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Major & Minor Concentrations

The English major offers three different concentrations:

  1. Literature
  2. Creative and Professional Writing
  3. Film Studies

Requirements for Major and Minor Concentrations

[students who began the major before Fall 2012 should consult with their advisors to determine appropriate course equivalencies].

Literature Concentration (Major): Required Courses and Advising Worksheet

•    Two ENG 1000-level literature courses.  Note that ENG 1009: Approaches to Literature, no longer offered, may count as one of these courses.

•    Three ENG 2000-level courses on any topic or period.

•    Two ENG 3000-level courses in addition to Literary Theory. 

•    3000-level Literary Theory or Film Theory Course must be taken in the Junior year.

•    Three Electives at the 2000 or 3000 level, two of which may be ENW (Creative & Professional Writing) and/or ENF (Film) courses. 

•    Senior Thesis (ENG 3998). This is a 3 credit course guided by an individual adviser in the English Department and taken during the senior year.  The student produces an independent, extended research argument of 20-25 pages in length with appropriate scholarly documentation. 

•    Early Literature and Non-Western / Postcolonial Distribution Requirements:

        1)  Early Literature distribution requirement: at least two courses in the major must be comprised of literature primarily written before 1800. The following courses satisfy this requirement:  

ENG 1012: Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature
ENG 1018: Introductions to Neoclassical and Romantic Literature
ENG 2021: Shakespeare Page and Stage
ENG 2049: Classical Mythology and Ancient Literature (discontinued after Spring '11)
ENG 2050: Early American Literature: from the Puritans to the Civil War
ENG 2057: Reading Shakespeare
ENG 2058: Survey of International Literature I (discontinued after Spring 2011)
ENG 3026: Shakespeare on Film
ENG 3119: Monstrous Women

         2)  Non-Western / Postcolonial Requirement: at least one course in the major must be from a Non-Western or Postcolonial perspective. The following courses satisfy this requirement:

ENG 1017: Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
ENG 2072: Survey of International Literature II (discontinued after Spring 2011)
ENG 2075: Modern Asian Literature
ENG 2077: Caribbean Literature
ENG 3107: Writing Africa
ENF 2089: History of Cinema II
ENF 4010: Major Film Directors (if non-Western director)
ENF 4030: National and Regional Films (if non-Western nation/region)

Prerequisites by Course level:

For 2000 level courses: must have taken one ENG-1000 level course

For 3000 level seminars: must have taken two ENG 2000-level courses

For ENG 3998, Senior Thesis: must have taken one previous 3000-level seminar 

For ENF 3075, Film Theory: must have taken ENF 1001, Intro to Film Studies

Literature Concentration (Minor): Advising Worksheet

•    Two ENG 1000-level Introduction to Historical Period courses.

•    One ENG 2000-level course on any topic.

•    Two Elective courses, including ENW (Creative & Professional Writing) and/or ENF (Film) courses.  The department strongly recommends that additional ENG courses used for electives be at the 2000 or 3000 level.

*English Education (w/ Second Major in English): Additional Course Distribution Requirements

For students planning to teach English at the high school or middle school level who are co-majoring in Education, the following additional distribution requirements apply to the those already listed above:

•    one course must be in American literature
•    one course must be in film.                                                      
•    one course must be in creative writing.
•    one course must focus on women’s writing. 

Consult with you advisor in the School of Education to make sure that you are distributing your English courses in a way that meets New York State requirements for teaching high school and middle school English.

Creative and Professional Writing Concentration (Major): Required Courses and Advising Worksheet

•    Two ENG 1000-level literature courses.  Note that ENG 1009: Approaches to Literature, no longer offered, may count as one of these courses.

•    Two ENG 2000-level courses on any topic.

•    Two Electives in Literature (ENG) at the 2000 or 3000 level or at any level in Film (ENF). 

•    ENW 1013: Approaches to Creative Writing (previously ENW 2030)

•    ENW 2016: Narrative Writing

•    Four ENW Electives from the following list:

ENW 2040: Writing for the Media
ENW 4003: Screenwriting
ENW 4004: Screenwriting II
ENW 4009: Poetry Workshop
ENW 4011: Journalism
ENW 4012: Journalism II
ENW 4020: Fiction Workshop
ENW 4030: Advanced Fiction Workshop

Note that other ENW courses may be developed that can also be used as electives:

•    ENW 3998: Senior Writing Portfolio

•    Early Literature and Non-Western Distribution Requirement: at least one ENG course must be composed of literature written before 1800 and at least one course must be in non-western or postolonial literature (see above list of qualifying courses under Literature Concentration).

