English - Requirements

The English curriculum was updated in Spring 2010 to better serve our students. Students declaring the major or minor after September 1, 2010, follow the guidelines in this section. Students declaring the major or minor before September 1, 2010, have the option of following these guidelines or following the previous guidelines outlined in the English section of the University's online catalog.

Students needing to reference the Area designations of discontinued courses can find them at the literature course of study web page.

English Major

There are many different ways to pursue an English major, based on students' interests and career goals.

  1. Students must first complete the EN 11-12 core curriculum sequence; all of the requirements below are in addition to EN 11-12.
  2. All English majors complete the department core curriculum of five EN literature classes beyond EN 11-12; the five EN literature courses can include the literature course taken as part of the core curriculum.
  3. All English majors complete a concentration of five additional courses. All concentrations include at least one EN/W writing class (other than Internship or Independent Study) and a capstone experience; students develop the concentration in consultation with their department academic adviser.

Department Core Courses

Given the large number of literature courses, students have considerable freedom to pick classes that will both interest them and benefit them in terms of education and career plans.

After completing EN 11-12, most majors begin the program by taking a 100-level literature class that also counts as their final English core course. Students can use only one 100-level course to fulfill the requirements of the English major. They then take four additional literature courses at the 200 or 300 levels. At least one course must be at the 300 level.

Of the five literature courses in the department core curriculum, at least two must be centered in the years before 1800 and at least one must be centered in the years after 1800. The historical period is listed in the online description of literature courses.

The Concentrations

All English majors also complete one of the Department's six concentrations. The coursework is in addition to the university core and 16 department core. The concentrations are:

  • Literature and Cultural Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Professional Writing
  • Teacher Education
  • English Studies

All concentrations include at least one EN/W writing course (not including Internship or Independent Study) and a capstone experience. Students are allowed to complete more than one concentration; the second concentration will be listed as an academic minor on a student's transcript for graduation.

Concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies

The Literature and Cultural Studies concentration is designed for students interested in a challenging and stimulating study of literature and culture. This concentration promotes a theoretical and interdisciplinary approach that moves beyond national and canonical boundaries. Students learn to interpret cultural artifacts and texts within the socio/historical contexts of their production and reception. They will acquire knowledge in a number of theoretical frameworks to develop this approach (e.g., historical materialism, post structuralism, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, queer studies, race and ethnic studies, science studies, and critical theory). Students completing the concentration are able to offer a historically grounded and rigorous critique of global formations that structure literature, culture, and the self. The concentration is especially useful in preparing students for graduate or professional school.

The requirements for the Literature and Cultural Studies concentration include:

Introductory Courses

Students take one of the following:

EN 351 Introduction to Literary Theory
EN 352 Introduction to Cultural Studies

Specialized Courses

Students take all of the following:

One EN course at the 200 or 300 level
One EN/W course
One EN course cross-listed with an Interdisciplinary Program (e.g., Program on the Environment, The Program in Peace and Justice Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women's Studies)

Capstone Experience

Students take the capstone course for the Literature and Cultural Studies concentration, a faculty-guided research project that produces a 20-page paper.

Concentration in Creative Writing

The concentration in creative writing is designed for students committed to becoming fiction writers, poets, or non-fiction writers, and for students who want to pursue a career in the field of publishing or editing. Recent students have had their work published in national literary magazines such as Quarterly West, Indiana Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Writer's Forum and have interned at magazines such as The New Yorker and Cosmopolitan and publishers such as Greenwood Press, Harper-Collins, and St. Martin's. Students can also, with permission of the editor, receive academic credit for working on the University's national literary magazine, Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose.

