Curriculum

Overview of Course Levels

The English Department curriculum is tiered to emphasize different practices and skills within the discipline and to indicate to students a coherent progression in their course of study.

  • English 110 emphasizes close reading and the study of at least three literary genres.
  • All other 200-level courses study literature in its historical context.  201-204 courses should cover at least two historical periods of literary history (e.g. realism and modernism) and the connections between them.
  • All 300-level courses incorporate some secondary research and a consideration of literary criticism.
  • 400-level courses include theoretical approaches to literature.
  • Junior seminars build upon the skills introduced at the earlier levels and prepare students for completing the senior project.  In addition to an extended term paper that exhibits a defined critical methodology, the junior seminar usually requires an annotated bibliography.

English Majors

A major in English leads to the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) and requires the following:

  • English majors are required to have a GPA of at least 2.0 in English at graduation.
  • All English courses taken at Allegheny on a letter basis  are included in the calculation, with the exception of repeated courses, for which only the most recent grade counts.
  • At least 10 courses, including the Junior Seminar and Senior Project, must be taken on the letter grade basis; additional courses may be taken Credit/No Credit, though the department recommends that the number of such courses be kept to a minimum.
  • 40-48 semester credit hours in English.

Requirements for the English Major:

  • English 110. This course is a prerequisite for all literature courses above the 200 level and for creative writing courses at all levels.
  • FS ENG 201 Communication in a Discipline
  • English 201, plus at least two of the following: 201 (Studies in Early British Literature), 202 (Studies in Later British Literature), 203 (Studies in American Literature), 204 (Studies in Emerging Traditions in Literature). One course from the 201-204 group is a prerequisite for all literature courses at the 400-level or above.
  • At least one English course at the 300-level and one at the 400-level.
  • At least two courses in literature after 1800 and at least one (in addition to English 201) in literature prior to 1800. Courses that satisfy the pre-1800 requirement include English 212, 311, 385, 415, 425, 426, and 435. Other appropriate topics, courses or seminars may satisfy the requirement, subject to approval by the advisor and the department chair.
  • A Junior Seminar
  • A Senior Project (Comp)

Creative Writing Emphasis

All of the standard requirements for the English major plus the following (courses may double count when appropriate):

  • Two of the following courses: English 205 (Writing Fiction), 206 (Writing Poetry), 210 (Writing Nonfiction)
  • Two of the following: English 301 (Forms of Fiction), 302 (Forms of Poetry), 303 (Forms of Drama), 305 (Forms of Nonfiction)
  • At least one of the following: English 400 (Advanced Fiction Writing), 401 (Advanced Poetry Writing), 403 (Advanced Nonfiction Writing)
  • A Senior Project in Creative Writing

English Minors

Requirements for the English Minor:

Students who wish to fulfill the minor field program in English must successfully complete the following (24 semester credit hours in English):

  • English 110 or FS English 201
  • Any two of the 200-level studies courses: Studies in Early British Literature, Studies in Later British Literature, Studies in American Literature, Emerging Traditions in U.S. Literature.
  • Three other electives, one of which must be at the 300-level or above, and another of which must be either a 400-level course or a junior seminar.

Writing Minor

The Department of English also offers a minor in writing that requires the successful completion of the following:

  • English 110 or FS English 201
  • Any two of the 200-level studies courses: 205 (Writing Fiction), 206 (Writing Poetry), 210 (Writing Nonfiction)
  • Any one of the following courses: 400 (Advanced Fiction Writing), 401 (Advanced Poetry Writing), 403 (Advanced Nonfiction Writing Workshop)
  • Any two electives in English, one of which may be in writing.

Note: Students who major in English cannot also minor in writing.

Environmental Writing Minor

  • English 110 or FS English 201
  • English 209 (Literature About the Environment)
  • English 210 (Writing Nonfiction)
  • Any one of English 205 (Writing Fiction), 206 (Writing Poetry)
  • English 403 (Advanced Nonfiction Writing Workshop)
  • Two co-requisite courses that deepen an understanding of the natural environment or of environmental issues. Check the catalog for recommendations.