English Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

Students who complete the BA in English will:

  • understand how literary and linguistic conventions have developed and operate;
  • understand how accomplished readers read fiction, poetry, and drama;
  • understand how accomplished writers create form, effect, and influence;
  • apply that understanding to their own reading and writing.

So that English department faculty can better evaluate each student's progress and accomplishments in these areas, all English majors submit a portfolio of three essays during the spring semester of their sophomore year and another portfolio of three essays during the spring semester of their senior year. The department distributes submission instructions at the beginning of each spring semester.

Complete 1 of the following gateway courses (3 cr):

Code Course Credits

ENG 1250

Popular Literature

-OR-

What are you reading? What do you like to read? Mysteries? Science Fiction? Fantasy? Horror? This class looks through a new lens at what people enjoy reading in the current moment, and asks questions like: Why do we enjoy it? What does it say about us? Will people be reading it in 100 years? This course uses current popular fiction to engage students in basic analysis, looking at cultural contexts, critical frameworks and evaluation of literary quality within the field of pleasure reading. It will provide structures for developing skills in literary study, exploring the foundations of pleasure in reading and using literary critical terminology.

This course fulfills the Aesthetic Understanding frame of reference

Every semester

3

ENG 1310

Introduction to Literature

This course asks students to consider and apply the variety of formal strategies by which accomplished readers interpret, appraise, and appreciate fiction, poetry, and drama. English majors should complete this course their first year.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: ENG 0040/ENG 1010, or equivalents.

Every semester

3

Complete 3 of the following survey courses (9 cr):

Code Course Credits

ENG 2161

World Literature through Renaissance

This course investigates salient texts from a variety of different cultures, most of which are related to one another by origin or influence. The booklist changes each time the course is offered, and texts are chosen for the contributions they can make to students' knowledge of world literature and ability to contextualize the events, texts, and persons of today's world. Recent selections have included Plato's Symposium, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, Poems of Rumi, and Dante's Paradiso.

This course fulfills the Aesthetic Understanding or World Views Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Fall, even years

3

ENG 2162

World Literature from Enlightenment

In the novels, poetry, and essays read for this course, the major religious traditions confront modernity. Among the changes to which these texts respond are: the voyages of exploration and discovery, the religious warfare that shook Europe in the seventeenth century, the Enlightenment and its violent triumph in the French Revolution, and the modern experience of world war.

This course fulfills the Aesthetic Understanding or World Views Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Spring, odd years

3

ENG 2271

English Literature: Anglo-Saxons to 18th Century

This course introduces the major authors, genres, and motifs of English literature from its inception to the end of the neoclassical period. A wide range of materials is presented, from the development of the English language and its Anglo-Saxon base to masterfully crafted rhymed couplets, from the Canterbury pilgrims to Dr. Faustus, from the Red Crosse Knight and Oroonoko to Satan and a cat named Jeoffry, from Grendel to Gulliver.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Fall

3

ENG 2272

English Literature: 18th Century to Present

Continuing the introduction begun in ENG 2271, this course spans the Romantic, Victorian, modern, and contemporary periods. Again, its scope is broad: from Songs of Innocence to A Room of One's Own, from Manfred to Kurtz, Frankenstein's monster to Godot, from Heathcliff and Aurora Leigh to J. Alfred Prufrock and Stephen Dedalus, from the early Romantic poets' Neoplatonism to the somber mood and modes following the cataclysmic First World War.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Spring

3

ENG 2311

American Literature: Colonial to Civil War

This course examines the formal and philosophical features of American literature through the Civil War, particularly those features that resulted from the exhilarating yet complex, even contradictory, new American character. Reading includes fiction, poetry, and essays that characterize and illustrate colonial, Romantic, and Civil War era literary endeavor.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Fall

3

ENG 2312

American Literature: Civil War to Present

This course examines the formal and philosophical features of American literature from the Civil War to the present, particularly those features wrought by the Civil War, by urbanization, by advances in science and psychology, and by the two world wars. Reading includes fiction, poetry, and drama that characterize and illustrate literary regionalism, realism, naturalism, and modernism-and that begin to characterize contemporary American literature by, and against, those traditions.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Spring

3

Complete these 4 core courses (12 cr):

Code Course Credits

ENG 2010

Expository and Argumentative Writing

Primarily concerned with writing that explains or elaborates and writing that persuades, this course builds upon the foundation laid by ENG 1061.Further emphasis is given grammar and mechanics, development and style, with particular attention paid the skills of critical thinking and the strategies of persuasion. English majors must complete this course their first or second year.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061.

Every semester

3

ENG 3360

Shakespeare

"The play's the thing!" by which we encounter one of the most influential authors of the English (and American) literary tradition. Whether he is poking fun at people's loves and lives in a comedy such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, condemning the damage people do through their hatreds and biases, Romeo and Juliet, or holding up England's best and worst kings for our examination, Shakespeare provides insights into what it means to be human--in any age.

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310 or ENG 1250

Fall, even years

3

ENG 3690

The English Language: Grammar

Designed to investigate the systematic nature of English grammar, this course draws from both structural and transformational linguistics. It analyzes sentence structure—how to identify, expand, and transform the basic sentence patterns; it studies the assorted forms and functions of words, phrases, and clauses; and it examines the relationship between grammar and rhetoric, particularly by way of cohesion, rhythm, emphasis, and punctuation. This course also considers the evolution of English grammar.

Prerequisite: ENG 1061. Highly recommended: ENG 2010.

Fall

3

ENG 4140

Approaches to Literature

This senior seminar studies the variety of critical approaches by which accomplished readers interpret, appraise, and appreciate fiction, poetry, and drama. Not only do students consider the nature and purpose of literary criticism, but they also analyze and apply the principles that define such approaches as formalism, historicism, reader-response criticism, mimeticism, and intertextualism.

Prerequisite: ENG 1310

Fall

3

Complete 5 electives in English (15 cr)

Four of the five electives must be at the 3000-level

Complete the English capstone course (3 cr):

Code Course Credits

ENG 4940

English Capstone

This course provides a capstone experience for English majors. Majors will have four options: 1. A research-based thesis, 2. A creative writing portfolio, 3. A secondary English component to the student teaching program, 4. A professional internship with a community partner. All of these will require the supervision of an English faculty mentor, and will require a substantial written reflection in addition to other requirements.

Restrictions Senior status or approval of the instructor

Spring

3

(Credits required for the major: 42 cr)

Note that no more than two major courses may be taken Pass/No pass

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.

Law Degree (CU/VLS 3+2)

This major participates in the 3+2 program with Vermont Law School, in which highly-focused students can earn a Bachelor's degree in just three years at CU and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in just two years at VLS.

For details, see the Law Degree page.