The English Major at UMF

Beginning in Fall of 2014, English Majors at UMF started following a newly revised set of major requirements.

The revised major has fewer required courses, and thus students will have more choice and agency in designing their own paths through the English major.

The key component of the revised major is the “concentration.” Rather than requiring that all students take a set group of courses to complete their degrees, individual students will choose many of their own requirements by developing a concentration (a cluster of connected courses) within the major.

A new course, ENG 300 (Critical Concepts), has been developed to help students make those choices. In addition to introducing students to literary theory, faculty teaching ENG 300 will guide students in planning their concentrations as part of the coursework for the class.

Another new addition to the major will be an option for a capstone experience course that will allow students to explore a key issue or topic related to the subject of a student’s concentration.

The primary purpose of the revised English major is to give students more flexibility and choice in designing a set of course requirements tailored to the individual student’s interests and goals.

Students who entered the program before Fall 2014 will continue to follow the old major requirements. During this period of transition, faculty will continue to offer the courses necessary for students who entered before 2014 to complete their requirements. Students who wish to finish their degree by following the new requirements may do so and should consult with their advisor.

Requirements for the English Major (beginning Fall 2014):

  • ENG 181 (Literary Analysis and Interpretation)
  • ENG 121H (Introduction to Linguistics) or 123 H (Grammar: A Linguistic Approach) or another linguistics course
  • ENG 300 (Critical Concepts)
  • Two 200-level ENG literature courses
  • Two 300-level ENG literature courses
  • Two 400-level ENG literature seminars OR one 400-level ENG literature seminar and one ENG 491 (Capstone Seminar in English)
  • Two additional courses in English (or related fields, if part of concentration)


Distribution Requirements: Of the eight ENG literature courses, there must be at least one in each of the following fields (double-counting not allowed):

* American literature

* British literature

* Pre-1800 literature

* Post-1800 literature

Other Requirements:

Completion of an approved concentration: As part of ENG 300, students will complete a statement or proposal defining an area of concentration within the major. That concentration statement will explain how a minimum of four of the eight ENG literature courses form an interrelated series. At least two of those courses must be at the 300 level or above. Students may, if they wish, include one or two courses outside the English major (e.g., creative writing, art history, etc.) to replace two of the required literature courses. If appropriate to the area of study defined by the concentration, students may also count directed studies or internships (up to 8 hours) as part of the concentration.

Intermediate proficiency in a foreign language

New Courses (Descriptions):

ENG 300: Critical Concepts

Students enrolled in English 300 will investigate foundational schools of literary theory, learn about the field of English as an academic discipline, and think about how being an English major prepares them for life and career after their degrees are completed. As a result, students will become aware of different critical approaches to literature and will begin to formulate for themselves the hows and whys of studying English. To reach these goals, students will continuously engage with literary and critical texts through discussion and writing. At the end of the course, students will complete a concentration proposal that will outline their career as English majors at UMF and that will be approved by the instructor in consultation with the English faculty. [Prerequisite: ENG 100, ENG 181, one 200-level ENG-literature course]

ENG 491 Capstone Seminar in English

In this course, students develop and execute research projects based on their individual concentrations. Students draw on their concentration statements and the knowledge developed during their upper-level coursework to create a project that synthesizes and extends that knowledge and engages in a wider scholarly or professional conversation. Research topics may be influenced by the instructor’s areas of expertise. Students present capstone projects publicly and write a reflection connecting the project to the concentration statement. [Major in English; ENG 181; ENG 300; one 300-level ENG literature course; one 400-level ENG literature course or permission of instructor]


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