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BA in English

Not all English majors want to be writers.

In fact, you'll need solid skills in sound writing, clear thinking and strong imagination in a wide range of careers, whether your goal is to go into publishing, advertising, public relations, theater, or film, or even into public policy and administration, banking, retailing or manufacturing.

A Quinnipiac English major provides outstanding preparation for careers in which these skills are required.

You'll study the various forms of literature through the ages -- from myth to modern novel. You'll develop various types of writing skills, including electronic journalism. You'll gain sound experience in critical analysis and research -- essential for graduate programs in law, library science, social work, theology, education and medicine.

English majors at Quinnipiac are offered opportunities to investigate career options through one-credit, repeatable internships in supervised fieldwork.

Curriculum + Requirements

The Department of English offers a four-year bachelor's degree program (minimum 39 credits) in English, American and world literatures. In addition, it allows students in other majors to earn a second major or a minor (19 credits). An emphasis on reading, critical thinking, research and writing produces graduates who are well trained to negotiate constantly changing employment opportunities.

The composition courses (preliminary to the major) impart ways of reading, thinking and writing that are crucial for the successful major. The major program emphasizes a three-pronged approach to understanding the importance of literature: writing, literary theory and criticism, and literary history. These three values are offered in a wide-range of courses including a balance of British, American and world literature, single-author courses, specialized thematic and genre courses, interdisciplinary and multicultural courses.

English Core Requirements: (39 credits)

Distribution Requirements:

Advanced Composition (3 credits)
One course from the following:
EN 201, EN 202, EN 203, EN 206, En 212, EN 213, EN 214, EN 215, En 301, EN 302, EN 305, EN 351

Period British (6 credits)
Two courses from the following:
• One course from Pre-1785: EN 341, EN 345, EN 348, EN 350
• One course from Post-1785: EN 322, EN 323, EN 352, EN 355, EN 326

Period American (6 credits)
Two courses from the following:
• One course must be pre-1865: EN 365, EN 361
• One course must be post-1865: EN 308, En 366, EN 367, EN 373, EN 377, EN 380

Criticism & Theory (3 credits)
EN 204 (preferably in sophomore year)

Shakespeare (3 credits)
• EN 343 or 344  (preferably in junior or senior year)

Multicultural / Women (3 credits)
One course from the following:
EN 235, EN 265, EN 338, WS 235, WS 338

Senior Seminar (3 credits)
24 credits of the major must be completed before taking this course:
EN 460

English Electives (12 credits)
Four courses from the following:
• Any 200-level or higher English courses

Note: English majors in the master of teaching program must take EN 325. For these students, EN 325 counts as a pre-1785 British Period course.

Concentration in Creative Writing

English majors can earn a concentration in creative writing by completing 15 or more credits in creative writing and contemporary literature courses. Students who earn the concentration in creative writing will not only develop their compositional, reading, and analytical skills in one or more genres, but they will also build a foundation for understanding and utilizing the power of creativity in their professional lives after college.

This concentration is especially recommended to those students who hope to pursue a master of fine arts degree in writing. Successful completion of the concentration in creative writing will be indicated on students' transcripts.

Required courses:

  • EN 201 to fulfill the advanced composition requirement (3 credits)
  • One 200-level creative writing course (3 credits)
  • Two 300-level advanced creative writing workshops (6 credits)
  • One course in contemporary/post-WWII literature, including but not limited to EN220, EN275, EN308, EN322, and EN373 (3 credits)

The 300-level workshop can be repeated once for credit (i.e., a student interested in fiction can take the Advanced Fiction Workshop up to two times).


English majors with high overall academic standing and a minimum 3.3 grade point average in the major may seek the recommendation of any English faculty member for admission to EN 470 (Senior Thesis).

Students interested in this option should discuss the qualifications and options during the junior year, develop a thesis proposal with the counsel of the recommending instructor, and file an application by the November preceding the graduation date.

High achievement in a senior thesis, combined with the English grade point average, may lead to the distinction of honors, high honors, or highest honors in English (distinct from the overall University awards).

Minor in English

The Department of English offers an English minor (literature track or writing track) of 19 credits beyond the composition courses, EN 101-102. Students interested in the English minor apply to the chair of English.

Who Should Consider the English Minor?

  • Students who love reading literature and who wish to foster their writing.
  • Students whose advancement in professional careers will depend on sound writing, creative thinking, solid communication skills, and sound critical analysis of ideas presented orally and in writing.

Which Courses Are Required?

Literature Track
EN 150 Advanced Revision & Editing (1 credit)
• two 200-level literature courses (6 credits)
• four 300-level literature courses (12 credits)

Strongly advised: two period courses and EN 343 or 344 (Shakespeare)

Writing Track
EN 150 Advanced Revision & Editing (1 credit)
• one 200-level writing course (3 credits)
• two 200 or 300-level literature or writing courses (6 credits)
• two 300-level writing courses (6 credits)
EN 351 Studies in Rhetoric & Writing (3 credits)