENGLISH 223 is a prerequisite to ENGLISH 323: Advanced Creative Writing in Fiction and 324: Advanced Creative Writing in Poetry, but admission into ENGLISH 323 and 324 is based on a portfolio submission. There is a "permission of instructor" restriction on these courses. At the advanced level students may elect (with the instructor's permission) the advanced fiction workshop (ENGLISH 423) or the advanced poetry workshop (ENGLISH 424).

English majors who wish to specialize in the writing of poetry or prose fiction may, in the winter term of their junior year, apply to the Creative Writing Submajor, which is an optional path to a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Students in the program take the creative writing workshops described above in sequence, and, in their last term, compile a major manuscript of poetry or prose fiction while working closely with the creative-writing faculty in a tutorial reserved for submajors (ENGLISH 428).

The program is small and highly selective; however, students not enrolled in the submajor may still pursue their interest in creative writing by applying to the appropriate upper-level workshops.

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the requirements for the major.

 

Constraints

  • Majors should note that no more than two courses in expository or creative writing may be counted toward the minimum 30 credits at the upper level required for the major, although students may elect any number of such courses, subject to availability of spaces and to College limits on total elections of courses in any one department.
  • No more than six upper-level credits of Independent Study may count towards the major. 
  • With written prior approval by the undergraduate administrator, courses elected in other departments or programs may on occasion be used as part of a plan for the major.
  • Independent study projects cannot be used to meet Department program requirements.

 

Other Department Policies

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Majors in English may meet this requirement by taking ENGLISH 325, 398, 425, 428, or 496. A published list of English- approved courses can be found in 3187 Angell Hall. For those in the Honors and Creative Writing Programs, the writing requirement is met within their curriculum, which culminates in the supervised composition of the senior thesis.

Residency

Students must take at least 18 credits of U-M English department classes for the major. The additional 12 credits may be transfer credits, though only one transfer course may count towards the core requirements.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the ENGLISH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Honors: The General Program

Joining the English Department's Honors Program means becoming a part of a small, intensely committed group of teachers and students all working toward achieving excellence in the related disciplines of reading, understanding, and writing about texts. Honors courses and the program at large place a premium on discussion, on sustained elaboration of ideas inside and outside the classroom, on conceiving of projects in complex and engaging ways, on learning to do research, and on presenting the fruits of that research in expressive, lucid prose.

Students interested in the Honors Program should apply for admission as soon as possible after the beginning of their sophomore year. Since students generally have not decided to pursue Honors before they have completed the Sophomore prerequisites for the English major (ENGLISH 298), almost all applicants for admission to Honors come in the winter term of the sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year. Applications are due at the end of the seventh week of each term. Though the program occasionally accepts a few late applicants (i.e., students applying in the winter term of their junior year), admission is more difficult to achieve if students apply late, and students' chances for success in the program are greatest if, before the first term of your senior year, you have taken at least one theory course (preferably ENGLISH 390 or 490) and begun thinking about a possible focus for their thesis. The application consists of a cover sheet; a transcript; a 500-word statement of purpose; and a writing sample. Students must also be maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better in the major.

  • Honors students take a course in literary theory, usually ENGLISH 390 or 490. It is recommended that this be done during the student's junior year.
  • Two courses from ENGLISH 397 (or 497), 450 or 451.
  • Honors students write a thesis of approximately sixty pages in length during the senior year - a project that is designed to be the single most important, most meaningful piece of work students undertake as English majors at the University. Students write most of their thesis in a required year-long course, "Research and Thesis Writing" (ENGLISH 495/496). Students are guided throughout much of their senior year by a faculty advisor chosen early in that year. The completed thesis is due in mid-March of the senior year.
  • During graduation weekend, Honors students will participate in an Honors Symposium, at which students make brief presentations of their theses to interested faculty, friends, and family.

Honors: Creative Writing

Those students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA in the major may apply for Creative Writing Honors after they have been accepted to the submajor. Honors will be awarded, as warranted, on the basis of the thesis.

