Major and Minor
English Major Curriculum
The English major curriculum provides for a significant broad-based knowledge as well as a degree of independent choice and specialization for each undergraduate major. It is designed to ensure a dynamic and coherent intellectual experience, to train students for further work in the discipline, and to draw on the diverse strengths of the English faculty.
Please click here for a complete list of the Fall 2009 English B.A. requirements.
Please click here for a model plan of study.
The major is made up of four core courses which all students must take and pass with a C or better. These courses include the following:
• ENGL 240: a survey course in methods of literary study
• ENGL 241: a survey course in British literature (Beginnings to 1660)
• ENGL 242: a survey course in British literature (1660 to 1900)
• ENGL 243: a survey course in American literature (Beginnings to 1900)
All students must select one concentration and complete three courses. One course may be taken at the 100 level and one course must be taken at the 400 level. The third course can be taken at the 200 level and above. The new major offers the following four concentrations:
British and Anglophone Literatures: studies the history and development of British Literature from its beginnings to the present, along with its European influences and the literatures of the former British colonies.
American Literature: studies the history and development of American Literature from its beginnings to the present, including literature by U.S. ethnic and minority writers as well as other literatures of the Americas.
Media, Rhetorical and Cultural Studies: includes the study of popular culture, film, television, and emerging technological media, as well as rhetoric, discourse and the history of ideas.
Creative Writing (fiction, poetry, or non-fiction): studies in writing of a particular narrative genre.
Students take five electives in the major. One course may be taken at the 100 level and all other courses must be taken at the 200 level and above.
Majors complete three distribution requirements from the concentration and the electives. One course can fill more than one distribution requirement.
- One course in materials before 1900.
- One course in materials after 1900.
- One course in U.S. Social and Cultural Diversity.
From the concentrations and electives two courses must be at or above the 300 level.
Courses from Other Departments
A maximum of one course from a department other than Engglish may count toward the major.
NOTE: Students may count only two 100-level courses toward the entire major including concentrations, electives and distribution requirements.
Please click here to see the course options for concentrations.
Please click here to see the course options for distribution.
To track your progess through the major, use the complete advising form.
English majors who declared their major prior to Fall 2004 are eligible to graduate under the Pre-2004 curriculum. English majors who declared their major prior to Fall 2009 are eligible to graduate under the Fall 2004 curriculum.
English Minor Curriculum
The English minor encompasses a total of 18 hours.
Students must complete the following three courses with a “C” or better.
- English 240-Introduction to Literary Study and Critical Methods
NOTE: All courses in the minor build on this course. Therefore, English 240 should be taken as early as possible.
- English 243-American Literature: Beginnings to 1900
- English 241-British Literature I: Beginnings to 1660
- OR -
- English 242-British Literature II: 1660 to 1900
US. Social and Cultural Diversity
Student must complete one course in US Social and Cultural Diversity.
Students take two additional electives for the minor. One course may be taken at the 100 level and all other courses must be taken at the 200 level and above.
A MAXIMUM OF ONE COURSE FROM A DEPARTMENT OTHER THAN ENGLISH MAY COUNT TOWARD THE MINOR AND CANNOT COUNT TOWARD ANOTHER MAJOR.
Download Minor Advising Worksheet.
English 398 and English 399
English 398 is the Senior Honors Thesis. The senior thesis is a fantastic opportunity to create a writing sample for employers or graduate school. Some students have used the senior thesis as a means of beginning a collection of poems, short stories, or the spring-board for their future novel. Other students focus on the critical aspects of literature and examine an issue in depth in English literature. Please note that English 398 is required for students to be eligible to graduate with Highest Distinction.
Students in English 398 will produce a sustained piece of critical or creative writing that qualifies as a senior thesis. This course must either follow, or be taken in conjunction with, an advanced 400-level seminar. The 400-level instructor will serve as the faculty sponsor for English 398, and students will be required to attend regular meetings with the course supervisor to discuss research methods and thesis progress. The application for 398 must be filled out and returned to the Undergraduate Studies Office for approval. All directions and guidelines must be followed for approval of the project. Download thesis form here (and MUST be typed).
English 399 is the Independent Study in English. English independent study allows students to pursue intellectual and creative interests that cannot be accommodated through regular coursework or workshops. Students who wish to take an independent study should have a substantial and well-defined set of texts and problems on which they intend to work, and they should choose to work with faculty whose expertise and research interests are plausibly linked to those issues. The independent study is intended as a means of pursuing special research projects that cannot be undertaken otherwise through coursework.
English 399 is open to both English and non-English majors; senior standing is required. Students should first consult with the instructor who will direct the independent study. The instructor must approve the student's written prospectus; this prospectus must then be given to the Undergraduate Studies Office to be approved. All directions and guidelines must be followed for approval of the project. Independent study application forms are available for download here (and MUST be typed).
Visit the Forms page of the website to complete an application that must be typed.
Graduating with Distinction
In order to graduate with Distinction, a student must have attended UIC for three semesters, attained a cumulative GPA of 3.00, and completed a minimum of 21 hours of major coursework at UIC. A student must also have attained a GPA of 3.50 in courses required for the major.
In order to graduate with High Distinction, a student must have met all the requirements for Distinction and also have attained a GPA of 3.75 in courses required for major.
In order to graduate with Highest Distinction, a student must have met the requirements for High Distinction and also have received an "A" in English 398 (English Honors Thesis).
The English Department offers a three-credit internship course for English majors and minors. Students enroll in the course (English 493) while working 10 hours a week for a newspaper, public relations firm, online publication, non-profit organization, or other employer.