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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in English

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First- and Second-Year Preparation

Prospective English majors who have completed the first- and second-year English requirement should take a 300-level English course during the sophomore year and consult the undergraduate director for further information, especially about eligibility requirements for admission to the English major.

Admission to the Major

Admission Requirements

Course Requirements

Completion of first- and second-year English requirements:

Grade-Point Average Requirements

Admission Minimum Grade-Point Average: 2.5

Admission Grade-Point Average Calculation: English admission grade-point average calculation includes ENGL 101 (or equivalent), ENGL 102 or ENGL 105 (or equivalent), and ENGL 203, ENGL 205, ENGL 209, ENGL 210, or ENGL 211 (or equivalent). The grade-point average calculation includes only the grades received at the completion of the first- and second-year requirements. If a student has taken more than 1 of the 200-level courses, only the highest grade is used in the calculation. KU’s course repeat policy applies to grade-point average calculation.

Application Term

Application to the major should occur in the term in which admission requirements will be completed. If the student does not meet established admission grade-point average criteria or neglects to apply for admission in this term, he or she must petition the department for permission for late application. The department, as part of an approved petition, determines late admission requirements (including grade-point average and course requirements) and the final deadline for admission.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

The department offers 3 emphases and an Honors variation on each. The Traditional English emphasis; the Language, Rhetoric, and Writing emphasis; and the Creative-Writing English emphasis all require at least 30 hours of junior/senior courses (numbered 300 or above). All English majors must take at least 2 courses (6 hours) numbered 500 or above (i.e. capstone courses). The Honors version of each emphasis adds 3 hours to the requirement.

Traditional English Emphasis

The Traditional English emphasis requires 18 core hours and 12 hours of English electives at the 300-level or above.

Core Requirements

  1. ENGL 308 Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory
  2. ENGL 312 Major British Writers to 1800 or any other English course numbered 300 or above that focuses on British literature of at least 1 of the literary periods from the Middle Ages to 1800, excluding Shakespeare (3 hours)
  3. ENGL 314 Major British Writers After 1800 or any other English course numbered 300 or above that focuses on British literature of at least 1 of the literary periods from the Romantic Period to the present (3 hours)
  4. A course in Shakespeare (ENGL 332 or ENGL 525) (3 hours)
  5. ENGL 320 American Literature I or any other English course numbered 300 or above that focuses on American literature of at least 1 of the literary periods from Colonial times to 1865 (3 hours)
  6. ENGL 322 American Literature II or any other English course numbered 300 or above that focuses on American literature of at least 1 of the literary periods from 1865 to the present (3 hours)

The Traditional English emphasis, in addition to the core requirements listed above, requires completion of 12 junior/senior hours of electives. A single creative-writing course at the 300 level can be applied to this requirement. 1 course in the HWC 304/HWC 308/HWC 312 sequence may be applied as an elective. ENGL 495 Directed Study: _____ and ENGL 496 Internship may be applied only as electives.

Language, Rhetoric, and Writing Emphasis

The Language, Rhetoric, and Writing emphasis requires ENGL 308; 12 of the remaining core hours (any combination); and 15 hours of language, rhetoric, and writing electives. These electives consist of either ENGL 380 Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition or ENGL 387 Introduction to the English Language and at least 6 hours of language and rhetoric courses. These courses include

  • ENGL 359 English Grammar
  • ENGL 380 Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition
  • ENGL 385 The Development of Modern English
  • ENGL 387 Introduction to the English Language
  • ENGL 400 Tutoring and Teaching Writing
  • ENGL 580 Rhetoric and Writing: _____
  • ENGL 590 Studies in: _____ (with an emphasis in language and rhetoric)

Students may take all 15 elective hours in language and rhetoric, or they may include writing courses. A single creative-writing course at the 300 level can be applied to this requirement. Appropriate writing courses include

  • ENGL 360 Advanced Composition: _____
  • ENGL 361 Professional Writing: _____
  • ENGL 362 Foundations of Technical Writing
  • ENGL 562 Advanced Technical Writing I
  • ENGL 563 Advanced Technical Writing and Editing
  • ENGL 564 Advanced Technical Editing I

ENGL 495 Directed Study, ENGL 496 Internship, ENGL 498 Honors Proseminar, and ENGL 499 Honors Essay, if done with a language rhetoric and writing emphasis, may be applied as electives.

Creative-Writing Emphasis

The Creative-Writing emphasis requires 15 of the 18 core hours (any combination) and at least 15 hours of creative-writing electives. The creative-writing electives must include work in at least 2 genres, chosen from the following:

ENGL 495 Directed Study, ENGL 496 Internship, ENGL 498 Honors Proseminar, and ENGL 499 Honors Essay, if done with a creative-writing emphasis, may be applied as electives.

Students intending to pursue the creative-writing emphasis must apply for admission. Students should do so before enrolling in their third creative-writing course at the 300-level or above. To be accepted into the emphasis, students must submit a portfolio of their work the semester before they wish to enroll in a third creative-writing course. In the fall semester, the due date for portfolio submission is September 15. In the spring semester, the due date is February 15. Although students will not be prevented from enrolling in these courses if they have not been accepted into the creative-writing emphasis, they risk losing major credit for the courses if they are not accepted and must therefore switch to the traditional or language, rhetoric, and writing emphasis. Only 1 creative-writing class may be applied toward the traditional or language, rhetoric. and writing emphases.

Students are notified of the committee’s decision before the enrollment period begins.

Traditional and undeclared creative-writing majors who wish to enroll in a 500-level creative-writing class must seek the instructor’s permission before they can enroll in the course.

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