Teaching Certificate

English majors in any of the programs above may also apply to be granted a teaching certificate. Students in the General Program must elect, in addition to the pattern of courses there prescribed, a course in composition (normally SWC 300 or 430) and a course in English language (ENGLISH 305, 308, or 406). Honors candidates must elect ENGLISH 305 in addition to the courses required for their program.

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin, and are available from the School of Education Teacher Education Office, 1228 School of Education Building. A brochure summarizing these requirements is available in the English Office. Application to the certificate program itself must be made through the School of Education. The deadline is January 15 for the following academic term. Please check their website: www.soe.umich.edu/.

English (Major) (Fall 2017)

Effective Fall 2017

Exclusions:

Students who elect a major in English may not also elect a minor in English.

Advising

Students are encouraged to discuss their academic program and related concerns with an English department advisor. Appointments are scheduled on the English Department's website under academic advising. For questions of immediate concern or general questions about the major, students may speak with the Undergraduate Administrator by phoning 734.764.6330 or by coming to 3187 Angell Hall.

Peer Advising Program

The English Undergraduate Office offers Peer Advising hours where students can come in and ask questions about the various programs, and declare their major while getting a student’s perspective on what it’s like to be an English major. Check on the website or in the main office for their advising hours.

Grade Policies

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the major requirements.

Prerequisites

ENGLISH 298: Introduction to Literary Studies

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Department of English Language and Literature offers three main routes toward the major:

The General Program

Students in the General Program must successfully complete 30 credits in ENGLISH courses. A maximum of six credits of coursework at the 200 level from the approved list of courses may be counted toward the 30 credits required for the major.  200 level courses cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements of the major listed below.  These courses must include at a minimum:

  • two courses on literature written primarily before 1830, at least one of which must be on literature written primarily before 1642
  • one course on literature taken prior to 1900
  • one course in American literature
  • one poetry course
  • one course designated "Identity and Difference"

The department will offer in any one term a considerable range of courses designed to meet these requirements. A list of which courses meet a given requirement will be available each year in the English Undergraduate Office, online at www.lsa.umich.edu, or from an English department advisor.

Approved 200-level courses:

  • ENGLISH 203: Intro to Rhetoric
  • ENGLISH 201: Readings in U.S. Literatures: "American" and Other Fictions
  • ENGLISH 215: Great Women Writers
  • ENGLISH 216: Intro to Disability Studies
  • ENGLISH 221: Literature Outside the Classroom
  • ENGLISH 232: Intro to Visual Culture
  • ENGLISH 235: Intro to Autobiography
  • ENGLISH 240: Poetry for Non-majors
  • ENGLISH 242: Interdisciplinary Studies in English
  • ENGLISH 245: Intro to Drama and Theatre
  • ENGLISH 250: Intro to Language Studies
  • ENGLISH 258: Bible as Literature
  • ENGLISH 260: Intro to British Literature
  • ENGLISH 267: Shakespeare and his World
  • ENGLISH 270: Intro to American Lit
  • ENGLISH 274: Intro to Afro-American Lit
  • ENGLISH 275: Intro World Lit in English
  • ENGLISH 280: Intro to Digital Cultures
  • ENGLISH 282: Native American Literature
  • ENGLISH 285: Intro to 20th C Lit
  • ENGLISH 290: Topics in Lang & Lit
  • ENGLISH 292: Themes in Lang & Lit (mini-course)
  • ENGLISH 293: Great Works of Lit (mini-course)

Students considering the major in English should elect ENGLISH 298 during the sophomore year. Then, while fulfilling the requirements for the major, they may elect such a pattern of courses as will provide the course of study they find most helpful and satisfying.  