Creative and Professional Writing Concentration (Minor): Advising Worksheet

•    Two ENG 1000-level literature courses. Note that ENG 1009: Approaches to Literature, no longer offered, may count as one of these courses.
•    One ENG 2000-level course on any topic.
•    ENW 1013: Approaches to Creative Writing (previously ENW 2030)
•    ENW 2016: Narrative Writing
•    One ENW Elective from the following list:

ENW 2040: Writing for the Media
ENW 4003: Screenwriting
ENW 4004: Screenwriting II
ENW 4009: Poetry Workshop
ENW 4011: Journalism
ENW 4012: Journalism II
ENW 4020: Fiction Workshop
ENW 4030: Advanced Fiction Workshop

Film Studies Concentration (Major): Required Courses and Advising Worksheet

•    One ENG 1000-level literature course.  Note that ENG 1009: Approaches to Literature, no longer offered, may count as one of these courses.
•    Two ENG 2000-level literature course on any topic. 
•    Two ENG Electives at the 2000 or 3000 level. 
•    ENF 1001: Introduction to Film Studies
•    ENF 2088: History of Cinema I or ENF 2089: History of Cinema II
•    ENF 3075: Film Theory. Note that ENF 1001 is a prerequisite for this course.
•    Two Elective Film (ENF or qualifying ENG) courses.
•    Senior Thesis (ENG 3998). This is a 3 credit course guided by an individual adviser in the English Department and taken during the senior year.  The student produces an independent, extended research argument of 20-25 pages in length with appropriate scholarly documentation.
•    Early Literature and Non-Western Distribution Requirement: at least one ENG course must be composed of literature written before 1800 and at least one course must be in non-western or postolonial literature (see above list of qualifying courses under Literature Concentration).

Film Studies Concentration (Minor): Advising Worksheet

•    ENF 1001: Introduction to Film Studies
•    ENF 2088: History of Cinema I or ENF 2089: History of Cinema II
•    ENF 3075: Film Theory.  Note that ENF 1001 is a prerequisite for this course.
•    Two Elective Film (ENF or qualifying ENG) courses.

Additional Expectations for the Major and Other Curricular Opportunities:

Minimum grade for major or minor requirements: Only courses in which the student receives a grade of “C” or better may be used to satisfy major or minor requirements. The Creative and Professional Writing concentration requires a “C+” or better in ENW.1013 (formerly ENW.2030) Approaches to Creative Writing.

Students may opt to major in one concentration and minor in another as long as no courses are double-counted.

Credit towards the major or minor for courses taken outside the department is determined by the department chair. Online courses are generally not accepted for major or minor credit. Students who have received a grade of B or better in Composition and Literature 102 at an area Community College and students who have passed the Advanced Placement English Literature Exam with a score of 5 are exempt from one 1000-level literature class.  ENC (English composition) courses are not accepted towards the English major or minor.

Independent studies (ENG.4495 and ENW.4495) are permitted only with full-time members of the department.  These are undertaken only in unusual circumstances, by students with an exceptionally compelling reason to explore topics not featured in our regular department offerings. As a general rule, students are directed to pursue independent research and writing in the context of the Senior Thesis.

Internships related to the major (ENG.4497 and ENW.4497) must be supervised by a full-time member of the department and should be arranged through the Center for Career Development Office.

Literary Magazine, Writing Awards, Honors, & Distinction

On-campus publications that welcome submissions from and involvement of students include the campus newspaper, Touchstone, and literary magazine, Graffiti. Internships are also available with Inkwell Magazine, Manhattanville’s national journal of fiction and poetry.

English Department Writing Awards: Each spring, the English Department invites all undergraduates to submit pieces of critical and creative writing for consideration for the Eileen O’Gorman Undergraduate Prize in Fiction, the Robert O’Clair Undergraduate Prize in Poetry, the Sr. Margaret Williams Prize for Literary Criticism, the Dan Masterson Prize for Screenwriting, and the William K. Everson Prize for Writing on Film.

Distinction in the English major is granted to seniors who receive one of the department’s writing awards.

Honors in the English major is granted to students with exceptional (A-level) performance in their English major coursework, and will be determined by a selection of those students with the highest cumulative G.P.A.s in courses in English (ENG, ENW, ENF).