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English Major Requirements

Major in English:  36 semester hours (approximately 12 courses) including a minimum of 7 literature courses and 1 writing course. The remaining courses may be made into a concentration in any area (American literature, Literary Theory, British literature, Medieval literature, Transnational and Postcolonial literature or Creative Writing). 

Detailed Course Requirements for the English Major
The major in English requires a minimum of 36 s.h. of coursework (12 courses). Students may count up to 6 s.h. of courses with the prefix CW (Creative Writing) toward the English major; additional CW courses may be taken as elective credit toward graduation. Coursework is divided into six areas and three historical periods. The area and historical period that each regularly offered course fulfills is identified in the course description on MyUI. Information and course lists are also available from the English advisor and on the department’s website.

All English majors must complete two introductory courses and are encouraged to enroll in them as soon as they declare the major. Students must take ENGL:2010 Foundations of the English Major as well as one reading and writing about a genre course (ENGL:2012-ENGL:2016).

At least one course from each of the following six areas is required:

  • Literary Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
  • Modern British Literature and Culture
  • American Literature and Culture
  • Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies
  • Nonfiction and Creative Writing

Each student chooses one of the six areas as a concentration area and takes an additional two courses in that area, for a total of three courses (9 or more s.h.) in one area.

Students also must take at least two courses from each of the following three historical periods:

  • Early Literatures through the 17th Century
  • 18th/19th Century Literature
  • 20th/21st Century Literature

Since most courses satisfy both an area and a historical period, most students complete the historical period requirements as they complete the area requirements and are able to choose additional elective coursework to complete the major. Of the 36 s.h. required for the major, 15 s.h. may be transferred from another institution. We do not accept online coursework or community college coursework towards the major.  At least 21 s.h. in the major must be taken in residence at The University of Iowa.