The Creative Writing Program

Students interested in the department's offerings in creative writing should begin with ENGLISH 223, an introduction to the reading and writing of modern poetry and prose fiction and to the workshop method of critiquing student writing. ENGLISH 223 is a prerequisite to ENGLISH 323: Advanced Creative Writing in Fiction and 324: Advanced Creative Writing in Poetry, but admission into ENGLISH 323 and 324 is based on a portfolio submission. There is a "permission of instructor" restriction on these courses. At the advanced level students may elect (with the instructor's permission) the advanced fiction workshop (ENGLISH 423) or the advanced poetry workshop (ENGLISH 424).

English majors who wish to specialize in the writing of poetry or prose fiction may, in the winter term of their junior year, apply to the Creative Writing Submajor, which is an optional path to a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Students in the program take the creative writing workshops described above in sequence, and, in their last term, compile a major manuscript of poetry or prose fiction while working closely with the creative-writing faculty in a tutorial reserved for submajors (ENGLISH 428).

The program is small and highly selective; however, students not enrolled in the submajor may still pursue their interest in creative writing by applying to the appropriate upper-level workshops.

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the requirements for the major.

 

Constraints

Majors should note that no more than two courses in expository or creative writing may be counted toward the minimum 30 credits at the upper level required for the major, although students may elect any number of such courses, subject to availability of spaces and to College limits on total elections of courses in any one department. Also, no more than six upper-level credits of Independent Study may count towards the major. With written prior approval by the undergraduate administrator, courses elected in other departments or programs may on occasion be used as part of a plan for the major. Independent study projects cannot be used to meet Department program requirements.

Other Department Policies

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Majors in English may meet this requirement by taking ENGLISH 325, 398, 425, 428, or 496. A published list of English- approved courses can be found in 3187 Angell Hall. For those in the Honors and Creative Writing Programs, the writing requirement is met within their curriculum, which culminates in the supervised composition of the senior thesis.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the ENGLISH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Honors: The General Program

Joining the English Department's Honors Program means becoming a part of a small, intensely committed group of teachers and students all working toward achieving excellence in the related disciplines of reading, understanding, and writing about texts. Honors courses and the program at large place a premium on discussion, on sustained elaboration of ideas inside and outside the classroom, on conceiving of projects in complex and engaging ways, on learning to do research, and on presenting the fruits of that research in expressive, lucid prose.

Students interested in the Honors Program should apply for admission as soon as possible after the beginning of their sophomore year. Since students generally have not decided to pursue Honors before they have completed the Sophomore prerequisites for the English major (ENGLISH 298), almost all applicants for admission to Honors come in the winter term of the sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year. Applications are due at the end of the seventh week of each term. Though the program occasionally accepts a few late applicants (i.e., students applying in the winter term of their junior year), admission is more difficult to achieve if students apply late, and students' chances for success in the program are greatest if, before the first term of your senior year, you have taken at least one theory course (preferably ENGLISH 390 or 490) and begun thinking about a possible focus for their thesis. The application consists of a cover sheet; a transcript; a 500-word statement of purpose; and a writing sample. Students must also be maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better in the major.

  • Honors students take a course in literary theory, usually ENGLISH 390 or 490. It is recommended that this be done during the student's junior year.
  • Two courses from ENGLISH 397 (or 497), 450 or 451.
  • Honors students write a thesis of approximately sixty pages in length during the senior year - a project that is designed to be the single most important, most meaningful piece of work students undertake as English majors at the University. Students write most of their thesis in a required year-long course, "Research and Thesis Writing" (ENGLISH 495/496). Students are guided throughout much of their senior year by a faculty advisor chosen early in that year. The completed thesis is due in mid-March of the senior year.
  • During graduation weekend, Honors students will participate in an Honors Symposium, at which students make brief presentations of their theses to interested faculty, friends, and family.

Honors: Creative Writing

Those students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA in the major may apply for Creative Writing Honors after they have been accepted to the submajor. Honors will be awarded, as warranted, on the basis of the thesis.

