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English Department Majors

The English Major at Wheaton has a long tradition of valuing literature, writing, and teaching. It is designed to prepare you to pursue your chosen vocations with competence and versatility. Its goal is that you will enjoy good literature and write clear, coherent prose, as well as better understand the relation of literature to biblical truth.

Each concentration within the English Major starts with the same three foundational courses that cover classical, early British, American, and World literature, that focus on essential skills such as close reading, and that help you begin to focus on the relationship between literature and biblical truth. The goal of these foundational courses is to provide you with a strong knowledge base, enabling you to make informed choices as you navigate your way through the rest of the curriculum. With the rest of the curriculum, we encourage you to make choices based on your interests as well as your goals for your future vocations.

Courses of Study 

There are three different courses of study within the English Major:

  1. The English Major with Literature Concentration. This option includes a solid overview of classical, British, American, and world literature and allows for individual choices within a range of categories: historical context, genre, author, and exploration. All students take a senior seminar, which focuses on the interrelationship of literature and theory from a Christian perspective. Minimum of 40 hours.
  2. The English Major with Writing Concentration. This option builds on the foundational course by including 12 hours in literature (chosen from historical context and deeper focus courses) and 16 hours chosen from a wide variety of writing courses, including options in creative writing, creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, plus a range of varied courses under the special topics heading. Students in this concentration take a specialized senior seminar which focuses on the interrelationship between writing and the Christian faith. As a part of the senior seminar, students will complete a portfolio of their own writing. Minimum of 40 hours.
  3. The English Major with Teaching Concentration. This option builds on the foundational courses with courses designed to lead to state certification in teaching English. In addition to choosing courses from historical context and deeper focus, students also enroll in courses designed specifically for teacher candidates: Young Adult Literature, Middle School and High School Methods, and Teaching Writing. All candidates for this program spend time in the schools observing, doing a methods practicum, and student teaching. Minimum of 40 hours in English courses, plus meeting all of the requirements through the Education Department for Secondary  Education certification.

Major Portfolios

All English majors must submit a departmental portfolio as part of the graduation requirements. More > 

Independent Study

The department offers an  Honors Program for outstanding junior and senior majors who want to undertake independent research.