The requirements for the creative writing concentration include:

Introductory Courses

Students take two of the following:

EN/W 200 Creative Writing
EN/W 202 Creative Writing: Poetry I
EN/W 205 Creative Writing: Fiction 
EN/W 206 Creative Writing: Non-Fiction I

Specialized Courses

Students take at least one of the following:

EN/W 204 Creative Writing: Drama
EN/W 302 Creative Writing: Poetry II
EN/W 305 Creative Writing: Fiction II
EN/W 340 The World of Publishing

Capstone Experience

Students take one of the following:

EN/W 345/6 Internship
EN/W 347/8 Independent Writing Project
Students must also complete a fifth EN/W course of their own choosing.

Concentration in Journalism

The journalism concentration is designed for students interested in strengthening their news gathering, reporting, and writing skills. Many students in this concentration pursue careers at newspapers, magazines, radio/television stations, websites, and marketing and publishing companies. Students interested in careers in public relations especially find it useful.

The requirements for the journalism concentration include:

Introductory Courses

Students take the following two courses, in sequence:

EN/W 220 News Writing (may be taken simultaneously with EN 12)
EN/W 221 Digital Journalism

Specialized Courses

Students take at least one of the following:

EN/W 222 Journalism Editing and Design
EN/W 320 Writing the Feature Story
EN/W 323 Photojournalism 
EN/W 327 Photojournalism II: Documenting The Community
EN/W 329 Issues in News Writing
EN/W 330 Literary Journalism
EN/W 340 The World of Publishing

Capstone Experience

Students take at least one of the following:

EN/W 345/6 Internship
EN/W 397 Journalism Practicum

Students must also complete a fifth EN/W course of their own choosing.

Concentration in Professional Writing

The professional writing concentration is designed for students who want to strengthen their writing and speaking skills as preparation for careers in business, the non-profit sector, legal studies, government, public relations, fundraising, politics, or education. Courses in this concentration focus on using writing and communication to make information accessible, usable, and relevant to a variety of audiences. Internships are available to students in the professional writing concentration, including placements in corporate communication, grant writing, advertising, marketing, technical writing, and the mass media.

The requirements for the professional writing concentration include:

Introductory Course

Students are required to take the following course:

EN/W 332 Business Writing

Specialized Courses

Students take at least two of the following:

EN/W 214 Professional Presentations: Writing and Delivery
EN/W 222 Journalism Editing and Design
EN/W 317 Traditional and Structural Grammar
EN/W 335 Technical Writing
EN/W 336 Issues in Professional Writing (e.g., Writing for Public Relations)
EN/W 338 Persuasive Writing
EN/W 339 Grant and Proposal Writing

Capstone Experience

Students are required to take the following course:

EN/W 345/6 English Internship

Students must also complete a fifth EN/W course of their own choosing.

Concentration in Teacher Education

This concentration is designed for students who want to prepare for careers teaching English in elementary or secondary schools, or as specialists in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). It prepares students with the content knowledge needed for successful student teaching, the Praxis exams, and a career in teaching. This concentration is designed both for students who plan to enroll in the joint B.A./M.A. program in teacher preparation at Fairfield and for students who seek other kinds of careers in education.

The requirements for the teacher education concentration include:

Required Courses
EN/W 311 Advanced Composition for Teachers
EN/W 317 Teaching and Learning Grammar
EN 141, 213, or 214 (any course on Shakespeare)
200- or 300-level course in American literature
200- or 300-level course in British literature

Recommended Courses
Students are encouraged to take one or more of the following:
A course on African American literature (e.g. EN 105; 261, 262, 264, 265, 284)
A course on Latino/a literature (e.g. EN 282)
A course on world literature (e.g. EN 102, 111, 113,114; 274; 375)
EN 172 Literacy and Language
EN 292 Contemporary Children's Literature
EN/W 290 Writing and Responding

Capstone
Students who enroll in the joint B.A./M.A. program take their capstone course at the end of the M.A. program. Students who do not enroll in the joint B.A./M.A. program take an Independent Study, a faculty-guided research project that produces a substantial paper.


English Minor

English minors must complete five courses beyond EN 12. These five courses may be taken all in literature, all in writing, or a combination as described in any of the six concentrations. Students can count the required core literature course as part of their academic minor.