The study of literature includes analysis and interpretation of aesthetics, investigation into literary history, the placement of literature within its contemporaneous cultural contexts, and immersion in the careers and works of individual authors. The English Major curriculum draws together all these aspects of literary study, with each course emphasizing one of these approaches.
Our courses are organized by categories. Students begin with Gateway courses that survey the broad history of British and American literature. They proceed by taking at least one course in each of 4 groups organized by the primary approaches to literary study: courses in Genre and Aesthetics, courses that focus on History and Literary History, courses that examine Culture through literary objects, and courses that study the work of a Single Author. Two of the courses students select from these groups must focus on literature written before 1800. Students may take additional electives from any of the four groups, as well as from 300-level Writing or Creative Writing courses. Students conclude their major with a required Senior Seminar course.
For students who declare the major in Fall 2013 and after:
The major in English requires a minimum of 33 hours in courses ENG 150 and above. (WRI 105 and 111, basic writing requirements, do not count toward the major or minor nor count as a divisional requirement.) The courses for the major must include the gateway course ENG 265; either of the two gateway courses ENG 266 or ENG 275; one 300-level English from each of four groups as described below (I: Genre and Aesthetics; II: History and Literary History; III: Culture; IV. Single Author), the senior seminar ENG 399, and 9 hours of electives at the 300 level, which may include up to two 300-level Creative Writing or Writing courses (CRW 383, CRW 397, CRW 398, WRI 392, WRI 399). The remaining 3 hours for the major may be fulfilled with any ENG course at the 100 level or above, or with a 3-hour 200-level course in either Creative Writing or Writing. All English majors must pre-register in the spring of their junior year for the senior seminar ENG 399.
2 of the 300-level ENG courses taken for the major must be in pre-1800 British literature. Designated courses fulfill both a Group requirement and the pre-1800 British requirement.
Majors and their advisers plan individual programs to meet these requirements: majors are urged to take their gateway requirements as early as possible in their college careers. No more than two courses (6 hours) taken elsewhere may be counted toward the 24 hours of 300-level English courses required for the major. This limitation applies to courses taught in approved non-Wake Forest programs, not to courses in programs offered or sponsored by Wake Forest.
For a checklist of new requirements for the major, click here.
For students who declared the major before Fall 2013:
The major in English requires a minimum of thirty hours in courses above Writing 111, at least twenty-four hours of which must be in advanced language and literature courses numbered 300 to 399.
The advanced courses for the major must include:
- Two additional courses (six hours) in British literature before 1800
- One course in American literature
- A major seminar, ENG 300, which must be taken no later than the spring semester of the junior year.
- No more than two advanced writing courses (383, 398, and 399) may be counted toward the major.
- No more than two courses (six hours) taken elsewhere may be counted toward the twenty-four hours of 300-level English courses required for the major. This limitation applies to courses taught in approved non-Wake Forest programs, not to courses in programs offered or sponsored by Wake Forest.
All English majors, except late declarers, must pre-register in the spring of their sophomore year for the major seminar. Majors and their advisers plan individual programs to meet these requirements and to include work in the major literary genres.
Note: A minimum grade-point average of 2.0 in courses which comprise the major or minor is required for graduation with any major or minor this department offers.