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Home > Majors and Programs > Welcome to English
  • English Major & Curriculum

     For a full description of courses offered, see the College Bulletin 

    Students majoring in English must take a common curriculum consisting of courses designed specifically for English majors, along with two historical literature surveys. In addition, English majors, guided by their concentration choice (see below), choose two introductory courses and three advanced courses.

    English Major | Concentration Requirements
    English Minors 

     The English Major:  36 credits 

    English Major Common Curriculum: 18 credits

    English majors must take each of the following courses:  

    EL 102   Language and Rhetoric* - 3 credits
    EL 202   Intermediate Writing - 3 credits 
    EL 325   Literary Criticism I:  Ancient to Modern - 3 credits 
    EL 326   Literary Criticism II:  Contemporary Theories - 3 credits 
    EL 400   Senior Project - 3 credits 
    * This course does not count toward the major, but it does count toward graduation.

    English majors also must take two (2) of the following surveys; at least one must be a British survey, and at least one must be an American survey: 
    EL 114   British Literature:  Middle Ages to Restoration - 3 credits 
    EL 115   British Literature:  Neoclassicism to Modernism - 3 credits 
    EL 131   American Literature:  Exploration to Civil War - 3 credits 
    EL 132   American Literature:  Civil War to Present - 3 credits 

    In addition to the course requirements, all students must develop a portfolio in which they file a sample of their written work in their concentration-related courses and a self-assessment of their learning each semester. Department faculty will evaluate student work after the Senior Project.

    Introductory Electives: 6 credits

    English majors must take two (2) of the following courses, the successful completion of which will also satisfy concentration requirements. Please note that certain concentrations will, to some degree, dictate your choices.  

    EL 108   Technical Writing - 3 credits 
    EL 109   Business Communications - 3 credits 
    EL 110   Introduction to Creative Writing - 3 credits 
    EL 111   Green Writing:  Literature and the Environment - 3 credits 
    EL 113   Women's Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 114   British Literature:  Middle Ages to Restoration - 3 credits 
    EL 115   British Literature:  Neoclassicism to Modernism - 3 credits 
    EL 119   History of The English Language - 3 credits 
    EL 121   Faces of Battle:  War and Peace in History, Literature and the Arts - 3 credits 
    EL 122   African Studies - 3 credits 
    EL 124   Literature and The Bible - 3 credits 
    EL 125   The History and Development of Science Fiction - 3 credits 
    EL 126   Rock 'n’ Roll Criticism - 3 credits
    EL 127   Shakespeare on Film - 3 credits 
    EL 128   Children’s Literature:  Fables to 1900 - 3 credits
    EL 129   Young Adult Fiction - 3 credits 
    EL 130   Children's Literature:  1900 to Present - 3 credits 
    EL 131   American Literature:  Exploration to Civil War - 3 credits
    EL 132   American Literature:  Civil War to the Present - 3 credits 
    EL 137   American Short Story - 3 credits 
    EL 138   Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States - 3 credits
    EL 139   African American Literature - 3 credits
    EL 140   Myth - 3 credits
    EL 142   Creative Writing:  The Literary Magazine  - 3 credits 
    EL 143   The Beat Generation - 3 credits 
    EL 144   Reading as Writers:  The Literary Essay - 3 credits 
    EL 145   Reading as Writers:  Poetry - 3 credits 
    EL 146   Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking - 3 credits 
    EL 147   Arthurian Literature - 3 credits
    EL 148   Modern Catholic Literature - 3 credits
    EL 149   J.R.R. Tolkien - 3 credits
    EL 151   American Indian Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 152   The Epic - 3 credits
    EL 153   Satire - 3 credits
    EL 154   Special Topics in Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 155   Special Topics in Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 156   Special Topics in Professional Writing - 3 credits 
    EL 157   Special Topics in Children’s Literature - 3 credits

    Advanced Electives: 12 credits

    English majors must take four (4) of the following courses, the successful completion of which will also satisfy concentration requirements. At least two of these required Advanced Electives must be a 200-level literature course. One Literature Advanced Elective must be chosen from the following group of courses: EL 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 218, 261, and 272. The second Literature Advanced Elective must be chosen from the following courses: EL 224, 225, 226, 236, 242, 256, 257, 258, 259, 263, 272, 273, and 274. Please note that certain concentrations will, to some degree, dictate students’ choices.  

    EL 203   Poetry Workshop - 3 credits 
    EL 204   Fiction Workshop - 3 credits 
    EL 210   Classical Greek Poetry and Drama - 3 credits 
    EL 211   Medieval Studies - 3 credits
    EL 212   Chaucer - 3 credits 
    EL 213   Shakespeare's Histories - 3 credits 
    EL 214   Shakespeare's Comedies and Tragedies - 3 credits 
    EL 216   British Renaissance Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 218   Eighteenth Century Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 224   The Romantic Age - 3 credits 
    EL 225   The Victorians - 3 credits 
    EL 226   British Modernism - 3 credits 
    EL 236   Modern European Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 242   American Renaissance - 3 credits
    EL 244   Creative Nonfiction Workshop - 3 credits
    EL 252   Literary Translation Workshop - 3 credits 
    EL 256   Sentimental Politics:  American Women 
                         Writers in the Nineteenth Century - 3 credits 
    EL 257   American Realism and Naturalism - 3 credits
    EL 258   American Modernism - 3 credits 
    EL 259   Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 261   Advanced Studies in Early Literature - 3 credits
    EL 263   Advanced Studies in Modern Literature - 3 credits
    EL 264   Advanced Studies in Creative Writing - 3 credits
    EL 266   Advanced Studies in Professional Writing - 3 credits 
    EL 272   Advanced Studies in Children’s Literature - 3 credits 
    EL 273   Representations of Childhood in Literature - 3 credits
    EL 274   Representations of Childhood in Film - 3 credits
  • Concentration Requirements  

    The English Department provides opportunities for students to concentrate their studies toward career development and graduate and professional study. English majors must declare a concentration by the end of their first year. Students who do not declare a concentration by the end of their first year will have a literature concentration by default. A student's concentration determines specific choices of lower and upper-level courses as well as the nature of that student's senior project.

