English

English Major

The Department of English offers an undergraduate major that allows students to choose one of four concentrations: Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism and Professional Writing, or Theatre Arts. Each concentration requires specific foundation courses that prepare students for advanced study; students then select specialized courses that complement this core and allow for exploration of individual interests. All majors in the Department fulfill a diverse literary traditions requirement as part of their program of study. For additional information visit the English Department or contact us.

To graduate, all English majors must earn a minimum of 120 credits appropriately distributed:

  1. General Education requirements (33-38 credits) which all University students must fulfill; 
  2. English Department requirements (maximum 45 credits); and 
  3. Requirements which you must fulfill as a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.At least 75 credits must be for courses taken outside of the English Department. Students who complete double majors must present 48 credits outside the two concentrations.

Concentrations

Literature Concentration

The Literature concentration prepares students for graduate work in literary and cultural studies as well as for careers in teaching and other related fields. The curriculum introduces students to the major critical approaches in literary study and to the history of British and American literature. The capstone provides a culminating opportunity to complete a substantial research project on a topic of the student's choice. Those who know teaching is of interest may wish to explore UMass Lowell's Fast Track to Teaching Program. This option allows students to complete the bachelor's and master's degrees in a total of five years.

Courses in the Literature Concentration include:

Three foundations courses (9 credits):

42.200 Critical Methods of Literary Inquiry
42.281 British Literary Traditions
42.282 American Literary Traditions

One of the following Theory/Rhetoric/Language courses is required (3 credits):

42.307 History of the English Language
42.308 Analysis of Modern English
42.315 Old English Language and Literature
42.377 Theories of Rhetoric and Composition
42.388 Seminar on Teaching Writing
42.429 Introduction to Literary Theory
or other approved English course

One of the following is required (3 credits):

42.423 Shakespeare 1
or  
42.424 Shakespeare 2

Six upper level literature electives are required including 3 courses that meet specific period requirements (18 credits):

(Lists of approved courses for period categories may be found in the Literature Advisement Report in ISIS.)

One capstone course is required (3 credits):

The capstone is meant to provide a culminating activity, providing majors with an opportunity to complete a substantial research project.  Students should discuss their research interests with their academic advisor to plan ahead for the capstone.  Choose one of the following:

42.401 Selected Authors
42.479 Senior Seminar
42.491 Directed Study in Literature

A complete course of study is listed in the Literature Concentration Curriculum Checksheet.

Creative Writing Concentration

Students who enter the Creative Writing concentration learn, hands-on, about craft, genre, and audience. The course sequence requires an introduction to creative writing, coursework that focuses on acquiring the various skills of different forms of writing, and a capstone that generally entails producing a large body of work. Ultimately, the goal of the concentration is to prepare the student for life as a writer beyond the classroom.

Courses in the Creative Writing Concentration:

Two foundation courses are required and must be completed before taking any advanced writing courses (6 credits):

42.200 Critical Methods of Literary Inquiry
42.238 Introduction to Creative Writing

One 200-level Genre/Traditions course (students may take only one of these to fulfill this requirement – 3 credits):

42.201 Great Books of Antiquity
42.202 Great Books Modern
42.210 Drama
42.211 Poetry
42.212 Short Story
42.218 Comedy
42.281 British Literary Traditions
42.282 American Literary Traditions

One of the following is required (3 credits):

42.423 Shakespeare 1
or
42.424 Shakespeare 2

Four upper level creative writing electives are required (12 credits):

(Lists of approved courses may be found in the Creative Writing Advisement Report in ISIS):

Three 300/400 level literature courses (any 300 or 400 level literature course qualifies – 9 credits).

One capstone course is required (3 credits):

42.401 Selected Authors
42.490/493 Directed Study in Writing/Creative Writing
42.450 Creative Writing workshop

A complete course of study is listed in the: 
Creative Writing Concentration Curriculum Checksheet for Fall 2013 and after.

