English Courses & Requirements

Degrees Offered:

  • B.A.: English
  • B.A.: English leading to Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA) Integrated Language Arts Licensure (grades 7-12)
  • Minors: English, Creative Writing, Journalism

Course Listings

  • Click here to read complete descriptions of the English courses offered at Wittenberg.

Degree Overview:

The Mission

In all its courses, the English Department aims to:

  • Enhance writing, speaking, critical and analytical skills
  • Engage students in the creative processes of reading and writing
  • Encourage an appreciation of literary art and the way it enriches personal and public life
  • Help students understand how language and literature both express and shape culture & identity
  • Enable students to listen to a rich diversity of human voices

In addition, the department serves its majors by preparing them for:

  • Lifelong enjoyment of reading and writing
  • Continued use of critical reading, writing, and analytical skills gained through practice
  • Careers or graduate programs in which the broad skills of communication and interpretations are essential, such as law, communications, or public relations
  • Careers or graduate programs that demand specific knowledge of literature or writing, such as journalism, publishing, and teaching

Learning Outcomes:

The English Department has designed a sequence of courses as requirements for majors that should allow them to:

  • Write and speak effectively in a variety of forms and for diverse audiences and purposes
  • Apply skills of close reading and analysis to a variety of texts and, in the process, articulate some of the complex ways meaning is made
  • Describe and demonstrate a variety of interpretive strategies through which readers may approach a text, and, in so doing, become aware of their own interpretive strategies
  • Trace genealogies within and between literary periods across a range of Anglophone traditions
  • Demonstrate how literary texts both shape and are shaped by their historical and cultural contexts
  • Conduct independent literary research, using appropriate resources and technologies
  • Describe how their own work demonstrates each of the skills listed above


Major Requirements

The major in English requires 41 credits of work distributed as follows:

1. Introductory Courses (16 credits):

  • One course from:
    • ENGL 180 Themes and Traditions in Literature
    • ENGL 190 Topics in World Anglophone Literature
  • ENGL 270 Literary Form and Interpretation
  • ENGL 280 British Literary Genealogies
  • ENGL 290 American Literary Genealogies

2. Advanced Courses (20 credits):
Majors must complete at least 20 credits at the 300-level or above. Of those 20 credits, 4 must be in pre-1900 literature.
All 20 credits cannot be in the literature of one cultural tradition (i.e. American, British, and/or World Anglophone).

  • Three 300-level literature seminar courses (12 credits: 4 credits/one course must be in pre-1900 literature - NOTE: ENGL 335/365 are NOT literature seminar courses)
  • Eight additional credits (in addition to the 12 credits required in 300-level seminar courses, these 8 credits can be fulfilled by taking courses in ANY of the following categories or combination of categories):

3. Senior Capstone Experience (5 credits):

for the current colloquium schedule and attendance policy.

Certification for Teaching in English
Students interested in pursuing a course of study leading to a license to teach English should contact their advisor or the Education department for specific requirements.  for the Integrated Language Arts Teacher Licensure Requirements.

English Major Senior Honors Thesis: ENGL 499

Qualifications for acceptance into ENGL 499 (writing an English department honors thesis): 

  • An overall GPA of at least 3.50
  • A scholarly research project or creative writing project that merits extended study/preparation and lends itself to a longer paper or collection of work (minimum page lengths will vary according to the type of project)

Note: You do NOT have to be a member of the University Honors Program to write a departmental honors thesis.

The Scholarly Research Honors Thesis:

This deeply researched thesis will be at least 50 pages in length. Honors students doing a literary project typically read and consult 20-30 published sources and actively engage and cite at least ten of these sources in the final project. These sources must be scholarly, rigorous, and up-to-date. The scholarly project must represent new and original work. However, as long as the project significantly reframes and further develops past work, it may grow out of previous research completed in an advanced literature course.

The Creative Honors Thesis:

The creative thesis is composed of three parts:

  1. The proposal. A project description that explains the scope, focus, and intent of the project; situates the project, providing an analysis of how it engages with other contemporary works in the same genre and/or its historical precedents.
  2. The creative project. The length of the creative project will vary according to genre: for screenplays, 90-120 pages; for prose, 20,000 words; for poetry, 25-30 pages.
  3. A 10-page critical introduction. Honors students doing a creative writing project typically compile a reading list of at least ten sources to consult in the preparation of the critical introduction and reference a significant portion of these sources in the introduction.
    • NOTE: The critical introduction will be presented at the senior symposium. All students completing the creative honors thesis are invited to read a selection of their creative work at the Creative Writing Capstone event at the end of April.




Minor Requirements

(Includes requirements for all English Department minors)

General English Minor - 20 Credits

  • One course from:
    • ENGL 180 Themes and Traditions in Literature - 4 credits
    • ENGL 190 Topics in World Anglophone Literature - 4 credits
  • ENGL 270: Literary Form and Interpretation - 4 credits
  • One course from:
    • ENGL 280: British Literary Genealogies - 4 credits
    • ENGL 290: American Literary Genealogies - 4 credits
  • Eight credits at the 300-level, four of which must be a literature seminar course

Journalism & Integrated Media Minor - 20 Credits

Creative Writing Minor - 21 Credits

NOTE: The creative writing and JRIM minors can both be taken in combination with an English major with two courses overlapping.

Certification for Teaching in English Students interested in pursuing a course of study leading to a license to teach English should contact their advisor or the Education department for specific requirements. for the Integrated Language Arts Teacher Licensure Requirements.

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