BA with a Major in English

Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from UIC, students must complete university, college, and department degree requirements. The Major in English requires a minimum of 27 semester hours, as outlined below. Students should consult the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies. Students are encouraged to seek advising each semester from the English major advisor in LAS.

Summary of Requirements
Major Requirements (minimum 27 hours)
• Core Requirements9
• Selective Upper-Level Writing Requirement3-6
• Selective Concentration Requirements a9-33
One concentration: 9-15 hours
Two concentrations: 15-24 hours
Three concentrations: 21-33 hours
• English Electives b0-6
General Education and Electives to Reach Minimum Total Hours72-93
Total Hours120

General Education

See General Education and Writing-in-the-Discipline in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section for information on meeting these requirements.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements

All English majors must complete the following courses with a grade of C or better.

Required Courses
ENGL 207Interpretation and Critical Analysis a3
ENGL 208English Studies I: Beginnings to the 17th Century3
ENGL 209English Studies II: 17th Century to Today3
Total Hours9

Selective Upper-Level Writing Requirement

Required Courses
Select one of the following: a3-6
ENGL 451
English as Public Practice
Campus Writing Consultants
The Teaching of Writing in Middle and Secondary Schools b
Advanced Writing of Nonfiction Prose c
Internship in Nonfiction Writing d
Portfolio Practicum d
Senior Thesis e
Total Hours3-6

Selective Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Complete at least one of the concentrations listed below. Students must complete at least one and can complete as many as three concentrations. a9-33
One Concentration: 9-15 hours
Two Concentrations: 15-24 hours
Three Concentrations: 21-33 hours
No more than 3 hours in a given concentration may be taken at the 100 or 200 level, and at least 3 hours must be at the 400 level. b
Creative Writing and Professional Writing and Publishing concentrations have specific course requirements.
Some overlap is allowed if a student is pursuing multiple concentrations: students with two concentrations can count one course toward both concentrations; students completing three concentrations can double count two courses, but each of these courses may count toward no more than two concentrations.
Total Hours9-33
Concentrations 
  1. Literatures in English
  2. Creative Writing (Fiction, Poetry, or Nonfiction)
  3. Film, Media, Performance, and Pop Culture
  4. Professional Writing and Publishing
  5. Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Multiethnic English Studies
  6. Rhetoric, Public Engagement, and Language Studies

Courses approved for each concentration are listed below. Any course not listed under a concentration may only count as an elective. In certain cases, students may petition the Office of Undergraduate Studies to have courses and independent studies count toward a concentration. Students may petition the Office of Undergraduate Studies to have up to one course from another department count toward the major or a concentration. Students also may petition the Office of Undergraduate Studies to design their own concentration.

For more information, see the catalog Course Descriptions or the Department of English websiteStudents should consult the General Education section of the catalog to determine if any of the courses on these lists are approved for General Education.

Literatures in English

Select three of the following, according to the guidelines listed above:9
Understanding Literature and Culture
Understanding Poetry
Understanding Drama
English and American Fiction
Introduction to African American Literature, 1760-1910
Introduction to African American Literature Since 1910
Introduction to Asian American Literature
ENGL 175
Understanding the Bible as Literature
Introduction to Shakespeare
Introduction to Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
ENGL 236
Young Adult Fiction
Graphic Novels
ENGL 238
Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Women and Literature
Literature and Environment
Comparative Black Literatures
Reading Black Women Writing
Black Cultural Studies
ENGL 264
Introduction to Native American Literatures
The Harlem Renaissance
Topics in African Literature
Introduction to U.S. Latinx Literature
Introduction to Multiethnic Literatures in the United States
Latino Literary Studies
Studies in Poetry
Studies in Drama
Studies in Fiction
Medieval English Literature
Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Literature
Major Plays of Shakespeare
Milton
Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
British Romantic Literature
Victorian Literature
Post-War British Literature: 1945-1980
ENGL 322
Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
American Literature to the 20th Century
20th and 21st Century American Literature
ENGL 329
Literatures in English Other than English and American
Studies in Literature and Popular Culture
ENGL 340
Literary Theory
ENGL 346
History of Literary Criticism
ENGL 347
Gender and Sexuality in Literature
Topics in Black Art and Literature
ENGL 367
Latinx Literature
ENGL 368
Asian American Literature
ENGL 369
Multiethnic American Literature
ENGL 376
Literature and Religion
ENGL 378
Special Topics in English Studies
ENGL 406
Topics in Poetry and Poetic Theory
ENGL 407
Topics in Fiction and Theories of Fiction
Topics in Literature and Culture
ENGL 410
Topics in Old English Literature
Topics in Medieval Literature
ENGL 412
Topics in Renaissance Literature
Topics in Shakespeare
ENGL 414
Topics in Restoration and Eighteenth-century Literature and Culture
ENGL 415
Topics in Romantic Literature and Culture
ENGL 418
Topics in Victorian Literature
Topics in Postcolonial and World Literature in English
ENGL 423
Topics in Literary Nonfiction Prose
Topics in American Literature and Culture to the 20th Century
Topics in 20th and 21st Century American Literature and Culture
Topics in Popular Culture and Literature
Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Topics in Criticism and Theory
ENGL 447
Women's Literary Traditions
ENGL 458
History of the English Language
Topics in Multiethnic Literatures in the United States
Topics in Latinx Literature
ENGL 468
Topics in Asian American Literature
Topics in Black Literature
ENGL 475
The Bible as Literature: The Hebrew Bible
ENGL 476
The Bible as Literature: The New Testament
Total Hours9

