Major and Minor

General Principles

The English Department offers great flexibility to students in choosing the courses that will make up their program of study, and students who wish to major in English have several options to choose from, including focusing on literary study, concentrations in Secondary Education, Creative Writing, or Professional Writing, and the major in Theatre and English.

While each concentration within the new major has its own specific requirements, the reformed major in general has three required courses: Approaches to Literary Study (English 289), Theory and Criticism (English 311), and Senior Capstone Project (English 489). English majors will be expected to take English 289, Approaches to Literary Study, in advance of upper-division courses, either in the spring of the freshman year or in the fall of the sophomore year. Majors will likewise be expected to take English 311, Theory and Research, in the fall of the junior year. English 489, the major's senior capstone experience, includes an extensive independent research or creative writing project and a formal oral presentation before the department and invited Virginia Wesleyan community, and must be taken in the fall of the senior year, with required preliminary work in the spring of the junior year.

Except for the major in Theatre and English, which has slightly different requirements, the major also requires one 300- or 400-level English course in literature before 1675 and one course in a category designated as "Outside Voices." The "Outside Voices" category will comprise courses whose organizing principles address literature by populations that have historically been marginalized within Anglo-American literature and culture, including but not limited to American minority literature, British minority literature, Anglophone postcolonial literature, and literature by women.