The Department of English seeks to prepare students to pursue their chosen vocations with competence and versatility. Its goal is that graduates will enjoy good literature and write clear, coherent prose. The department endeavors to instill within each student a knowledge of major English and American authors, together with pertinent continental and global ones, and a comprehension of the various critical approaches essential to a mature understanding and evaluation of literary achievement. We consistently endeavor to discover the relation of literature to biblical truth. Students are encouraged but not required to meet the general education requirement with either ENGL 101 or 105. Prospective English majors should take ENGL 215 and 216 instead of 101 or 105.
Requirements for a Major in English are a minimum of 36 hours, including 12 hours of core courses (ENGL 215, 216, and 494), four hours in pre-1800 British literature (ENGL 331, 336, 337, or353), four hours in post-1800 British/European literature (ENGL 355, 361, 364, or 371), two of the three period courses in American literature (ENGL 341, 342, 343), one figure course, one special topics course, and one writing course beyond the 103/104 level. Students intending to pursue graduate study are strongly encouraged to select ENGL 434 Modern Literary Theory. For those anticipating graduate study, French and German are recommended.
Requirements for a Major in English with a Writing Concentration are a minimum of 42 hours, including 26 hours in literature: ENGL 215 and 216; four hours from pre-1800 courses (ENGL 331, 336, 337, or 353); four hours from post-1800 (ENGL 355, 361, 364, or 371); two of the three period courses in American literature (ENGL 341, 342, 343), plus one figure course, and 16 hours in writing courses (eight to ten hours in regular offerings of writing courses, two to four hours in special topics in writing, and a senior writing seminar).
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Requirements for a Major in English with Teaching Concentration are a minimum of 40 hours, including ENGL 215 and 216, four hours in post-1800 British/European literature (ENGL 355, 361, 364, or 371), two of the three period courses in American literature (ENGL 341, 342, 343), ENGL 494 Senior Seminar, ENGL 285 Topics in Global Literature, ENGL 327 Adolescent Literature, ENGL 334 Shakespeare, and ENG 271 History of the English Language. Prior to student teaching, students must also take ENG 324 Methods of Teaching English and ENGW 471 Composition Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy. Also recommended are ENGL 349 African American Literature and ENGL 375 Women Writers. In addition to the 40 hours in English, students must also meet specific certification requirements. See the Education Department section of the catalog.
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All English majors must submit a departmental portfolio as part of the graduation requirements. Full details are available at www.wheaton.edu/english/majors/portfolio.
The department offers an Honors Program for outstanding junior and senior majors who want to undertake independent research.