VCU Bulletins

English, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts program in English requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 33 upper-level (numbered 300 to 499) credits in the major. Six of the 33 credits may be taken in upper-level foreign literature read in the original language or upper-level foreign literature in English translation (FLET). UNIV 111 and 112 (or equivalent) and a 200-level literature course (or equivalent) do not count toward the major.

English majors must take a minimum of nine credits at the 400 level, including the senior seminar, ENGL 499. Students may expect 300-level courses in the department to emphasize historical breadth, while 400-level courses will offer in-depth focus. ENGL 410-414, 480-485 and 499 will include British, American or other literatures (world, transatlantic, etc.). For specific topics, see the Schedule of Classes; majors are encouraged to choose 400-level courses from more than one literary tradition (British, American, other literatures).

Degree requirements for English, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Express themselves through written texts.
  • Employ appropriate research tools.
  • Engage texts using various research tools.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (0-6 credits)  
Foreign language (201) by course or placement 0-3
Foreign language (202 or 205) by course or placement 0-3
Major requirements (33 credits)  
ENGL 301 Introduction to the English Major 3
ENGL 499 Senior Seminar in English 3
Linguistics, writing, criticism (select a course from two of the following three areas) 6
ENGL/ANTH/LING 390 Introduction to Linguistics  
ENGL/LING 450 Modern Grammar  
ENGL/LING 451 History of the English Language  
ENGL/GSWS/LING 452 Language and Gender  
ENGL/LING 453 Modern Rhetoric  
ENGL/INTL 454/ANTH 450 Cross-cultural Communication  
ENGL/LING 455/ANTH/FRLG 448 Language, Culture and Cognition  
ENGL/CRJS 302 Legal Writing  
ENGL 303 Writing for Stage and/or Screen  
ENGL 304 Advanced Writing  
ENGL 305 Writing Poetry  
ENGL 307 Writing Fiction  
ENGL 309 Writing Creative Nonfiction  
ENGL 310 Business and Technical Report Writing  
ENGL 367 Writing Process and Practice  
ENGL 388 Writing in the Workplace  
ENGL/TEDU 389 Teaching Writing Skills  
ENGL 433/THEA 426 Advanced Dramatic Writing  
ENGL 435 Advanced Poetry Writing  
ENGL 437 Advanced Fiction Writing  
ENGL 439 Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing  
ENGL 491 Topics in Writing (by specific topic)  
ENGL 311 Introduction to Literary Theory  
ENGL/GSWS 352 Feminist Literary Theory  
ENGL 391 Topics in Literature (by specific topic)  
ENGL 445 Form and Theory of Poetry  
ENGL 447 Form and Theory of Fiction  
ENGL 449 Form and Theory of Creative Nonfiction  
ENGL 485 Literary Theory and Criticism: ____  
Complete 6 credits in literature prior to 1700, 6 credits in literature between 1700 and 1945 and 3 credits in the literature of diversity (No single course may be used to satisfy two of these requirements.)  
Literature prior to 1700 6
ENGL 320 Early Literary Traditions  
ENGL 321 English Drama: 900 to 1642  
ENGL 322 Medieval Literature: Old English to Middle English  
ENGL 324 Late Medieval Literature  
ENGL 325 Early Modern Literature  
ENGL 326 Shakespeare in Context  
ENGL/RELS 361 The Bible as Literature  
ENGL 391 Topics in Literature (by specific topic)  
ENGL 401 Shakespeare  
ENGL 402 Chaucer  
ENGL 403 Milton  
ENGL 410 Medieval Studies: ____  
ENGL 411 Early Modern Studies: ____  
ENGL 480 Authors: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 481 Genres: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 482 Literary Topics: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 483 Literary Texts and Contexts: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 484 Literary Movements: ____ (by specific topic)  
Literature between 1700 and 1945 6
ENGL 330 Restoration and 18th-century Drama  
ENGL 331 Restoration and 18th-century Literature  
ENGL 332 18th-century British Novels and Narratives  
ENGL 335 British Literature of the Romantic Era  
ENGL 336 19th-century British Novels and Narratives  
ENGL 337 Victorian Poetry  
ENGL 340 Early 20th-century British Literature  
ENGL 371 American Literary Beginnings  
ENGL 372 U.S. Literature: 1820-1865  
ENGL 373 U.S. Literature: 1865-1913  
ENGL 374 U.S. Literature: Modernism  
ENGL 377 19th-century U.S. Novels and Narratives  
ENGL 391 Topics in Literature (by specific topic)  
ENGL 412 18th-century Studies: ____  
ENGL 413 19th-century Studies: ____  
ENGL 480 Authors: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 481 Genres: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 482 Literary Topics: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 483 Literary Texts and Contexts: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 484 Literary Movements: ____ (by specific topic)  
AMST 391 Topics in American Studies (by specific topic)  
AMST 394 Perspectives in American Studies (by specific topic)  
Literature of diversity 3
ENGL/GSWS 353 Women Writers  
ENGL/GSWS 354 Lesbian Text/Queer Theories  
ENGL 363/AFAM 363/INTL 366 African Literature  
ENGL 364 Mythology and Folklore  
ENGL 365/AFAM 365/INTL 367 Caribbean Literature  
ENGL 366 Writing and Social Change: ____  
ENGL/AFAM 379 African-American Literature  
ENGL 381 Multiethnic Literature  
ENGL 391 Topics in Literature (by specific topic)  
ENGL 480 Authors: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 481 Genres: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 482 Literary Topics: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 483 Literary Texts and Contexts: ____ (by specific topic)  
ENGL 484 Literary Movements: ____ (by specific topic)  
Required electives/optional focus (6 to 9 credits) 6-9
As part of the English major, electives allow students to take courses of particular interest to them. Electives may not be used to satisfy any other requirements for the major, except ENGL 499. In consultation with an adviser, students are encouraged to cluster their elective courses in one of the following focus areas.
  • Literary studies (including courses grouped by historical period, genre, region, national and minority traditions, thematics, literary movement, literary influence, etc.)
  • Writing (including both expository and creative writing)
  • Criticism and theory (including approaches to literature, form and theory courses, etc.)
  • Cultural studies (including courses that focus on race, class, gender, ethnicity, film, popular culture, etc.)
  • Linguistics (including courses that focus on history of the language, cross-cultural communications, etc.)
Students are advised to consult the full listing and description of English courses before planning their elective courses.
Open electives (35-55 credits) 35-55
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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