Bachelor of Arts Degree
English & Comparative Literature
Arts and Sciences
Time to Completion
Evening Courses Offered
Distance Learning Courses Offered
Weekend Courses Offered
Contact InformationDepartment Website
248 McMicken Hall
PO Box 210069
What Is English Literature ?
Responding to an increasingly interdisciplinary, multicultural and media-rich age, the English Department offers not only a strong core of literature courses, but also opportunities to pursue different specializations in the study and production of texts. Whether your interest is in American or British literature, multicultural literatures, cultural studies, creative writing, rhetoric and professional writing or journalism, you’ll find a wide array of courses and options to choose from. Whatever your path, you’ll become a more empowered and responsible reader and writer, prepared to make a contribution to your field of knowledge, profession, community and the world at large.
English majors pride themselves on being able to think, read and write critically. They engage in the careful study, and sometimes the production, of novels, poems, theoretical works, multimedia documents and other texts. They also become adept at synthesizing knowledge from diverse fields (politics, history, sociology, economics, media studies). While their aspirations vary, students majoring in English will become more nimble thinkers and writers, gaining a sophisticated understanding of the many uses and effects of language.
While an interest in English can lead to careers in areas such as journalism, publishing, technical writing and secondary school teaching, the reading, writing and critical thinking skills that a student majoring in English acquires are highly valued in a wide range of positions in business and industry. English is also an excellent base for professional studies in law, business and medicine. There isn’t much you can’t do with an English degree. English majors have gone on to become:
- Directors of Non-Profits
- Film Critics
- Grant Writers
- Medical Writers
- Science Writers
- Social Policy Makers
- Technical Writers
- Television Producers
- Training Specialists
Additional career options are listed on the Career Development Center's Web site.
The English major at McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) consists of three parts: 24 hours of core courses, 18 hours of courses in one of four tracks and 12 hours of English electives.
The core courses, taken by all English majors, are:
ENGL 300 - Introduction to English Studies
ENGL 305 - Writing for English Majors
ENGB 306 - Introduction to Shakespeare
ENGL 301, 302, or 303 - American Literature Survey (choose 2)
ENGB 334, 335, or 336 - British Literature Survey (choose 2)
A course in Multicultural Literatures in English (select from list of approved courses)
English electives can come from any field of study represented in the department’s course offerings: literature, cultural studies, creative writing, journalism, rhetoric/professional writing, linguistics, women’s studies, ethnic literatures and so forth.
A&S offers flexible degree requirements allowing for multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.
Women's, gender, and sexuality studies
The minor in English is available to students who major in other disciplines. It combines the major’s core strengths with a degree of latitude regarding specialization.
Course Requirements for Minor:
- ENGL 300 - Introduction to English Studies
- ENGB 306 - Introduction to Shakespeare
- ENGL 301, 302, or 303 - American Literature Survey (choose 2)
- ENGB 334, 335, or 336 - British Literature Survey (choose 2)
- English Electives (choose 4 English courses, 200 level or above)
Students may use their electives to sample a wide variety of courses in reading and writing or to focus in one particular area. Those interested in more in-depth study of an area may want to consider completing one of the department’s certificate programs.
The department offers four undergraduate certificates in journalism, creative writing, professional writing and American Ethnic Studies. While these 27-hour programs of study are pursued mostly by non-majors, English majors may consider completing one of these certificates to complement their chosen track.
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this major. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently enrolled at UC, you can audit your degree online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school use the course applicability system (CAS) to see how credits you have earned will apply to this major at UC. For course descriptions by college, click here.
Majors should see their departmental advisor early to discuss departmental requirements and plan their schedules. The list of English advisors is available at 248 McMicken Hall. The English major necessitates planning to match the particular needs of the individual student with the requirements of the department. Beyond their first year, students should work with an English department advisor. Majors must select one of the four specialized tracks. See the checklist for your track.