Creative Writing Concentration Curriculum Checksheet for Fall 2010 Spring 2013.

Journalism and Professional Writing Concentration

In this concentration, students will learn how to write for an audience as a journalist or a writer in other professional contexts. The course sequence requires an introduction to professional writing, coursework that focuses on learning different modes of professional writing, and a capstone project that generally involves writing in a professional setting, often as an internship. Ultimately, the goal of the concentration is to prepare students for writing situations and challenges beyond the classroom.

Courses in the Journalism and Professional Writing Concentration:

One foundation course is required and must be completed before taking any advanced writing courses (3 credits): 

42.227 Essay Writing for English Majors

A 200-level Genre/Traditions course (students may take only one of these to fulfill this requirement – 3 credits):

42.201 Great Books of Antiquity
42.202 Great Books Modern
42.210 Drama
42.211 Poetry
42.212 Short Story
42.218 Comedy
42.281 British Literary Traditions
42.282 American Literary Traditions

One of the following Theory/Composition/Language courses is required (3 credits):

42.307 History of the English Language
42.308 Analysis of Modern English
42.315 Old English Language and Literature
42.377 Theories of Rhetoric and Composition
42.388 Seminar on Teaching Writing
42.429 Introduction to Literary Theory
or other approved English course

One of the following is required (3 credits): 

42.423 Shakespeare 1
or
42.424 Shakespeare 2

Five approved upper level writing electives are required (15 credits):

(Lists of approved courses may be found in the Creative Writing Advisement Report in ISIS).

Two 300/400 level literature courses (any 300 or 400 level literature course qualifies – 6 credits).

One capstone course is required (3 credits):

42.496 Practicum
42.406 Community Writing 2
42.490 Directed Studies in Writing

A complete course of study is listed in the Journalism and Professional Writing Concentration Curriculum Checksheet.

Theatre Arts Concentration

The Theatre Arts Concentration prepares students for graduate study in theatre and drama and for careers in the professional theatre, the entertainment industry, and many other fields. Training in theatre produces well-rounded students with strong analytical and communication skills who work well as a team and under pressure - abilities that many employers in business and industry also look for in the people they hire. The program includes coursework in dramatic literature and theatre history, acting, directing, design, playwriting, and technical theatre. Students are encouraged to concentrate a substantial portion of their upper-level coursework within a particular area of their choice - for example: performance, writing/dramaturgy, or design/tech. For outstanding students, internships as part of the Theatre Arts Program's annual Production Team are available on a competitive basis.

Courses in the Theatre Arts Concentration:

Three 200-level foundation courses are required (9 credits):

42.233 Play Analysis
42.281 British Literary Traditions
42.282 American Literary Traditions

ONE of the following courses in Shakespeare is required (3 credits):

42.423 Shakespeare 1
or
42.424 Shakespeare 2

At least 3 CREDITS in Production courses are required (3 credits):

THEA.311 Play Production (may be repeated for credit) 

SEVEN approved Theatre Arts electives must be distributed among the following FOUR areas (21 credits):

Dramatic literature / theatre history at the 300 or 400 level (min. 6 credits):

(Lists of approved courses may be found in the Theatre Arts Advisement Report in ISIS.)

Performance (Acting and Directing) (min. 3 credits)

(Lists of approved courses may be found in the Theatre Arts Advisement Report in ISIS.)

Creative electives (min. 3 credits)

42.304 Creative Writing: Playwriting
42.367 Creative Writing: Playwriting II
THEA.230 Foundations of Theatrical Design
THEA.340 Directing Workshop
THEA.401 Topics in Theatre: Dramaturgy

Technical theatre (min. 3 credits)

THEA.211 Stagecraft
THEA.311 Play Production (may be repeated)

ONE capstone course is required (1-3 credits):

THEA.492 Technical Theatre Practicum
THEA.494 Directed Study in Theatre
THEA.495 Senior Seminar in Theatre

A complete course of study is listed in the Theatre Arts Concentration Curriculum Checksheet.