Catalog

English Major & Minor

Studying English is tremendously rewarding and has much to offer both the practical and the inquiring student. Students focus on the essential human endeavors of reading, analysis, interpretation and writing. English study enhances aesthetic perception and engages us vicariously through literature. By studying perennial themes and questions of the human condition, students gain an understanding of their own lives in today’s world. Students study literary and other texts in generic, aesthetic, historical, religious and other contexts, including the theoretical and interdisciplinary contexts the faculty bring to the courses they teach.

The English major prepares the student for any career that requires perceptive reading, orderly and clear thinking, and persuasive and graceful oral and written expression. For example, careers such as law, medicine, education, business, organizational management, writing, and publishing and editing rely heavily on skills developed in the English major. Opportunities for the English major are found in careers as diverse as teaching, business and industry, professional and technical writing, journalism, editing, personnel work, sales, government service, advertising, script writing and public information. English study supports lifelong personal enrichment, moral citizenship and family life.

Learning Objectives

Students completing Southern Virginia’s English major are expected to acquire the following:

  1. Ability to read a variety of literary and non-literary texts closely, recognizing subtle and complex differences in language use and literary genre.
  2. Ability to write clear, persuasive analytical essays driven by arguments based on the texts using appropriate literary terminology and the cultural and aesthetic values relevant to these texts.
  3. Ability to research literary works, authors, and contexts, ably utilizing library resources, incorporating and documenting research appropriately, and adhering to the highest standards of intellectual integrity.
  4. Broad knowledge of key authors, major traditions and movements, and literary and cultural history.

Program Coordinator: Prof. Randall Cluff

Major Requirements (30 credit hours)

Major Core (6 credit hours):

Major Electives I (6 credit hours) Two courses from the following:

Major Electives II (18 credit hours): an additional six courses from among the remaining Electives I course and upper-division English courses or upper-division humanities courses as approved by the English program coordinator. The six elective courses must include at least one course in each of the following three areas:

  1. British Literature prior to 1900;
  2. American Literature; and
  3. Literary theory, post-1900 literature written in English, or film.

Up to two upper-division creative writing courses may count towards the major electives. Credit earned in student newspaper or literary magazine courses does not count towards the English major or minor.

Download the English Major Checklist

Minor Requirements (18 credit hours)

Minor Core (9 credit hours):

Minor Electives (9 credit hours):

Download the English Minor Checklist