Literature is a treasury of our cultural heritage and an expressive human creation embodying both beauty and knowledge. Close examination of literature improves our thought and our use of language, enhances our understanding of past and present, and provides insight into our interior lives. So, too, does the practice of accurate and carefully crafted writing. Consequently, the English major at St. Mary’s is designed so that students will read a broad historical and cultural range of literatures and develop a variety of writing skills.
To achieve these goals, the English program begins with a required course on reading and writing in the major and two required literature-in-history courses, as well as 200-level elective courses that concentrate on either writing or a specific literary topic. In the surveys, students encounter influential writers, works, and ideas, which provide necessary background knowledge for further study of writing and literature. At the upper level, students define their individual course of study by taking “Methods of Literary Study” and more specialized literature and writing classes. During their senior year, students make use of the knowledge and skills learned in previous courses by choosing to do a St. Mary’s Project or by taking additional advanced coursework. Within this overall framework, faculty advisors help each student select courses that will best meet his or her interests, needs and goals.
With its stress on clarity of thought and expression, and its focus on choices within the program, the English major provides an excellent foundation for a meaningful liberal arts education as well as a strong preparation for a variety of careers that require analytic rigor and clear, precise communication. The English major also provides the basis by which students can enrich their lives through an ongoing contact with stimulating authors, evocative language, and significant ideas.
- Write effectively and perceptively as determined by the appropriate rhetorical context
- Craft language with precision in a variety of genres of writing
- Generate connections among literary texts within and across historical periods, national literatures, cultural groups, and formal categories
- Analyze how language is used in a range of literary texts
- Create complex interpretations of a variety of texts
- Use information from a variety of sources in order to support interpretations of literary texts
- Demonstrate knowledge of how literature and writing contribute to a full and meaningful life
- Speak effectively and perceptively as determined by the appropriate rhetorical context
Degree Requirements for the English Major
General College Requirements
- General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major.
- A total of 44 credit hours of coursework, at least 24 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.
8 hours of historical approaches to literature, consisting of
- ENGL 284: Literature in History I: Before 1800
- ENGL 285: Literature in History II: After 1800
or any two of the following:
- ENGL 281: Literature in History I: The Beginnings through the Renaissance
- ENGL 282: Literature in History II: The Rise of Anglo-American Literature 1700-1900
- ENGL 283: Literature in History III: Twentieth-Century Voices
Students who have completed ENGL 281, ENGL 282, or ENGL 283 will take either ENGL 284 or ENGL 285 to complete the historical approaches requirement. Students who have completed ENGL 281 should take ENGL 285, students who have completed ENGL 282 should determine whether to take ENGL 284 or ENGL 285 in consultation with their advisor or the department chair, and students who have completed ENGL 283 should take ENGL 281.
8 hours of writing and methodology courses, consisting of:
- ENGL 204: Reading and Writing in the Major
- ENGL 304: Methods of Literary Study
A 400-level course (4 credit hours) not used to satisfy any other requirement for the major.
- Guided readings, independent studies, internships and courses originating in another department may not be used to fulfill the Seminar requirement.
A capstone experience (8 credit hours): This requirement may be satisfied by one of the following options:
- ENGL 493/494: St. Mary’s Project in English.
- Two upper-level English courses.
Students completing a St. Mary’s Project in another discipline may be permitted to count one or both semesters of their project towards their English major. Please see the section on the St. Mary’s Project, below.
Electives: at least 16 credit hours of ENGL coursework, of which at least 8 credits must be at the 300 or 400 level.
Please note that ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 may not be counted towards the major. Course content and focus for classes will vary, and will be announced in the online “Schedule of Classes” prior to registration. Any course, with the exception of ENGL 106, ENGL 270, or ENGL 304, may be repeated for credit provided the majority of the content is different.
Elective coursework in the major may also include the following:
- Up to four credit hours of guided readings, independent study, or credit-bearing internships.
- Up to eight credit hours of approved classes originating in other departments. The current list of approved courses includes:
- EDUC 366: Children’s and Young Adult Literature
- HIST 455: Topics in Asian, African, or Latin American History (selected topic only): Chinese Film and History
- ILAS 206: Introduction to Latin American Literature in Translation
- ILAS 350: Latin American Cinema
- Any upper-level literature class in ILCC, ILCF, ILCG, ILCS, or ILCT
- ILCT 106: Introduction to World Literature
- ILCT 293: Introduction to Cultural Studies
- ILCT 300: Introduction to Linguistics
- TFMS 106: Introduction to Dramatic Literature
- TFMS 210: Japanese Performance Traditions
- TFMS 220: Introduction to Film and Media Studies
- TFMS 221: Film and Media Production Modes
- TFMS 225: Topics in Film and Media (selected topics only; check with Chair for approval)
- TFMS 326: World Cinema
- TFMS 300: Modern Theater
- TFMS 310: Shakespeare
- TFMS 315: Japanese Film
- TFMS 320: Film History
- TFMS 325: Documentary Practices
- TFMS 346: Screenwriting
- TFMS 422: Horror Film: Of Monsters and Monstrosities
- TFMS 425: Advanced Topics in Film and Media (selected topics only; check with chair for approval)
Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements
Students must earn a grade of C- or better in each course counted towards the major, and maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in these courses.
The St. Mary's Project
All students may apply, usually in the spring of their junior year, to undertake a St. Mary’s Project (SMP). Projects approved by the department will receive eight hours of credit to be counted towards the major. Application deadlines and procedures will be announced each semester. Students contemplating an SMP in another discipline may petition the department to accept this work for elective credit towards their major. All such petitions must be received by the end of Exam Week the semester prior to the commencement of the intended project. See the English Department website for more details.
Degree Requirements for the English Minor
General College Requirements
- General college requirements.
- All requirements in a major field of study other than English.
At least six courses, totaling no less than 22 credit hours, as specified below:
- ENGL 204: Reading and Writing in the Major.
- One 100-or 200-level literature course.
- Four more courses earning ENGL credit.
At least eight credits for the minor must be at the 300 or 400 level.
ENGL101 and 102 may not be counted towards the minor. No more than four credits of guided readings, independent studies, or credit-bearing internships may be counted towards the minor. No more than four credits of approved courses originating in other departments (see 7b., above) may be counted towards the minor.
Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements
A grade of C- or better must be received in each course, and the cumulative grade-point average of courses used to satisfy the minor must be at least 2.0.
Requirements for Teacher Certification
A Master of Arts in Teaching Program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies, and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.
Karen L. Anderson, Robin R. Bates (Emeritus), Elizabeth Charlebois, Ben Click, Jennifer Cognard-Black (Department Chair), Jeffrey Lamar Coleman, Jerry Gabriel, Jeffrey A. Hammond, Colby D. Nelson, Brian P. O’Sullivan, Bruce M. Wilson (Emeritus), Christine A. Wooley, Daniel Yu.