English majors are expected to develop critical thinking skills that manifest themselves abundantly in advanced reading and writing. They are expected to learn how to identify original ideas and then to develop them into a piece of effective writing. Such interests and skills should have wide applicability in the workaday world outside of the University.

Admission into the Major

Students may declare a major in English online under the Student tab of myBama. Students are expected to formally declare a major no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students).

Special Opportunities

Special opportunities available in the Department of English include the English Honors Program and the Sigma Tau Delta honor society. Contact the Department for more information.

Honors in English

The English Department offers an Honors Program for students who wish to wish to pursue more advanced studies in the major. Any English major with a superior aptitude for and a special interest in English may apply for admission to the Honors Program. The program includes honors sections of 200-level literature surveys, a 300-level Honors Seminar in English, and an Honors Thesis, which counts as a 400-level course. The 200-level honors classes allow students to pursue British or American Literature in depth, at an advanced level, and in a seminar-style setting. The EN 399 Honors Seminar in English gives students the opportunity to take an advanced, research-centered course that cuts across conventional divisions of literary period and literary form. The EN 499 Honors Thesis affords each student the opportunity to work individually with a faculty mentor who will guide him or her in reading, researching, and writing a 30-50 page thesis. To be eligible for graduation with honors in English, participants must complete any two of the following courses: EN 215 Honors English Literature I, EN 216 Honors English Literature II, EN 219 Honors American Literature, EN 220 Honors American Literature II; as well as EN 399 Honors Seminar in English and EN 499 Honors Thesis with a minimum grade of B in each. (Some flexibility at the 200- and 300-level is possible with permission of the coordinators). Students must have at least a 3.5 grade point average in the English major and 3.3 grade point average overall to complete the program successfully. See the English Department website, or contact the coordinators of the English Honors Program for additional information.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society, aims to promote a mastery of written expression, to encourage worthwhile reading, and to foster a spirit of fellowship among its members. Students pursuing a major in English or English education, or pursuing a minor in English or creative writing and who have at least a 3.33 GPA for 12 hours of English and at least 3.0 cumulative GPA are eligible to apply. The society, along with the department, annually makes an award to the English major with the highest overall GPA.

Students earning the bachelor of arts (BA) degree with a major in English must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements, all requirements for an approved minor and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

More InformationHours
Major Courses
Select three courses of the following 200 level courses: 19
The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing
How English Works
English Literature I
Honors English Literature I
English Literature II
Honors English Literature II
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature
Honors American Literature
American Literature II
Honors American Literature II
African American Literature I
African American Literature II
Select one of the following pre-1700 courses:3
Chaucer And Medieval Literatur
Chaucer
Sixteenth Century Literature
Shakespeare
Seventeenth Century Literature
Milton
Select one of the following 1700-1900 courses:3
American Literature To 1900
American Poetry To 1900
American Fiction To 1900
British Fiction To 1900
Major Authors 1660-1900
English Lit During Enlightenmt
Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
Select one of the following Rhetoric and Composition, Linguistics, Methodology, or Writing courses:3
Intro To English Studies
Prose Tour
Poetry Tour
Advanced Expository Writing
Special Topics Writing
Writing Center Practicum
Technical Writing
Intro To Linguistics
Linguis Approach English Gramr
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Electives 2
Select four EN elective courses at the 400 level12
Select two EN elective courses at the 300 or 400 level6
Credit Hours Subtotal: 18
Total Hours36
1

At least two (2) of the three (3) required 200 level EN courses must be from EN 205 English Literature I (or EN 215 Honors English Literature I), EN 206 English Literature II (or EN 216 Honors English Literature II), EN 207 World Literature I, EN 208 World Literature II, EN 209 American Literature (or EN 219 Honors American Literature), EN 210 American Literature II (or EN 220 Honors American Literature II), EN 249 African American Literature I, EN 250 African American Literature II.

2
  • No course may be taken for elective credit more than twice.
  • No more than 3 of the 18 elective hours may be fulfilled by EN 301 Prose Tour or EN 303 Poetry Tour.
  • No more than 3 of the 18 elective hours may be fulfilled by EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing.
  • A 301, 303, or 408 used as credit toward the English Major cannot also count toward the Creative Writing Minor.
  • See the Department's web site for suggested paths to guide you through the English major.

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required for completion of the degree. The major GPA is calculated based on all courses applicable to the major that the student has attempted at UA. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

This major requires the completion of a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

EN 430 English Internship  is not applicable to the major in English. Either EN 317 Writing Center Practicum or EN 456 Writing Center Theory and Research is applicable to the major in English, but not both. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University and College major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an advisor in the major department for academic planning and to be cleared for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with College and University minor requirements.

Prerequisites and Conditions

Unless otherwise stated, upper-level English courses have the following prerequisites and conditions: 

  • 300-level courses require 12 hours of EN (including six hours at the 200 level)
  • 400-level courses require 18 hours of EN (including six hours at the 200 level) and six hours at the 300 level
  • EN 301 Prose Tour and EN 303 Poetry Tour require completion of EN 200 The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing
  • EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing requires completion of EN 200 The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing, EN 301 Prose Tour, and EN 303 Poetry Tour
  • Students may not enroll in EN 200 The Living Writer: Introduction to Creative Writing and any other creative writing course concurrently
  • Students may not enroll in EN 301 Prose Tour and EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing concurrently
  • Students may not enroll in EN 303 Poetry Tour and EN 408 Advanced Creative Writing concurrently

The career opportunities for those majoring in English are numerous. There are various opportunities for those who would like to go for graduate work and countless opportunities in the field of teaching, from elementary up through higher education and even for teaching English abroad. An English major is also a customary route for those seeking admission to law school. It is becoming an increasingly common route for admission to business or medical schools. It has always been a favorite for those employers who value advanced reading, writing and editing skills.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Advanced reading and writing skills have led to employment in a variety of jobs. English majors often pursue graduate work in English (Penn, UCLA, Virginia, Georgetown, Cornell, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Florida, Texas (Austin) and Toronto). Others have pursued law degrees at institutions such as Yale, Harvard, Duke, Michigan, Virginia and Alabama. Others have gone on to receive medical degrees from such respected institutions as UAB, University of Virginia and USA. Alumni include Rhodes scholars, Mellon fellows, Fulbright scholars, published writers of considerable distinction and achievement, even a couple of authors of best sellers.

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Alumni include, as might be expected, countless teachers, instructors, and professors, as well as numerous writers of distinction. Alumni also include, as might not be expected, doctors, lawyers, business executives and people of accomplishment in all walks of life.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center