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English Department Majors

The English Major at Wheaton has a long tradition of valuing literature and writing. 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.

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 College's general education literature requirement with either ENGL 111 or 115. However, prospective English majors are required take ENGL 155 (or ENGL 156, which is required for Teaching Concentration majors) and ENGL 215 instead of ENGL 111 or ENGL 115.

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, and American literature and allows for individual choices within a range of categories from period courses, figure courses, and special topics. 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 includes 24 hours in literature and a focused 16 hours in upper division 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 provides a clearly-articulated curriculum leading to state certification in teaching English. Students take a specialized set of courses in both English and education. As a part of the program, students enroll in courses in English teaching methods and in the methods and pedagogy of 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 a 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.