Teaching Certificate

English majors in any of the programs above may also apply to be granted a teaching certificate. Students in the General Program must elect, in addition to the pattern of courses there prescribed, a course in composition (normally SWC 300 or 430) and a course in English language (ENGLISH 305, 308, or 406). Honors candidates must elect ENGLISH 305 in addition to the courses required for their program.

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin, and are available from the School of Education Teacher Education Office, 1228 School of Education Building. A brochure summarizing these requirements is available in the English Office. Application to the certificate program itself must be made through the School of Education. The deadline is January 15 for the following academic term. Please check their website: www.soe.umich.edu/.

English (Major) (Winter 2016 - Summer 2017)

Effective Winter 2016

Advising

Students are encouraged to discuss their academic program and related concerns with an English department advisor. Appointments are scheduled on the English Department's website under academic advising. For questions of immediate concern or general questions about the major, students may speak with the Undergraduate Administrator by phoning 734.764.6330 or by coming to 3187 Angell Hall.

Peer Advising Program

The English Undergraduate Office offers Peer Advising hours where students can come in and ask questions about the various programs, and declare their major while getting a student’s perspective on what it’s like to be an English major. Check on the website or in the main office for their advising hours.

Grade Policies

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the major requirements.

Prerequisites

ENGLISH 298

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Department of English Language and Literature offers three main routes toward the major:

The General Program

Students in the General Program must successfully complete 30 credits in ENGLISH courses. A maximum of six credits of coursework at the 200 level from the approved list of courses may be counted toward the 30 credits required for the major.  200 level courses cannot be used to satisfy the core requirements of the major listed below.  These courses must include at a minimum:

  • two courses on literature written primarily before 1830, at least one of which must be on literature written primarily before 1642
  • one course on literature taken prior to 1900
  • one course in American literature
  • one poetry course
  • one course designated "Identity and Difference"

The department will offer in any one term a considerable range of courses designed to meet these requirements. A list of which courses meet a given requirement will be available each year in the English Undergraduate Office, online at www.lsa.umich.edu, or from an English department advisor.

Approved 200-level courses:

  • ENGLISH 200: Intro to Rhetoric
  • ENGLISH 215: Great Women Writers
  • ENGLISH 216: Intro to Disability Studies
  • ENGLISH 221: Literature Outside the Classroom
  • ENGLISH 232: Intro to Visual Culture
  • ENGLISH 235: Intro to Autobiography
  • ENGLISH 240: Poetry for Non-majors
  • ENGLISH 242: Interdisciplinary Studies in English
  • ENGLISH 245: Intro to Drama and Theatre
  • ENGLISH 250: Intro to Language Studies
  • ENGLISH 258: Bible as Literature
  • ENGLISH 260: Intro to British Literature
  • ENGLISH 267: Shakespeare and his World
  • ENGLISH 270: Intro to American Lit
  • ENGLISH 274: Intro to Afro-American Lit
  • ENGLISH 275: Intro World Lit in English
  • ENGLISH 280: Intro to Digital Cultures
  • ENGLISH 282: Native American Literature
  • ENGLISH 285: Intro to 20th C Lit
  • ENGLISH 290: Topics in Lang & Lit
  • ENGLISH 292: Themes in Lang & Lit (mini-course)
  • ENGLISH 293: Great Works of Lit (mini-course)

Students considering the major in English should elect ENGLISH 298 during the sophomore year. Then, while fulfilling the requirements for the major, they may elect such a pattern of courses as will provide the course of study they find most helpful and satisfying. Students are strongly encouraged to choose an optional area of specialization and take three upper- level courses within the submajor. A full list of areas of specialization is available in the English Undergraduate office, online, or from a department advisor. Please refer to the Handbook for English Majors for more information on how to design specific paths of study.

 

The Creative Writing Program

Students interested in the department's offerings in creative writing should begin with ENGLISH 223, an introduction to the reading and writing of modern poetry and prose fiction and to the workshop method of critiquing student writing. ENGLISH 223 is a prerequisite to ENGLISH 323: Advanced Creative Writing in Fiction and 324: Advanced Creative Writing in Poetry, but admission into ENGLISH 323 and 324 is based on a portfolio submission. There is a "permission of instructor" restriction on these courses. At the advanced level students may elect (with the instructor's permission) the advanced fiction workshop (ENGLISH 423) or the advanced poetry workshop (ENGLISH 424).

