English Major

In lower-division courses, students improve essential skills needed to understand and interpret literature and to express their ideas in writing. Emphasizing poetry as well as prose, these courses invite students to read literature within a variety of social, cultural and ethnic contexts.

Upper-division courses encourage a sense of literary history and tradition as well as an understanding of adaptation and change in cultural and literary conventions. With the freedom afforded by upper division electives, students can explore a broad range of world literatures to examine different genres and historical periods, or to nurture a specific interest through a series of related classes.

The Senior Project option provides a further opportunity for in-depth study in the student's chosen area.

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at

Major Requirements (39 units)

Students majoring in English must satisfy the core curriculum requirements as set forth in this course catalog and complete all major requirements as presented in the following schedule:

Lower Division (12 units)
ENGL 222Poetry3
ENGL 280Introduction to Shakespeare3
Select 6 units from the following:6
ENGL 223Studies in Genre
ENGL 224Studies in Literary Traditions
ENGL 225Studies in United States Literature
ENGL 228Studies in World Literature
Upper Division (27 units)
ENGL 300British Literature to 18003
Select 24 Upper Division Units that must include the following distribution requirements:24
Literature before 1660
Literature from 1660 to 1900
Literature from 1900 to the present
An English "W" course.

The Emphasis in Creative Writing

The creative writing emphasis in poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction builds upon the foundation established in ENGL 375 and prepares students for courses in the genre they choose to explore. More specifically, the creative writing courses help students realize the daily discipline, diligence, and concentrated attention required of the serious writer. They promote writing as an art, craft, and ultimately a vocation—one not to be entered into lightly. All students who continue from the introductory to intermediate and advanced levels also become more discerning readers.

Emphasis Requirement (12 units)
ENGL 375Introduction to Creative Writing3
Intermediate and Advanced courses in a single genre6
Intermediate Poetry Writing
and Advanced Poetry Writing
Intermediate Fiction Writing
and Advanced Fiction Writing
Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
and Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
Select 1 "crossover" course in a genre other than the student's specified genre from the following choices*:3
ENGL 304WAdvanced Composition
ENGL 376Topics in Creative Writing (Enrollment by consent of instructor)
ENGL 381Intermediate Poetry Writing
ENGL 382Intermediate Fiction Writing
ENGL 383Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENGL 494Special Topics
THEA 365WPlaywriting

*Other upper division creative writing courses students wish to substitute for their “crossover” course must be approved by the program director and English department chair.

W Courses

English "W" courses meet the core curriculum requirement for upper division written literacy. Offerings vary and may satisfy both the "W" and a distribution requirement simultaneously. (Majors may not fulfill the requirement with ENGL 304W.)

Recommended Program of Study

Fulfill the Lower-Division Requirements in your freshman and sophomore years. Take ENGL 300 early in the major, preferably before more specialized courses. Credential candidates are required to take ENGL 318. It is recommended that students preparing for graduate work in English take ENGL 380 and ENGL 495.

Upper-Division Historical Distribution

Literature before 1660 can be fulfilled by: ENGL 310, ENGL 312, ENGL 314, ENGL 324,ENGL 326, ENGL 328, ENGL 420

Literature from 1660 to 1900 can be fulfilled by: ENGL 332, ENGL 334, ENGL 336, ENGL 342, ENGL 344, ENGL 348, ENGL 352, ENGL 355

Literature from 1900 to the present can be fulfilled by: ENGL 356, ENGL 357, ENGL 358, ENGL 359, ENGL 360, ENGL 362, ENGL 364, ENGL 366, ENGL 368, ENGL 370.

Distributional requirements can also be fulfilled by certain sections of ENGL 494.  See the department chair.

Upper-Division Electives

Additional electives can be chosen from any of the courses listed above or from the following: ENGL 304W, ENGL 318, ENGL 372, ENGL 374, ENGL 375, ENGL 376, ENGL 380, ENGL 381, ENGL 382, ENGL 391, ENGL 392, ENGL 420, ENGL 493, ENGL 494, ENGL 495, ENGL 498. We encourage students to use these electives to develop a particular interest; this might be, for example, in medieval literature, African-American cultural history, or creative writing