Jul 20, 2024  
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English Major, BA

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Program Description

Students who major in English learn to communicate well, whether they are writing or speaking. They also learn to read and think critically, becoming skilled at analyzing the way messages in various media are composed. A solid foundation in the “soft skills” of communication, critical reading, and critical thinking prepares English majors for success in areas as varied as law, business, entertainment, marketing, and the arts.

The undergraduate major program in English is designed to accomplish five objectives: 

  1. To provide students with experiences for developing competencies in the process of composing.
  1. To help students acquire knowledge of the English language, its literature, and related cultures.
  1. To help students develop skills in analyzing, evaluating, and responding to a wide range of literature.
  1. To help students prepare for careers requiring a high degree of proficiency in writing, speaking, and critical reading and thinking.
  1. To prepare students to do advanced work in English and other professional fields.

In the English major students study American, African-American, British, and world literature, as well as literary theory, linguistics, and composition.  In addition, they submit a substantial research project in the senior capstone course. The Department of English offers opportunities for students to engage in internships and independent study.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. Students will demonstrate competence in the process of composing oral and written compositions, using appropriate language, conventions, structure, and supporting documentation, as well as employing content appropriate to the audience.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze, evaluate, and respond to a wide variety of literature.
  3. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the English language and its literature and related cultures.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to carry out research by applying established theoretical and empirical approaches.

Major Requirements

Students who major in English must earn a grade of C or higher in all pre-major general education courses and in all major courses.


The major in English comprises 33 hours of required and elective courses. The required courses include nine hours of American, African-American, and British literature; six hours of linguistics and advanced composition; and 15 hours of advanced courses in the following categories:  period/author (3 hours), genre (6 hours), theory (6 hours, including literary criticism).  Students complete the major with a senior-level capstone course.  English majors must also complete a minor in a field of their choice.  English major may choose a minor from within the department:  Dramatic Arts or African-American Literature.

Note: If an English major chooses a major within the department, courses chosen for the major cannot be used to fulfill requirements for the minor and courses chosen for the minor cannot be used to fulfill major requirements.

Transfer credit may be accepted if the courses taken fit satisfactorily into the plan for the major outlined at Winston-Salem State University and if the student meets all the other requirements for transfer students, including the residency requirement (See Undergraduate Degree Requirements).


Pre-Major Courses

ENG 1301:  Freshman Composition I (or the equivalent)

ENG 1305:  Thinking and Writing Critically about Literature

ENG 2301:  World Literature I

ENG 2302:  World Literature II

SPH 2341:  Fundamentals of Speech OR SPH 2321 – Oral Interpretation of Literature OR SPH 2325 – Great African-American Speeches

HUM 2310:  African-American Culture (or equivalent)

Major Course Sequence

ENG 3306 – British Literature to 1800, ENG 3311- Studies in African-American Literature, and ENG 3313 - Studies in American Literature should be taken in the junior year as they are foundational courses for the major. ENG 3302 - Advanced Composition and ENG 4355 – Literary Criticism should be taken no later than the second semester of the junior year as they are prerequisite to ENG 4304 - Senior Seminar, the capstone course offered only in the fall semester of the senior year.


English Core (21 hrs.)

ENG 3306 - British Literature to 1800 (Offered Fall only)

ENG 3311 – Studies in African-American Literature (Offered Fall only)

ENG 3313 – Studies in American Literature (Offered Spring only)

ENG 3321– Grammars of English (Offered Fall only)


ENG 4316 - History of the English Language (Offered Fall only)

ENG 3301 – Intro to Linguistics (Offered Fall only)

ENG 3302 - Advanced Composition (Offered Spring only)

ENG 4355 – Literary Criticism (Offered Spring only)

ENG 4304 - Senior Seminar (Offered Fall only)

Period or Author Courses (Choose one): 3 hrs.

ENG 3309 – Post-Colonial Literature (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3334 - Literature of the African Diaspora (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3347 – Topics in Language and Literature (depending on topic chosen)

ENG 3355 - The Elizabethan Era (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3356 - Seventeenth Century English Literature (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3363 - Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3368 - English Romantic Writers (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3373 - Victorian Literature (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3374 - Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3381 - Black Writers in American Literature (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 4326 - American Studies (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 4361 – Chaucer (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 4364 – Shakespeare (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 4368 – Milton (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

Genre Courses (Choose two): 6 hrs.

ENG 3347 – Topics in Language and Literature (depending on topic chosen)

ENG 3377 – Modern Poetry (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3378 - Modern Fiction (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3350 – The History of the British Novel (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

DRA 3341 – Studies in Drama (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)


DRA 4331 – Modern Drama (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3346 - Children’s Literature (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)


ENG 3348 - Adolescent Literature (Offered Spring- Alternate Years)

ENG 3349 – The Vernacular in African-American Literature and Culture

Theory Courses (Choose one): 3 hrs.

ENG 3331 - Literary Aspects of the Bible (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3341 - Creative Writing (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 3347 – Topics in Language and Literature (depending on topic chosen)

ENG 4302 – Composition Theory and Pedagogy (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

ENG 4312 - Film Theory and Criticism (Offered Fall - Alternate Years)

Note: Some other courses have variable content and may sometimes fit into a category different from the one listed above. Thus, students should work with advisors to choose period or author, genre, and theory courses.

Major Electives

ENG 2313 – Survey of American Literature I (General Education)

ENG 2314 – Survey of American Literature II (General Education)

ENG 3132 – Review of English Usage

ENG 3307 – British Literature II

ENG 3303 – Technical Writing

ENG 4093 – English Internship

ENG 4303 – Writing for Publication

ENG 4346 – Independent Study


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