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English Major


The Department of English offers an undergraduate major that allows students to choose one of four concentrations:

  • Literature Concentration
  • Creative Writing Concentration
  • Journalism and Professional Writing Concentration
  • Theatre Arts Concentration

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.

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

  1. Core Curriculum requirements (33-38 credits), which all university students must fulfill;
  2. English Department requirements (maximum 54 credits); and
  3. Requirements you must fulfill as a student in the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. At least 66 credits must be for courses taken outside of the English Department.

Literature Concentration

The Literature Concentration introduces students to the major critical and theoretical approaches in literary study and to the history of British and American literature, as well as diverse literatures in English. Students have several options for completing their capstone in Literature, including an advanced seminar in a chosen area of focus, a substantial research project on a topic of the student's choice, or an internship experience. Students in the Literature concentration develop and strengthen adaptable skills in close reading, critical thinking, research, and writing that serve graduates well as they pursue a range of careers in teaching, business, non-profit work, government, and editing and publishing, among other areas. Graduates also go on to advanced graduate study in English, education, and law school.

Creative Writing Concentration

The Creative Writing concentration invites students to participate in UMass Lowell’s vibrant community of writers. The concentration offers English Majors a theory-and-practice approach to various literary genres with emphasis on elements of craft. Sequenced courses in the reading and writing of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction engage students in critical evaluation of their own work and the work of significant modern and contemporary writers in a workshop setting. The concentration’s progressively rigorous course of study is designed for students wishing to mature as artists among like-minded peers and with guidance from a distinguished faculty. Ultimately, the concentration aims to prepare students for the exacting demands and exciting possibilities of a writing life.

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 concentration requires Introduction to Professional Writing (ENGL.2390), coursework that focuses on learning different modes of professional writing, and a portfolio that showcases writing for a public audience. The concentration encourages experiential learning, often in the form of an internship or writing for student publications. Ultimately, the goal of the concentration is to prepare students for writing situations and challenges beyond the classroom.

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.

View all the complete Degree Pathways.

For additional information contact the English Department.