English (B.A.)

English (B.A.)

English students in class

What is English?

You love reading novels, you love to write, or you’re fascinated with the origins of the English language. These are all good reasons to pursue a degree in English, which will give you broad exposure to the history and literature of the English language, while you also learn critical thinking skills and how to write clearly and persuasively. English majors are experts in the art and science of words, allowing you to expand your imaginative potential and solve real-world problems.

Why study English at UNH?

The English program at UNH offers a great deal of flexibility. After completing the basic degree requirements, you’ll be able to focus your studies on literature; writing, including fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry; or areas within linguistics, such as language formation. Other program highlights include our small discussion- and research-oriented seminars; internships with publishers, businesses, and arts and service organizations; and study-abroad opportunities in London and Cambridge, England.

Potential careers

  • Business executive
  • Communications specialist
  • Editor
  • Government consultant
  • Lawyer
  • Publisher
  • Teacher
  • Writer


Curriculum & Requirements

Our general English major has two objectives: provide our students with a common core of literary experience and expertise, and offer them opportunity to shape a course of study suited to their personal interests. By offering flexible requirements, we encourage students to devise a path through coursework that has an intelligent rationale. If students have a special interest in writing, for example, they can take the minimum number of literature courses (five) and complete the major by taking offerings in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry writing; if students' interests are in literary studies, they can focus on offerings in that arena; or they can match up courses from different arenas in the department (say, literature and writing courses focused on poetry). All the undergraduate courses we offer in the English department are open to English majors so students can sample a range of courses in literature, linguistics, creative or nonfiction writing, and English teaching, according to how particular interests may change and grow. 

The guiding principle of the general English major, then, is that it is open and liberal by design. It allows students to sample a variety of courses in order to study the operation of language from many perspectives. 

As an English major, you must complete a minimum of 40 credits of major coursework with a grade of C- or better, the one exception is ENGL 419 Writing About Literature, which must be completed with a grade of C or better. You cannot use ENGL 401 First-Year Writing, ENGL #403 Exploring Literature, ENGL 415s, "Literature and..." courses, and ENGL 444s to satisfy major requirements. Note that any one course may satisfy more than one requirement.

ENGL 419Writing About Literature 14
Select two pre-1800 literature courses (select from list below)8
Select two post-1800 literature courses (select from list below)8
Select one course that addresses race, the construction of race, and racial theories (select from list below)4
Select one of the following options:8
Option A:
Two 500-level courses 2
Option B:
Introduction to Linguistics
One 500-level course 2
Select six courses numbered 600 and above 324
Select one additional 500-, 600-, or 700-level English course of their choosing4
One 700-level class in addition to the 10-course major 44

Pre-1800 Literature Courses

Either two advanced courses (600-level and above) or one advanced course and either ENGL 512 British Literature I Age of Heroes: Beowulf to Dr. Faustus or ENGL 513 British Literature II Age of Revolutions: Shakespeare to Austen.  Choose from the following:

ENGL 657Shakespeare4
ENGL 741Literature of Early America4
ENGL 751Medieval Epic and Romance4
ENGL #753Old English4
ENGL #756Chaucer4
ENGL 758Advanced Shakespeare4
ENGL 759Milton4
ENGL 767Literature of the Restoration and Early 18th Century4
ENGL 768Literature of the Later 18th Century4
ENGL #780Drama of Shakespeare's Contemporaries: Will and Company4
ENGL #781English Drama, 1660-18004
ENGL 783English Novel of the 18th Century4

Other courses may count. Please see your advisor if you have questions about other courses that might fulfill this requirement.

Post-1800 Literature Courses

Either two advanced courses, or one advanced course and one of the following:  ENGL 514 British Literature III: Revolts, Renewals, Migrations, ENGL #515 American Literature I Conquest and Nation: First Contact to the Civil War, or ENGL 516 American Literature II Money, Migration, and Modernity: Huck Finn to Beloved.

ENGL #609Ethnicity in America: The African American Experience in the 20th Century4
ENGL 650Studies in American Literature and Culture 14
ENGL 681Introduction to African Literatures in English4
ENGL 690Introduction to African American Literature in America4
ENGL 739American Indian Literature4
ENGL 742American Literature, 1815-18654
ENGL #743American Literature, 1865-19154
ENGL #744American Literature, 1915-19454
ENGL 745Contemporary American Literature4
ENGL 746Studies in American Drama4
ENGL 747Studies in American Poetry4
ENGL #748Studies in American Fiction4
ENGL #749Major American Authors4
ENGL #769English Romantic Period4
ENGL 771English Victorian Period4
ENGL #772English Victorian Period4
ENGL 773Literary Modernisms: Return, Revolt, Recycle4
ENGL 774Modern & Contemporary British Literature: New Departures4
ENGL 777The English Novel in the World4
ENGL 784English Novel of the 19th Century4

Course That Addresses Race, the Construction of Race, and Racial Theories

ENGL 517Introduction to African American Literature and Culture4
ENGL 550Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race4
ENGL #609Ethnicity in America: The African American Experience in the 20th Century4
ENGL 690Introduction to African American Literature in America4
ENGL 738Topics in Asian American Studies4
ENGL 739American Indian Literature4
ENGL #740Indigenous New England4
ENGL 693Special Topics in Literature (subtopic R)4
ENGL 797Special Studies in Literature (subtopic R)4

Other courses may count. Please see your advisor if you have questions about other courses that might fulfill this requirement.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

English majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

English majors may only count one online course toward their English major requirements.

If you're interested in majoring in English please contact Carla Cannizzaro, coordinator of the Department of English, 230F Hamilton Smith Hall, (603) 862-1313.

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