English majors who wish to specialize in the writing of poetry or prose fiction may, in the winter term of their junior year, apply to the Creative Writing Submajor, which is an optional path to a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Students in the program take the creative writing workshops described above in sequence, and, in their last term, compile a major manuscript of poetry or prose fiction while working closely with the creative-writing faculty in a tutorial reserved for submajors (ENGLISH 428).

The program is small and highly selective; however, students not enrolled in the submajor may still pursue their interest in creative writing by applying to the appropriate upper-level workshops.

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the requirements for the major.

 

Constraints

Majors should note that no more than two courses in expository or creative writing may be counted toward the minimum 30 credits at the upper level required for the major, although students may elect any number of such courses, subject to availability of spaces and to College limits on total elections of courses in any one department. Also, no more than six upper-level credits of Independent Study may count towards the major. With written prior approval by the undergraduate administrator, courses elected in other departments or programs may on occasion be used as part of a plan for the major. Independent study projects cannot be used to meet Department program requirements.

Other Department Policies

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Majors in English may meet this requirement by taking ENGLISH 325, 398, 425, 428, or 496. A published list of English- approved courses can be found in 3187 Angell Hall. For those in the Honors and Creative Writing Programs, the writing requirement is met within their curriculum, which culminates in the supervised composition of the senior thesis.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the ENGLISH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Honors: The General Program

Joining the English Department's Honors Program means becoming a part of a small, intensely committed group of teachers and students all working toward achieving excellence in the related disciplines of reading, understanding, and writing about texts. Honors courses and the program at large place a premium on discussion, on sustained elaboration of ideas inside and outside the classroom, on conceiving of projects in complex and engaging ways, on learning to do research, and on presenting the fruits of that research in expressive, lucid prose.

Students interested in the Honors Program should apply for admission as soon as possible after the beginning of their sophomore year. Since students generally have not decided to pursue Honors before they have completed the Sophomore prerequisites for the English major (ENGLISH 298), almost all applicants for admission to Honors come in the winter term of the sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year. Applications are due at the end of the seventh week of each term. Though the program occasionally accepts a few late applicants (i.e., students applying in the winter term of their junior year), admission is more difficult to achieve if students apply late, and students' chances for success in the program are greatest if, before the first term of your senior year, you have taken at least one theory course (preferably ENGLISH 390 or 490) and begun thinking about a possible focus for their thesis. The application consists of a cover sheet; a transcript; a 500-word statement of purpose; and a writing sample. Students must also be maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better in the major.

  • Honors students take a course in literary theory, usually ENGLISH 390 or 490. It is recommended that this be done during the student's junior year.
  • Two courses from ENGLISH 397 (or 497), 450 or 451.
  • Honors students write a thesis of approximately sixty pages in length during the senior year - a project that is designed to be the single most important, most meaningful piece of work students undertake as English majors at the University. Students write most of their thesis in a required year-long course, "Research and Thesis Writing" (ENGLISH 495/496). Students are guided throughout much of their senior year by a faculty advisor chosen early in that year. The completed thesis is due in mid-March of the senior year.
  • During graduation weekend, Honors students will participate in an Honors Symposium, at which students make brief presentations of their theses to interested faculty, friends, and family.

Honors: Creative Writing

Those students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA in the major may apply for Creative Writing Honors after they have been accepted to the submajor. Honors will be awarded, as warranted, on the basis of the thesis.

Teaching Certificate

English majors in any of the programs above may also apply to be granted a teaching certificate. Students in the General Program must elect, in addition to the pattern of courses there prescribed, a course in composition (normally SWC 300 or 430) and a course in English language (ENGLISH 305, 308, or 406). Honors candidates must elect ENGLISH 305 in addition to the courses required for their program.