    Children's Literature Concentration

    The Children’s Literature Concentration is designed to explore the various forms of literature written for children. Students investigate literary shifts involving the ways adults imagine and shape children’s virtues and capabilities as well as how children live out or resist those fantasies. Analyzing texts written for children and about childhood, this concentration provides the opportunity for both breadth and depth of study.  

    The following courses fulfill the Introductory Elective requirement of the English major; choose two of the three:

    EL 128 Children's Literature: Fables to 1900 (3 credits)
    EL 129 Young Adult Fiction (3 credits)
    EL 130 Children’s Literature: 1900 to Present (3 credits)

    As one of the required Advanced Electives, Children's Literature concentrators complete one of the following:

    EL 259 Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature (3 credits)
    EL 272 Advanced Studies in Children’s Literature (3 credits)
    EL 273 Representations of Childhood in Literature (3 credits)
    EL 274 Representations of Childhood in Film (3 credits)

    Creative Writing Concentration

    The Creative Writing concentration offers courses in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and literary translation, as well as seminar courses in reading and writing about literature. Following this track, students develop their craft in a genre of choice, in preparation for the senior project manuscript. All creative writing courses extend from the English major’s foundation in literature and aim to introduce students to contemporary literature as well as the current conversations informing literary art.  

    The following courses fulfill the Introductory Elective requirement for the English major:
    EL 110 Introduction to Creative Writing (3 credits) 
    EL 146 Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking (3 credits)
    EL 142 Creative Writing: The Literary Magazine - (3 credits) 

    Creative Writing concentrators must complete one of the following advanced electives, in the genre of the senior project:

    EL 203 Poetry Workshop (3 credits)
    EL 204 Fiction Workshop (3 credits)
    EL 244 Creative Nonfiction Workshop (3 credits)
    EL 252 Literary Translation Workshop (3 credits)

    (Note: Literary Translation concentrators must take an additional advanced workshop in the genre of the translation project.)

    Literature Concentration

    The Literature Concentration has a traditional base, with an emphasis on the connections of literature to history and philosophy, and with intensive study of literary elements such as irony, symbolism, satire, comedy and tragedy. However, ample opportunity is provided to investigate the relation of literature and critical applications to special topics and themes, to interdisciplinary affiliations, and to contemporary events and ideas. 

    Students interested in graduate programs in focused literary fields - such as scholarship or college teaching - would find this concentration most appropriate. To concentrate in Literature, students will take one fewer Introductory Elective and one additional Advanced Elective. Thus, students take the required Advanced Literature Electives, one from group one and one from group two. Students also take two Advanced Literature Electives of their choice as well as one Open Advanced Elective and one Open Introductory Elective.

    Professional Writing Concentration

    The Professional Writing Concentration prepares English majors for careers in technical writing, grant writing, editing, documentation manual writing and corporate communications. This concentration consists of stipulated major requirements and electives that will give students a background in professional written discourse, design, electronic media and publishing. 

    In addition, English majors concentration in Professional Writing will be encouraged to secure a professional writing internship during the junior or senior year.
    EL 108 Technical Writing
    EL 109 Business Communications
    Professional Writing students also must complete one of the following, which will count as one of their four required Advanced Electives:

    EL 142 Creative Writing: The Literary Magazine 

    EL 144 Reading As Writers: The Literary Essay
    EL 156 Special Topics in Professional Writing
    EL 266 Advanced Studies in Professional Writing

    English Certification

    The English Certification Concentration is carefully designed through close collaboration between the English andEducation Departments at SVC, and is aligned with the requirements set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The course sequence emphasizes skill in reading and writing, along with abilities in research and interpretation demanded in the literature classes. Secondary Education students must take the following Introductory Electives: 

    EL 119 History of the English Language
    EL 129 Young Adult Fiction

    English Certification students must also take one of the following Shakespeare courses:
    EL 127 Shakespeare On Film
    EL 213 Shakespeare’s Histories
    EL 214 Shakespeare’s Comedies and Tragedies

    The two remaining Advanced Electives must be advanced electives in Literature.
    Along with English courses, English majors seeking English certification must take the following courses, amounting to an additional 36 credits: 
    Psychology courses: PY 115, PY 214, PY 290. 
    Education courses: ED 100, ED 101, ED 205, ED 208, ED 220, ED 301, ED 309, ED 322, ED 400, ED 410, and ED 411.
    Mathematics course: MA 102 (does not fulfill core)

    Cooperative Program with Duquesne Law School

    This program allows majors to earn their bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate in six years. In this program, qualified students who complete their first three years of study at Saint Vincent, fulfilling the Core Curriculum requirements and the requirements for the major, may transfer into the Law program and complete the requirements for the juris doctorate in three years. For details, see the explanation of this program in the Pre-Law section of the Bulletin.