The English Major

In order to officially file for a major in English, you must meet with one of the English Department faculty to discuss major requirements, file online through degreeworks and get online faculty approval.

In addition, you must fill out a major worksheet, have your faculty advisor sign the worksheet, and then give the signed worksheet to the English Department administrator in 202 Sanborn.


The Major in English requires the successful completion of eleven major courses.

  1. The courses must satisfy the following distribution requirements according to the Course Groups, listed below: at least 2 courses from Group I; at least 2 courses from Group II; at least 1 course from Group III; at least 1 course from Group IV.
  2. Two courses must be selected from the Literary Histories (ENGL 1, 2, 3).  Each of these courses may be used to satisfy one of the Course Group requirements.
  3. One course must be a Junior Colloquium (ENGL 61-65). This course may also satisfy one of the Course Group requirements.
  4. One course must be a Senior Seminar (71-75). This course can also be used to satisfy any of the Course Group requirements.
  5. One course must be designated as satisfying the Culminating Experience Requirement.  This may be a Senior Seminar or, in the case of students seeking a degree with Honors, the first term of ENGL 98. The Culminating Experience course must be taken and completed after the sophomore-junior summer term.

Concentration in Creative Writing

The concentration in creative writing within the English major consists of four courses:

1. Students must pass one prerequisite course, ENGL 80, ENGL 81, or ENGL 82.

2. Students then enroll in one intermediate course, ENGL 83, ENGL 84, or ENGL 85.

3. The third course can be chosen from any English course numbered between 80 and 89 (substitute courses from other departments will be considered).

4. The fourth course can be in any genre of contemporary literature or another course numbered between 80 and 89 (again, substitute courses from other departments will be considered).

Note: Students must be admitted to one of the creative writing intermediate courses (ENGL 83, 84, 85) before they can elect the creative writing concentration. A writing sample is required with the application to ENGL 83, 84, and ENGL 85. Students who elect to do honors in creative writing can use ENGL 98 for either their third or fourth course in the concentration.

Things to remember

Students electing the major in English should bear in mind the following:

  1. Transfer credits normally cannot be used in the major. Students wishing to be granted an exception must petition the CDC (Committee on Departmental Curriculum). If approval is granted, transfer courses are subject to the rules that apply to substitute courses.
  2. Two substitute courses (appropriate major courses from other departments at Dartmouth) are permitted within the major. Normally, substitute courses cannot satisfy the Course Group requirements.
  3. No substitute courses may satisfy the Culminating Experience requirement.
  4. To become an English major, students must consult with a professor to plan their courses.  Students formally elect the major in English by submitting a proposed plan of courses—a completed major card and worksheet—to their major advisor. The major advisor’s signature constitutes admission to the major. Students must meet with their major advisor a second time in the last term of the junior year or the first term of the senior year in order to review their major plan.