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin, and are available from the School of Education Teacher Education Office, 1228 School of Education Building. A brochure summarizing these requirements is available in the English Office. Application to the certificate program itself must be made through the School of Education. The deadline is January 15 for the following academic term. Please check their website: www.soe.umich.edu/.

English Major (Fall 2011 - Fall 2015)

Effective Fall 2011 

The following paragraphs describe typical patterns of study in the department and indicate the various ways in which a student can, with much opportunity for individual initiative, form a challenging and rewarding concentration within it.

Prerequisites

Students who wish to concentrate in English must take as prerequisite ENGLISH 298 (Introduction to Literary Studies). (Prior prerequisites are listed in the English major (Fall 2008-Summer 2011))

Degree Program Options

The Department of English Language and Literature offers three main routes toward the major:

  • the General Program
  • the Honors Program
  • the Creative Writing Program

Students electing any of these may work simultaneously toward a secondary school teaching certificate. Students within the General Program are strongly encouraged to select three upper-division courses within one of the optional areas of specialization below (or one designed by a student and an advisor). Possible areas of specialization are:

  • Medieval Literature in English (Pre-1600)
  • Early Modern (c.1500-1700),
  • The Long Eighteenth Century (late 17thc. through early 19thc.),
  • Nineteenth Century (through Modernism),
  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century (Modernism through Contemporary),
  • Literatures of the Americas,
  • World Literatures in English,
  • Literary Criticism and Theory,
  • Genre Studies,
  • Studies in Race & Ethnicity,
  • Sexuality/Gender Studies,
  • Drama and Performance Studies,
  • Language, Writing, and Rhetoric.

Students must complete a course with a grade of C- or better to have it count toward the major requirements.

The General Program


Students in the General Program must successfully complete 30 credits in ENGLISH courses numbered 300 or above. [Students must complete a course with a grade of C– or better to have it count toward the requirements for the major.] These courses must include at a minimum: • three courses on literature written primarily before 1830, at least one of which must be on literature written primarily before 1600

·         one course in American literature

·         a poetry course

·         one course designated “New Traditions”

New Traditions Requirement. English majors will take at least one upper-division course that focuses on work by North America and/or British writers/artists of color, world Anglophone writer/artists of a range of identity categories (involving gender, sexuality, disability, and class) who reflect upon – and are in dialogue about – the differentials of social power and their representation The department will offer in any one term a considerable range of courses designed to meet these requirements. A list of which courses meet a given requirement will be available each year in the English Undergraduate Office, online at: www.lsa.umich.edu/english/undergraduate/courses/

or from an English department advisor.

Concentrators should note that no more than one course in expository or creative writing may be counted toward the minimum 30 credits at the upper level required for the major, although students may elect any number of such courses, subject to availability of spaces and to College limits on total elections of courses in any one department. Also, no more than six upper-level credits of Independent Study may count toward the major. With written prior approval by the undergraduate administrator, courses elected in other departments or programs may on occasion be used as part of a major. Independent study projects cannot be used to meet department program requirements.

Students considering the major in English should elect ENGLISH 298 during the sophomore year. Then, while fulfilling the requirements for the major, they may elect such a pattern of courses as will provide the course of study they find most helpful and satisfying. Students are strongly encouraged to choose an optional area of specialization and take three upper-level courses within the submajor. A full list of areas of specialization is available in the English Undergraduate office, online, or from a department advisor. Please refer to the Handbook for English Concentrators for more information on how to design specific paths of study. All ENGLISH courses applied to the major must meet a minimum grade requirement of C–. 

The Honors Program

Joining the English Department's Honors Program means becoming a part of a small, intensely committed group of teachers and students all working toward achieving excellence in the related disciplines of reading, understanding, and writing about texts. Honors courses and the program at large place a premium on discussion, on sustained elaboration of ideas inside and outside the classroom, on conceiving of projects in complex and engaging ways, on learning to do research, and on presenting the fruits of that research in expressive, lucid prose.

