English Major

There are many different ways to pursue an English major, based on students' interests and career goals.

  1. All students must first complete the EN 0011 and EN 0012 core curriculum sequence. All of the major requirements are in addition to EN 0011 and EN 0012.
  2. All English majors must complete the department core curriculum of five English literature classes The five English literature courses can include the 100-level literature course required by of the core curriculum.
  3. All English majors must complete a concentration of five additional courses. Students select the concentration in consultation with their department academic advisor.

After completing EN 0011 and EN 0012, most majors begin the program by taking a 100-level literature class that also counts as their final English core course. With instructor permission, they may take a 200-level literature course instead of the 100-level.

Note: Students may use only one 100-level course to fulfill the requirements of the English major. They then take four additional literature courses at the 200 or 300 level. At least one course must be at the 300 level.

Of the five literature courses in the department core curriculum, at least two must be centered in the years before 1800 and at least one must be centered in the years after 1800. The historical period is listed in the catalog using the attributes E_BF (before 1800) and E_AF (after 1800).

For a 30-credit major in English, students complete the following:

Select five courses in English literature, including:15
No more than one 100-level course
At least one 300-level course
Select an English Concentration from the list below15
Total Credits30


All English majors must select one of the Department's six concentrations. The coursework is in addition to the university core and department core courses. The concentrations are:

All concentrations include at least one ENW writing course (not including Internship or Independent Study) and a capstone experience. Students are allowed to complete more than one concentration; the second concentration will be listed as an academic minor on a student's transcript for graduation.

Concentration in Literature

The Literature concentration is designed for students interested in a challenging and stimulating study of literature and culture. It offers a rich reading experience in important and influential works of literature as well as a study of theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches that move beyond national and canonical boundaries. Students learn to interpret texts within the sociohistorical contexts of their production and reception. They will therefore acquire knowledge in a number of theoretical frameworks  (e.g., historical materialism, post structuralism, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, queer studies, race and ethnic studies, and critical theory). Students completing the concentration are able to offer a historically grounded and rigorous critique of global formations that structure literature, culture, and the self. The concentration prepares students for a variety of careers as well as for graduate or professional school.

Introductory Courses
EN 0351Literary Theory3
or EN 0352 Cultural Studies Theory
Specialized Courses
Select one English Literature (EN) course at the 200 or 300 level3
Select one English Writing (ENW) course3
Select one English literature course cross-listed with an Interdisciplinary Program 13
Capstone Experience
EN 0390Literature Capstone3
Total Credits15

Concentration in Creative Writing

The Creative Writing concentration seeks to develop writers in various genres, including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and drama, as well as writers who wish to express themselves in more than one genre. The concentration is both rigorous and flexible to student needs, by offering a wide variety of classes in various genres and at various levels, and by allowing students to follow their own interests. In addition to preparing students to write creatively, the Concentration also prepares students to go into the field of publishing and editing by offering a sequence of publishing classes. In conjunction with publishing, students may elect to work on our national literary magazine, Dogwood.

Introductory Courses
Select two courses from the following:6
Creative Writing
Creative Writing: Poetry I
Creative Writing: Drama
Creative Writing: Fiction I
Creative Writing: Nonfiction I
Intermediate Courses
Select at least one course from the following:3
Creative Writing: Poetry II
Creative Writing: Fiction II
Creative Writing: Nonfiction II
Specialized Courses
Select at least one course from the following: 23
Themes in Creative Writing
Form and Theory of Creative Writing
World of Publishing I
Special Topics in Writing (Shell)
Capstone Experience
Select at least one course from the following:3
Independent Writing Project
Advanced Portfolio Workshop
Total Credits15

Concentration in English Studies

The concentration in English Studies provides students with special interests the opportunity to create a customized program of studies across literary genres, various writing concentrations and literacy studies in consultation with their adviser. Students might put together a coherent package of literature courses of their own choosing, mix and match writing courses in different concentrations, or combine relevant literature and writing course work. All department core requirements must still be met; at least one course must be in writing (other than Internship or Independent Study).

Select four courses in consultation with the concentration advisor12
Capstone Experience
Select at least one of the following:3
Independent Writing Project
Literature Capstone
Independent Study
Total Credits15

Concentration in Journalism

Note: Starting with the Class of 2019, students must pursue a Digital Journalism major if they are interested in the subject area. Students in the Class of 2018 or earlier may choose to pursue the new major or the five-course Journalism concentration.

The journalism concentration is designed for students interested in strengthening their news gathering, reporting, and writing skills. Many students in this concentration pursue careers as writers, editors, and reporters at web sites, newspapers, magazines, radio/television stations, web sites, and marketing and publishing companies. Students interested in careers in public relations and marketing especially find it useful.

Introductory Courses
ENW 0220News Writing3
ENW 0221News Writing II: Digital Design3
Specialized Courses
Select at least one of the following:3
Journalism Editing and Design
Writing the Feature Story
Big Data Storytelling
Issues in News Writing
Literary Journalism
Capstone Experience
Select at least one of the following:3
Journalism Practicum
Select one additional ENW course3
Total Credits15

Concentration in Professional Writing

The professional writing concentration is designed for students who want to strengthen their writing and speaking skills as preparation for careers in business, the non-profit sector, legal studies, government, public relations, fundraising, politics, or education. Courses in this concentration focus on using writing and communication to make information accessible, usable, and relevant to a variety of audiences. Students develop advanced writing/composing skills using a wide variety of media, for a wide variety of disciplines and digital environments. Internships are available to students in the professional writing concentration, including placements in corporate communication, grant writing, advertising, marketing, technical writing, and the mass media.

Introductory Course
ENW 0332Business Writing3
Specialized Courses
Select at least two of the following:6
Professional Presentations: Writing and Delivery
Journalism Editing and Design
Teaching and Learning Grammar
Technical Writing
Issues in Professional Writing (e.g., Multimedia Composition)
Persuasive Writing
Grant and Proposal Writing
Capstone Experience
ENW 0345/0346Internship3
Select one additional ENW course3
Total Credits15

Concentration in Teacher Education

This concentration is designed both for students who plan to enroll in the 5-Year BA/MA program in teacher education at Fairfield University and for students who seek other teaching positions, such as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant or a Teach for America Fellow. It prepares students with content knowledge needed for the Praxis exam, student teaching, and a career in teaching. Qualified students who minor or major in the Teacher Education concentration in the English Department are given preferred admission status in graduate programs in Elementary Education and Secondary Education in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

EN 0141Imagining Shakespeare3
or EN 0213 Shakespeare I
or EN 0214 Shakespeare II
ENW 0311Teaching and Writing3
ENW 0317Teaching and Learning Grammar3
Select one EN 200- or 300-level course in American literature3
Select one EN 200- or 300-level course in British literature3
Total Credits15

Recommended Courses 

Students are encouraged to select one or more of the following:
A course on African American literature (e.g. EN 0105, EN 0262, EN 0263, EN 0264)
A course on Latino/a literature (e.g. EN 0282)
A course on world literature (e.g. EN 0102, EN 0111, EN 0113, EN 0114, EN 0274, EN 0375)
Literacy and Language
Contemporary Children's Literature
Writing and Responding

The EN courses listed above may also be used as English Core courses.


Students who enroll in the five-year BA/MA program take their capstone course as student teaching at the end of the MA program. Students who do not enroll in the five-year program take at least one of the following: ENW 0345ENW 0346, or EN 0399.