Department of English

Bachelor of Arts

Claire Gleitman, Professor and Chair

The English curriculum provides a broad chronological study of Western literature from ancient to modern, as well as concentrated study in British, American, and world literature. In cooperation with the College’s Department of Education, it also provides a program through which prospective secondary school teachers can apply for New York State teaching certification after graduation.

Since departmental requirements and course offerings often change between catalog printings, students should be aware that the most current information concerning the English major can be obtained from the student’s adviser, from the chair of the department, or from the department administrative assistant. Each semester the department publishes detailed descriptions of literature courses planned for the following semester; these listings can be found on the English Department's website.

Requirements for Honors in English

Students with a sufficiently high grade point average in all their courses receive their degree with College honors. Students who fulfill the appropriate departmental requirements also graduate with honors in their major. To qualify to pursue honors in English, a student must have completed eight of the twelve English courses that the curriculum requires and must receive a grade of A- or higher in four of these courses.

A student who pursues departmental honors will undertake an extensive research project beginning in the fall semester of the senior year. In the spring semester, the project will conclude with the presentation and defense of a lengthy thesis paper. This paper should offer an original analytical argument and should reflect a sustained engagement with contemporary critical discourse. Over the course of the academic year the student will work closely on his or her project with a faculty adviser, who will offer guidance in gathering primary and secondary literature for the project and provide feedback during the various stages of its development. When the thesis is complete and, in the judgment of the faculty adviser, ready to defend, the student will submit it to the thesis committee. The distinction of honors will be conferred by the committee following a successful oral defense of the thesis.

Detailed requirements for the honors project are available from the department administrative assistant. Students who wish to earn departmental honors are advised to inform the chair as early in their college careers as possible so that they can ascertain well in advance appropriate courses, readings, and faculty sponsors for the project.

See ENGL courses

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