Students interested in the Honors Program should apply for admission as soon as possible after the beginning of their sophomore year. Since students generally have not decided to pursue Honors before they have completed the sophomore prerequisite for the English major (ENGLISH 298), almost all applicants for admission to Honors come in the winter term of the sophomore year or the fall term of the junior year. Applications are due at the end of the seventh week of each term. Though the program occasionally accepts a few late applicants (i.e., students applying in the winter term of their junior year), admission is more difficult to achieve if students apply late, and students’ chances for success in the program are greatest if, before the first term of your senior year, students have taken at least one theory course (preferably ENGLISH 390 or 490) and begun thinking about a possible focus for their thesis. The application consists of a cover sheet; a transcript; a 500-word statement of purpose; and a writing sample. Students must also be maintaining a 3.5 GPA or better in the major.

·         Honors students take a course in literary theory, usually ENGLISH 390 or 490. It is recommended that this be done during the student's junior year.

·         Two courses from ENGLISH 397 (or 497), 450 or 451.

·         Honors students write a thesis of approximately sixty pages in length during the senior year – a project that is designed to be the single most important, most meaningful piece of work students undertake as English majors at the University. Students write most of their thesis in a required year-long course, “Research and Thesis Writing” (ENGLISH 495/496). Students are guided throughout much of their senior year by a faculty advisor chosen in the winter term of junior year. The completed thesis is due in mid-March of the senior year.

During graduation weekend, Honors students will participate in an Honors Symposium, at which students make brief presentations of their theses to interested faculty, friends, and family.

The Creative Writing Program

Students interested in the department’s offerings in creative writing should begin with ENGLISH 223, an introduction to the reading and writing of modern poetry and prose fiction and to the workshop method of critiquing student writing. ENGLISH 223 is a prerequisite to ENGLISH 323 (Advanced Creative Writing in Fiction) and 324 (Advanced Creative Writing in Poetry), but admission into ENGLISH 323 and 324 is based on a portfolio submission. There is a “permission of instructor” restriction on these courses. At the advanced level students may elect (with the instructor’s permission) the advanced fiction workshop (ENGLISH 423) or the advanced poetry workshop (ENGLISH 424).

English majors who wish to specialize in the writing of poetry or prose fiction may, in the winter term of their junior year, apply to the Creative Writing Submajor, which is an optional path to a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Students in the program take the creative writing workshops described above in sequence, and, in their last term, compile a major manuscript of poetry or prose fiction while working closely with the creative-writing faculty in a tutorial reserved for submajors (ENGLISH 428).

Students must complete a course with a grade of C– or better to have it count toward the requirements for the major.

The program is small and highly selective; however, students not enrolled in the submajor may still pursue their interest in creative writing by applying to the appropriate upper-level workshops. Those students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA in the major may apply for Creative Writing Honors after they have been accepted to the submajor. Honors will be awarded, as warranted, on the basis of the thesis.

Teaching Certificate

English concentrators in any of the programs above may also apply to be granted a teaching certificate. Students in the General Program must elect, in addition to the pattern of courses there prescribed, a course in composition (normally SWC 300 or 430) and a course in English language (ENGLISH 305, 308, or 406). Honors candidates must elect ENGLISH 305 in addition to the courses required for their program.

The general requirements for a teaching certificate are described elsewhere in this Bulletin, and are available from the School of Education Teacher Education Office, 1228 School of Education Building. A brochure summarizing these requirements is available in the English Office. Application to the certificate program itself must be made through the School of Education. The deadline is January 15 for the following academic term. Please check their website.

Upper-Level Writing Requirement. Majors in English may meet this requirement by taking ENGLISH 325, 398, 425, 428, or 496. A published list of English-approved courses can be found in 3187 Angell Hall. For those in the Honors and Creative Writing Programs, the writing requirement is met within their curriculum, which culminates in the supervised composition of the senior thesis.