 Creative Writing (Fiction, Poetry, or Nonfiction)

Select one category within the concentration and take both courses. Students are also required to repeat the 400-level course, for a total of 9 hours in the concentration.9
Poetry
Introduction to the Writing of Poetry
Advanced Writing of Poetry
Fiction
Introduction to the Writing of Fiction
Advanced Writing of Fiction
Nonfiction
Introduction to the Writing of Nonfiction Prose
Advanced Writing of Nonfiction Prose a
Total Hours9

Film, Media, Performance, and Pop Culture 

Select three of the following, according to the guidelines listed above:9
Understanding Drama
Understanding Moving Image Arts
Understanding Film
Understanding Popular Genres and Culture
Introduction to Asian Film
Introduction to Film and Culture
History of Film I: 1890 to World War II
History of Film II: World War II to the Present
History of Television
ENGL 236
Young Adult Fiction
Graphic Novels
ENGL 238
Speculative Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Black Cultural Studies
Media and Professional Writing
Studies in Drama
ENGL 330
Cultural and Media Studies
ENGL 331
Studies in the Moving Image
Studies in Literature and Popular Culture
ENGL 340
Literary Theory
ENGL 344
Gender Theory
ENGL 345
Queer Theory
ENGL 346
History of Literary Criticism
ENGL 347
Gender and Sexuality in Literature
ENGL 350
Disability Studies
ENGL 376
Literature and Religion
Writing Digital and New Media
ENGL 404
Topics in Performance Studies
Topics in Literature and Culture
Topics in Cultural and Media Studies
Topics in Popular Culture and Literature
Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Topics in Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Topics in Criticism and Theory
ENGL 449
Women and Film
ENGL 450
Topics in Disability Studies
Playwriting
Total Hours9

Professional Writing and Publishing 

Required Course
ENGL 280Media and Professional Writing3
Select two of the following:6
Advanced Professional Writing
Editing and Publishing
Writing Digital and New Media
Technical Writing
ENGL 388
Writing for the Health Professions
Writing for Community Advocacy and Activism
Select one of the following:3-6
Internship in Nonfiction Writing
Portfolio Practicum
Total Hours12-15

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Multiethnic English Studies

Select three of the following, according to the guidelines listed above.9
Introduction to African American Literature, 1760-1910
Introduction to African American Literature Since 1910
Introduction to Asian Film
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Women and Literature
ENGL 258
The Grammar and Style of Non-Standard Englishes in the U.S.
Comparative Black Literatures
Reading Black Women Writing
Black Cultural Studies
ENGL 264
Introduction to Native American Literatures
The Harlem Renaissance
Topics in African Literature
Introduction to Multiethnic Literatures in the United States
Latino Literary Studies
ENGL 344
Gender Theory
ENGL 345
Queer Theory
ENGL 347
Gender and Sexuality in Literature
ENGL 350
Disability Studies
Topics in Black Art and Literature
ENGL 367
Latinx Literature
ENGL 368
Asian American Literature
ENGL 369
Multiethnic American Literature
Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Literature
Topics in Theories of Gender and Sexuality
ENGL 447
Women's Literary Traditions
ENGL 449
Women and Film
ENGL 450
Topics in Disability Studies
Topics in Multiethnic Literatures in the United States
Topics in Latinx Literature
ENGL 468
Topics in Asian American Literature
Topics in Black Literature
Total Hours9

