Reflecting the dynamic and diverse content of English studies, LMU's English major emphasizes both breadth and depth. Within this context, each student majoring in English explores diverse approaches to writing and to literary scholarship; defines and pursues a specialization relevant to personal interests and professional goals; connects the study of English and human experience in the material world; and integrates the English major within the education of her or his whole person.




English majors know:
• The discipline of English
• The history of literatures in English
• The art of literary invention
• The diversity of literatures in English
• Literary modes and genres
• Authors and movements

English majors are able:
• To read closely, critically, historically, theoretically
• To write critically and creatively
• To learn through inquiry
• To take responsibility for their own education
• To wield the power of the word
• To value the impact of language

LOWER DIVISION REQUIREMENTS (each course = 4 units)

A grade of C (2.0) is required in each lower division course before qualifying for upper division status as an English major. Students transferring into the Department after their sophomore year may enroll in upper division courses in the major concurrently with lower division courses.

GENRES (2 courses)
On completing these courses, students will understand the ways in which their chosen genres organize verbal discourse and contribute to the meaning of texts; they will understand the ways in which genres offer horizons of expectations that are either met, modified, or subverted by texts. Students will become knowledgeable practitioners within the world of their chosen genres either by writing critically about them, by experimenting creatively with them, or by doing both.

HISTORIES (2 courses)
On completing these courses, students will know literary historical terms and concepts; They will have a sense of the historical and generic markers that characterize the literature of specific periods; They will have an appreciation of how and why literary texts and practices change across time. Each course will cover a timespan long enough for students to grasp the processes of literary evolution and to appreciate the complex interaction of literary and non-literary change.


Students must complete all upper division courses in the major with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in order to maintain status as English majors. Failure to maintain this standard or failure to make sufficient progress toward completion of the major will result in probation or disqualification from the Department.

AUTHORS (1 course)
On completing one of these courses, students will have explored a significant body of work by a specific author, a group, or movement. In these courses, students will explore authors whose work is clearly recognized by one or more of the discourse communities that make up our discipline as truly important; authors whose work transforms or transformed the field within which they worked.

CRITICAL (1 course)
On completing one of these courses, students will be able to draw on a variety of critical and theoretical concepts and methods to say what is happening in the texts around them. They will be able to integrate critical discourse, argumentation, persuasion, and research in a clear, grammatical, and logically sound manner. They will be able to generate compelling and original interpretations and arguments.

COMPARATIVE (1 course)
On completing one of these courses, students will have a keener sense of the diversity of literature written in English. By studying Anglophone literature written outside the U.S., Great Britain and Ireland or literature written in English from perspectives that have been historically underrepresented by our discipline (women’s literature; Native American literature; Asian-American literature; prison literature, etc.), students will expand their understanding of the possible range of experiences, forms, themes, conventions, and traditions that they can encounter in literary texts.

CREATIVE (1 course)
On completing one of these artistry courses, students will understand the significant terms, concepts, and forms of a particular literary genre from the artist’s point of view; demonstrate the ability to produce literary work of professional quality, showing evidence of a mature, unique voice and a confident, artistic aesthetic; exercise their ability for analyzing literature and situating their own work within larger literary contexts; emulate the habits of professional creative writers: revision, workshopping, public reading, and submission for publication/performance; hone their own personal craft with an eye toward future creative writing endeavors.

SPECIALIZATION (2 or 3 courses)
These courses help develop students’ particular interests, expertise, strengths, values, and character. This freedom helps students to explore and participate in our discipline as it relates to their own interests, goals, and strengths, both now and in the future. In consultation with their advisors, students will take two additional courses that form a coherent emphasis. One course from another Department may serve as a “specialization” course, but only after discussion with and consent of the student’s faculty advisor.

CAPSTONE (0 or 1 course)
The major may culminate in a capstone project. This capstone can be a creative project, a journalism project, or a literary critical project that further develops their individual specialization. All projects, however, must include a faculty sponsor approved project description, a literature review, a description of method, a timeline, a statement of the work’s significance, and concrete plans for dissemination (e.g., publication, presentation, performance, etc.).