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Major Requirements

UB English student

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Full Major in English

Minimum Requirements for Department Acceptance

Students should be in good standing (i.e., have a GPA of 2.0), and have satisfied the University Writing Skills requirement.

Application includes a conference with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about the program's requirements and how the student may meet them.

Department Requirements for Graduation

1.     One 200-level survey course (ENG 221 World Literature, ENG 231 British Writers 1, ENG 232 British Writers 2, ENG 241 American Writers, ENG 242 American Writers 2)

2.     Two additional 200-level courses (202-299)

3.     Ten courses (30 credits) on the 300-400 level, as follows:

a)     One course (3 credits) in Criticism – English 301. Criticism introduces the students to the practice and principles of literary criticism. Classes will discuss the close reading of texts (including poetry, prose, and analytical writing), the intelligent use of secondary sources, the revision of critical prose, the meaning of scholarly conventions, and several varieties of literary theory. Topics vary with instructors’ interests, but in all sections students will draft and revise a research paper of at least twelve pages. Criticism may not fulfill any other requirements for the major.

b)    Four courses (12 credits) in Earlier Literature (literature written before 1800), chosen from among specified courses that focus on literature written before 1800.

c)     One course (3 credits) in Breadth of Literary Study, chosen from among specified upper-level English courses that are grounded in perspectives or experience outside the literary mainstream.

d)    Four additional (elective) courses: one in the ENG 200-ENG 400 level, two in the ENG 300-ENG 400 level, and one at the ENG 400 level; neither an internship nor an independent study will satisfy this requirement.

13 courses (39 credits) in all.

Joint Major in English

Minimum Requirements for Department Acceptance

Same as for the full major.

Department Requirements for Graduation

Approval by both departments.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Completion of the university writing skills requirement.

1.     One 200-level survey course (ENG 221 World Literature, ENG 231 British Writers 1, ENG 232 British Writers 2, ENG 241 American Writers, ENG 242 American Writers 2)

2.     Two additional 200-level courses (202-299)

3.     Seven courses on the 300-400 level, as follows:

a)     One course (3 credits) in Criticism – English 301. Criticism introduces the students to the practice and principles of literary criticism. Classes will discuss the close reading of texts (including poetry, prose, and analytical writing), the intelligent use of secondary sources, the revision of critical prose, the meaning of scholarly conventions, and several varieties of literary theory. Topics vary with instructors’ interests, but in all sections students will draft and revise a research paper of at least twelve pages. Criticism may not fulfill any other requirements for the major.

b)     Three courses (9 credits) in Earlier Literature (literature written before 1800), chosen from among specified courses that focus on literature written before 1800.

c)     One course (3 credits) in Breadth of Literary Study, chosen from among specified upper-level English courses that are grounded in perspectives or experience outside the literary mainstream.

d)     Two additional (elective) courses (6 credits): one in the ENG 300-ENG 400 level, and one in the ENG 400 level; neither an internship nor an independent study will satisfy this requirement.

10 courses (30 credits) in all.

General Recommendations

  1. Literature Surveys. Students entering the University as freshmen are encouraged to take a full year of a 200-level survey course to satisfy the major requirement. The survey courses (221-2, 231-2, 241-2) provide students with a sense of literary history that serves as context for what they will study within the major. Transfer students or students who decide on the English major after taking their 200-level courses may wish to take more than the required four earlier literature courses if their 200-level courses were not surveys. Those planning to take the GRE in Literature and pursue English at the graduate level are strongly urged to take as much coursework as possible in the literature of historical periods before 1900.
  2. Foreign Languages. While any language, ancient or modern, satisfies the departmental language requirement, the preferred choices for those planning to do graduate work in the humanities are German, French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek.
  3. Program Planning. Individual programs should be chosen in a coherent way and should take advantage of groupings and concentrations within the Major.
  4. Department Advisement and Degree Evaluation. Students should consult with the Undergraduate Director in 303 Clemens about course selection and progress toward the degree.
  5. Transfer Credit Evaluation. Transfer credit is evaluated on an individual basis by the Undergraduate Director. Students should make an appointment at the earliest possible date for such an evaluation. Students transferring from MFC or who are re-entering after several years absence should also consult with the Undergraduate Director for an evaluation of their English work. The Department may accept two lower-level and four upper-level transfer courses at the Director’s discretion.

Contact Us

Associate Professor of English Randy Schiff

Randy Schiff

Associate Professor; Director of Undergraduate Studies

427 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-0688

Email: rpschiff@buffalo.edu

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Nicole Lazaro

Undergraduate Secretary

Undergraduate Office

303 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-2579

Email: nmlazaro@buffalo.edu