Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University



    1. Are there any courses that English Majors must take?
    2. When should I take English 201 and English 202?
    3. Is there any easy way to tell what courses count for which requirement?
    4. Can I use one course to satisfy more than one requirement?
    5. Do I need to take a seminar?
    6. How do transfer students know which credits count toward the major?


Q1. Are there any courses that English Majors must take?

A1. Yes. Every English major must take English 201 (01:359:201) and English 202 (01:359:202)

Q2. When should I take English 201 and English 202?

A2. Both courses have the same name: Principles of Literary Study. As the name tells you, the two courses together are meant to introduce you to the elements of literary interpretation, and to teach you how to write the critical essays you will be asked to write in upper-level English courses. English 201 concentrates on poetry. English 202 concentrates on prose narrative. You may not take these courses simultaneously; you need to have a full year of sustained practice in critical interpretation.

Q3. Is there any easy way to tell what courses count for which requirement?

A3. Yes.  Courses which fulfill the period requirements and the African-American requirement bear the prefix 358.  Courses which fulfill the theory requirement bear prefix 359.  354:385 and 354:420 also fulfill the theory requirement.  The African-American and theory requirements can be fulfilled by 200-level as well as 300-level and 400-level courses.  200-level courses do not fulfill the period requirements.

Q4. Can I use one course to satisfy more than one requirement?

A4. Yes.  You may use the appropriate single course to satisfy up to two requirements.

Q5. Do I need to take a seminar?

A5.  Yes: all majors must take a Senior Seminar at the 400 level.

To take a Senior Seminar, you must have completed either English 201 or English 202 with a grade of C or better.  There are no exceptions to this rule.  You may take more than one Senior Seminar, but you must complete one with a grade of C of better to graduate as an English major.

Q6. How do transfer students know which credits count toward the major?

A6. Bring your transcript, which shows what transfer credits your college has accepted, to the Undergraduate Office (Murray 104).  The Undergraduate Director will determine which courses count.  (You can help in this decision if you also bring any pertinent course descriptions, syllabi, papers from the courses in question.)


Special Options for English Majors

Creative  Writing Option

The concentration in creative writing allows students to choose 15 credits for the English major from a sequence of creative writing courses. These courses, relying heavily on peer evaluations in a workshop environment as well as extensive critical analysis, enable students to work closely with practicing professional novelists, playwrights and poets. Literary study within these courses focuses on technical issues: a question of how, in addition to why and what. Larger issues are related to current aesthetic theories, the relationship between art and society, and the balance of research and creativity that engenders literature.

The 15 credits for the Creative Writing option should be earned from the following courses:


01:351:209 Multimedia Composition
01:351:211,212 Introduction to Creative Writing
01:351:303 Screenwriting
01:351:304 Screenwriting for Television
01:351:305 Creative Non-Fiction
01:351:306 Creative Writing - Form and Technique in Poetry 
01:351:307 Creative Writing - Form and Technique in Fiction 

01:351:308 Creative Writing - Form and Technique Drama
01:351:309 Digital Storytelling
01:351:312 Literature and Technology
01:351:314 Documentary Filmmaking for Writers
01:351:405 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop- Multigenre
01:351:406 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop - Poetry
01:351:407 Advanced Creative Writing Workshop - Fiction

Please note: the 300- and 400-level courses require completion of appropriate lower level classes as prerequisites, and the 400-level courses require permission of the instructor based on a portfolio review. Also, no two creative writing workshops may be taken within the same semester. 

Students electing the creative writing option are urged to study widely in the Arts and Sciences, and to participate actively in the Writers at Rutgers Reading Series: a series of readings by professional, often quite famous, writers from outside the university. Check the Undergraduate office (Murray 104) for the schedule.

Film Option

The film option provides a special concentration on film for English majors who may use 15 credits of English Department film courses in satisfying the overall requirements for the major. Our film courses offer a wide range of approaches to the cinema, from surveys of film history, aesthetics, and theory to close analysis of individual works or groups of works. The integral part of literary studies in general, dealing with questions of narrative, genre, style, with the process of reading and writing, and with the study of how texts function within particular social and cultural contexts.

Course offerings in film include a two-semester introductory course (354:201,202) which surveys basic concepts of film form, the development of the cinema as a commercial institution, forms of cinematic expression. Other courses devoted to specific subjects are:

354:210 Close Readings of Cinema
Screenwriting (354:308) Widescreen Cinema
354:312 Cinema and the Arts
354:315,316 American Cinema
354:320,321 World Cinema
354:330,331 Critical Methodology in Film
354:350,351 Major Filmmakers
354:370 Film Genres
354:373 The Documentary
354:375 Film and Society
354:391,392Theories of Women and Film
354:385 Special Topics Film
354:420 Sem: Film Theory

Feminist Studies in English:  Women in Literature Option

The special concentration in Women & Literature permits students to choose 15 of the required 36 credits for the major from courses on women writers, women and film, women and literature and feminist criticism. These courses offer a historical perspective on works by women writers as well as the opportunity to examine the fresh approaches to literary study which have emerged from recent feminist criticism and scholarship. This concentration enables interested students to establish a regular program of study with English Department faculty who are actively engaged in feminist scholarship and women's studies.

Women and Literature courses pay particular attention to the social and cultural contexts in which literature and art forms emerge. The perspectives developed in these course will be applicable to the student's other work in the English major. A student selecting the Women & Literature option chooses the 15 concentration credits from the following courses:

01:351:265 Introduction to Study of Women Writers
01:350:371 Black Women Writers
01:350:381 Medieval and Early Modern Women Writers
01:350:382 Restoration and 18th Century Women Writers
01:350:383 Nineteenth-Century Women Writers
01:350:384 Twentieth-Century WomenWriters
01:350:385 American Women Writers to 1900
01:350:386 Twentieth-Century American Women Writers
01:351:266 Issues/Methods in Feminist Literary Studies
01:351:355 Drama by Women
01:351:356 Fiction by Women
01:351:357 Poetry by Women
01:351:358 Autobiography by Women
01:351:359 Gender and Genre
01:351:361 Issues/Problems in Feminist Literary Studies
01:351:435,436 Seminar: Feminist Literary Studies
01:353:340 Feminist Theory in Literary Study
01:353:346 Theories of Gender and Sexuality
01:353:496,497 Seminar: Topics in Feminist Theory
01:354:385 Thoeries of Women and Film

Also, check seminar and special topics listings each semester for additional courses in Women & Literature.


Professional Writing

For majors who would like to prepare themselves for a career in writing or who would like further training in business, technical, or digital writing.

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