Rhetoric, Public Engagement, and Language Studies

Select three of the following, according to the guidelines listed above:9
Understanding Rhetoric
English Grammar and Style
ENGL 253
Environmental Rhetoric
ENGL 258
The Grammar and Style of Non-Standard Englishes in the World in the U.S.
Media and Professional Writing
Peer Tutoring in the Writing Center: Introduction to Theory and Practice
Studies in the Classical Tradition
ENGL 330
Cultural and Media Studies
ENGL 340
Literary Theory
ENGL 344
Gender Theory
ENGL 345
Queer Theory
ENGL 346
History of Literary Criticism
ENGL 350
Disability Studies
ENGL 354
Rhetorical Studies
ENGL 355
Rhetoric and Public Life
Argument and Persuasion
Advanced Professional Writing
Writing Digital and New Media
Writing for Community Advocacy and Activism
Topics in Cultural and Media Studies
Topics in Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Topics in Criticism and Theory
ENGL 450
Topics in Disability Studies
ENGL 451
English as Public Practice
ENGL 452
The Freshwater Lab
ENGL 453
The Freshwater Lab Internship Course
ENGL 454
Rhetoric
ENGL 455
Topics in Rhetorical Studies
ENGL 456
Topics in Language and Rhetoric
ENGL 457
Topics in the English Language and Linguistics
ENGL 458
History of the English Language
Discourse and Rhetoric
Campus Writing Consultants
Total Hours9

English Electives to Complete Minimum Major Hours

Electives
Students must complete a minimum of 27 hours toward the major. If the student is pursuing only one concentration in the major, then additional course work may be required to reach this minimum. No more than 3 hours of elective course work can be at the 100 level. Students completing multiple concentrations should reach the 27-hour minimum, in which case no additional electives are needed. 0-6
Total Hours0-6

Upper -Level Course Requirement

Students must take at least two courses at the 300 level or above.

U.S. Social and Cultural Diversity Distribution Requirement

Over the course of the program, all English majors must complete one course in U.S. Social and Cultural Diversity. Students should consult the General Education section of the catalog to determine if any of the courses on this list are approved for General Education

U.S. Social and Cultural Diversity Course List

ENGL 118Introduction to African American Literature, 1760-19103
ENGL 119Introduction to African American Literature Since 19103
ENGL 123Introduction to Asian American Literature3
ENGL 135Understanding Popular Genres and Culture3
ENGL 223Introduction to Colonial and Postcolonial Literature3
ENGL 229Introduction to Asian Film3
ENGL 245Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Literature3
ENGL 247Women and Literature3
ENGL 258The Grammar and Style of Non-Standard Englishes in the U.S.
ENGL 260Comparative Black Literatures3
ENGL 261Reading Black Women Writing3
ENGL 262Black Cultural Studies3
ENGL 264Introduction to Native American Literatures
ENGL 265The Harlem Renaissance3
ENGL 266Topics in African Literature3
ENGL 267Introduction to U.S. Latinx Literature3
ENGL 269Introduction to Multiethnic Literatures in the United States3
ENGL 295Latino Literary Studies3
ENGL 322Colonial and Postcolonial Literature
ENGL 329Literatures in English Other than English and American
ENGL 330Cultural and Media Studies
ENGL 335Studies in Literature and Popular Culture3
ENGL 344Gender Study
ENGL 345Queer Theory
ENGL 347Gender and Sexuality in Literature
ENGL 350Disability Studies
ENGL 351Topics in Black Art and Literature3
ENGL 367Latinx Literature
ENGL 368Asian American Literature
ENGL 369Multiethnic American Literature
ENGL 409Topics in Literature and Culture3
ENGL 422Topics in Postcolonial and World Literature in English3
ENGL 430Topics in Cultural and Media Studies3
ENGL 435Topics in Popular Culture and Literature3
ENGL 443Topics in Gender, Sexuality and Literature3
ENGL 444Topics in Theories of Gender and Sexuality3
ENGL 447Women's Literary Traditions
ENGL 449Women and Film
ENGL 450Topics in Disability Studies
ENGL 466Topics in Multiethnic Literatures in the United States3
ENGL 467Topics in Latinx Literature3
ENGL 468Topics in Asian American Literature and Culture
ENGL 473Topics in Black Literature3

Recommended Plan of Study

Courses which satisfy concentrations, distributions, and/or English electives should be chosen in consultation with an English Department advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3-5
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3-5
 Hours13-17
Spring Semester
ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research 3
ENGL 207 Interpretation and Critical Analysis 3
ENGL 1xx 3
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3-5
 Hours16-18
Second Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 208 English Studies I: Beginnings to the 17th Century 3
ENGL 2xx, 3xx 3
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3-5
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours16-18
Spring Semester
ENGL 209 English Studies II: 17th Century to Today 3
ENGL 1xx, 2xx, 3xx 3
Foreign Language 4
General Education Requirement course 3
General Education Requirement course 3
 Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 2xx, 3xx 3
ENGL 2xx, 3xx 3
General Education Requirement course 3
General Education Requirement course/Elective 3
Electives 3
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 2xx, 3xx, 4xx 3
ENGL 2xx, 3xx, 4xx 3
General Education Requirement course/Elective 3
Electives 6
 Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
ENGL 3xx, 4xx 3
Electives 12
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 3xx, 4xx 3
Electives 11-12
 Hours14-15
 Total Hours120

Note: One course from another department other than English may count toward the major. Students may petition the Office of Undergraduate Studies to apply this credit.