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The English major is tailored for students who wish to pursue a passion for reading and writing, and for those who seek a general education in literary studies as they plan for careers in education, law, business administration, public relations, advertising, government, or any field where effective use of the English language and critical thinking skills are seen as essential to a broad humanistic perspective. English majors choose between a literature or creative writing concentration (outlined below), where their course work is designed to develop analytical, research, and creative skills.

Preparing for Business, Law and Public Service: Literature courses which emphasize psychological, social and verbal analysis provide a solid basis for the type of critical thinking needed in professional positions, while courses in writing, business communication, journalism/ publication, etc. provide a solid basis in communication skills central to these areas.

Student Life: The Writers Forum provides exposure to significant contemporary writers and critics. The English Club offers a variety of activities, including the publication of student writing. Sigma Tau Delta, an international honor society, recognizes significant academic accomplishment. Awards are available for student scholarship and outstanding literary-critical, fiction, poetry and non-fiction writing.

Study Abroad: A variety of study abroad programs are available and encouraged. In particular, English majors are urged to consider participating in the Brockport Oxford Scholars program, in which they spend one term studying at Oxford University and receive the designation "Brockport Oxford Scholar" on their permanent record. Minimal requirements for the Oxford program include a 3.25 GPA in the major; details are available in the Office of International Education.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare a major in English.

Program Requirements

Students in the English major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.

The major in English consist of 36 credits, though students often take additional electives. At least 18 credtis must be taken at Brockport, and at least 30 credits must be in courses numbered ENG 300 to ENG 499.

Students are encouraged to construct a personal course of study in such areas as American, British or world literature; film studies; women writers; modern literature, etc. or to explore the diversity of literary and language studies. Students preparing for teaching in elementary through high school are strongly advised to consult the Department of Education and Human Development in selecting appropriate electives.

A grade of "C" or higher is required for ENG 303.

Students in the English major declare a concentration in either English literature or creative writing.

English Literature Concentration

  • ENG 303 Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • One course in Shakespeare
  • ENG 472 Capstone

ENG 303 is a co-requisite for all other 300-level courses, and ENG 303 and 9 credits of 300-level courses are pre-requisites for 400-level courses. Literature track students must take:

  • One course in close reading (ENG 304-349, other than Shakespeare)
  • Two courses examining texts and contexts (ENG 350-399)
  • One 400-level seminar (ENG 400-471)

Creative Writing Concentration

  • ENG 303 Introduction to Literary Analysis
  • ENG 210 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • One course in British Literature
  • One course in American Literature
  • One course in World Literature
  • ENG 305 Poetry Workshop
  • Three electives
  • ENG 495 The Writer's Craft (may be repeated once)

Course sequencing note: ENG 210 is a prerequisite for 300-level workshops. The 300-level workshops are prerequisites for the advanced workshops.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes are the central objectives for teaching and learning in the Department of English. Upon graduating from the major, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the relationship between literary form and meaning, taking into consideration literary techniques and devices.
  2. Construct arguments about literary works using historical contexts.
  3. Identify reputable and relevant sources, and incorporate the words and ideas of others without misrepresentation and with appropriate documentation practices.
  4. Write in conformity with standard usage and grammar.
  5. Argue with a command of the rhetorical strategies, terms, and major interpretive methods characteristic of academic writing in the Humanities. Applicable for all English majors enrolled in the Literature Track, particularly those taking courses at the 400-level.
  6. Apply basic elements of creative writing craft, including such elements as control of form and figurative language. Applicable for students in the Creative Writing program.