The English Major at UMF


The English major at the University of Maine at Farmington offers students an opportunity to study literature intensively and to develop their abilities to read and interpret literary and cultural materials. The program features small, discussion-oriented classes, in which students engage with significant literary texts, learn to read with care and sensitivity, and develop important skills in writing, critical thinking, and detailed textual analysis. Emerging from the program, students will be exceptionally well prepared to participate critically and imaginatively in contemporary culture.

Through concentrations–clusters of connected courses–students are able to design individualized paths through the English major.  The concentration allows for a student’s creativity to blossom and can serve as a springboard for a student’s future plans. Past and current students have concentrated in Contemporary Literature, Literature and Film, The Art and Practice of Journalism, Social Justice and Change in Literature, Theater and Gender Studies, Editing and Publishing, and many other areas.

This flexibility in the major encourages students to seek out their interests and immerse themselves in the program. By working closely with faculty, students discover new ways to approach literature. Often these approaches and ideas accumulate into capstone research projects.  Meanwhile, visiting writers, on-campus publications, conferences and symposia continually draw English majors into larger public discussions.


The Noisy, Wild, and Extremely Troublesome series of lectures in the Arts and Humanities is a forum for UMF faculty and other local scholars to present research and scholarship. UMF professors frequently present their research at national and international conferences, and this lecture series brings that scholarship to audiences at our home campus. Past lectures in the series have included UMF English Professor Kristen Case on “Walden, the Humanities and the Classroom as Public Space”; independent scholar Karen Hellekson on “Affirmational and Transformational ‘Doctor Who’ Fan Videos”; UMF Music Professor Stephen Pane on “The Opus 111 Project, Merleau-Ponty, Beethoven and Intermedia”; roundtable discussions of:  the film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; the HBO series Game of Thrones</em>; the Oscar-winning film Get Out.


UMF has recently received a substantial grant from the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation to build a cultural commons for our community at UMF and the state of Maine. The New Commons Project will draw together twenty-four cultural works chosen by the community and create a forum for digital and live discussion of these works.  Because the project is housed in our department, students in English will have an exciting opportunity to help develop a digital humanities platform and work with visiting scholars and community members.


In addition to offering a major in English, the English department also participates in several interdisciplinary minors, including a recently approved minors in Editing and Publishing and in Business Communications.


Course Requirements 

  • ENG 181 Literary Analysis and Interpretation
  • ENG 121H Linguistics OR ENG 123H Grammar (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 courses OR One 400-level ENG literature course AND ENG 491 Capstone Seminar in English
  • Two additional courses in English (or related fields, if part of concentration)

Total Credits:              44*

Distribution Requirements

Of the eight ENG electives, 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

Concentration Requirement

In ENG 300, each student will complete a statement defining an area of concentration within the major. This concentration statement will explain how a minimum of four of the eight elective courses form a coherent group that fits the student’s interests and aims in the major.  At least two of the concentration courses must be literature courses, and one must be at the 300 level or above. Students may, if they wish, include one or two courses outside the discipline of English (e.g., art history, philosophy, etc.), if appropriate to the area of study defined by the concentration.

Foreign Language Requirement

Intermediate Proficiency in a Foreign Language (3 courses)

*Based on 4-credit courses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s