|First Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*English Composition||ENGL 101, 102||6|
|*Quantitative Reasoning (QR)||see checklist||9|
|*Foreign Language||see checklist||9-15|
|*Historical Perspectives (100-200 level, HP)||see offerings||9|
|*Social Sciences (100-level, SS)||see offerings||3|
|*Humanities (100-level, HU)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-6|
|Total for first year||45|
|Second Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*Intermediate Composition||ENGL 289||3|
|*Foreign Language (if necessary)||see checklist||0-9|
|Introduction to English Studies||ENGL 300||3|
|Writing for English Majors||ENGL 305||3|
|English Electives||200 level or above||3|
|Survey of American Literature (or British) (pick two)||ENGL 301, 302, or 303||6|
|Multicultural Literatures course||see list below||3|
|*Natural Sciences (NS)||see offerings||9|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||6|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-9|
|Total for second year||45|
|Third & Fourth Years||Course Number||Credits|
|Survey of British Literature (or American) (pick two)||ENGB 334, 335, or 336||6|
|Introduction to Shakespeare||ENGB 306||3|
|English Electives||200 level or above||9|
|Required Track Courses||see list for chosen track||15|
|Capstone Course||see list for chosen track||3|
|*Social & Ethical Issues (if not already taken, SE)||see offerings||3|
|*Humanities or Fine Arts (HU or FA)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||48|
|Total for third and fourth years||90|
|Total overall||Minimum 180|
*Needed to fulfill A&S College Core requirements.
- AFST 310/311/312 African American Literature
- ENGL 341 Intro: American Ethnic Literature
- ENGC 342 Third World Literature
- ENGL 342 Topics: American Ethnic Literature
- ENGL 343 Issues of Race in African American Lit
- ENGL 344 Interracialism in America
- ENGC 363 African Literature I: Intro
- ENGC 364 African Literature II: Topics
- ENGC 365 African Literature III: Drama
- ENGC 366 Caribbean Literature
- ENGC 373 Modern Fiction III
- ENGL 382 Lesbian and Gay Literature
- ENGL 388 American Women Writers: pre-1900
- ENGL 389 American Women Writers: post-1900
- ENGC 504/505/506 Intro to Folklore
- ENGC 581 Exile and Displacement in Postmodern Literature
The checklist for each of the four tracks for English majors and booklets describing English courses to be offered each term is available in the departmental office in 248 McMicken Hall.
Special OpportunitiesStudents in McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, tri-state location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.
Special ProgramsStudy tours of other countries, for which you will receive course credit, are offered to let you experience cultures you previously only read about in a traditional classroom. The Institute for Global Studies and Affairs (IGSA) and the Department of English will even help you pay for it. All UC students are eligible to apply for a grant from IGSA of up to $500. In addition, students majoring in an A&S Taft department are eligible to apply for graduate or undergraduate Taft Enrichment Awards of up to $2,000.
Some of the exciting study tours you could embark on are:
- Chaucer Study Tour
- Gothic Paris Study Tour
- Venice Study Tour
- Victorian to Virtual Study Tour
Internships and service-learning opportunities enable English majors, minors and certificate students to gain real-world experience putting their reading and writing abilities to work. Whether individually or as part of a class, English students have worked with many non-profits, community groups, schools, businesses and other kinds of organizations. An English adviser can help you decide the best way to incorporate such learning experiences into your chosen program of study.
The George Elliston Poetry Fund has fostered the development of promising young poets and honored the achievements of established poets since 1951. Each year, through the Poet-in-Residence program, a distinguished poet is brought to campus to give public lectures and readings and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA. Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following State of Ohio articulation requirements with no more than two units missing:
- English (4 units)*
- College-preparatory mathematics (3 units)*
- Science (2 units)
- Social science (2 units)
- Foreign language (2 units)*
- Additional college-prep subjects (3 units)
*McMicken College of Arts and Sciences does not allow units missing from these areas.
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was not in any of the UC colleges must apply through the Office of Admissions. Applicants in this category must submit transcripts for all secondary school and college-level work. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all college-level work is required for admission consideration. Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus applicants who have received an associate degree from an accredited college or university and whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.
Changing Major Requirements
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was as a degree student in one of UC’s other colleges can apply directly to the A&S college office. Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus students who have:
- at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions),
- successfully completed two quarters of English Composition or its equivalent, and
- gained credit for a college-level mathematics course.
A&S students must meet the college residency requirement of 45.0 hours which begins immediately upon matriculation in the college and consists of courses taught within McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
To graduate from McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:
- Earn at least 180 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 180.
- Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
- Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 45 credits after matriculating into the college. These minimum 45 credits must be taught within A&S (15), and also must be completed after gaining admission to the college.
- Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
- Complete the College Core Requirements.
- Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.
UC operates on a quarter system, with 10-week grading periods beginning in late September, early January, late March and mid-June. While midyear admission is possible, fall quarter is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that quarter. Applicants to McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).