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, England.

Potential careers

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

Contact

Connect with us

This form is only for prospective students who are not already enrolled at UNH. If you are a current UNH student and interested in this program, please reach out to the contact on this page.


  • English Major | Retired U.S. Military General
    Following in her father’s footsteps, General Lori Robinson ‘81 came to the University of New Hampshire and developed newfound confidence and lifelong connections. Watch Video.
    English Major | Retired U.S. Military General
    Following in her father’s footsteps, General Lori Robinson ‘81 came to the University of New Hampshire and developed newfound confidence and lifelong connections. Watch Video.
  • English and Women's Studies Majors | Co-Founder & CEO, Koya Leadership Partners
    Work-life integration skills gained at UNH strengthen the capacity of Katie Bouton '96 to create a positive impact through Koya Leadership Partners. Watch video.
    English and Women's Studies Majors | Co-Founder & CEO, Koya Leadership Partners
    Work-life integration skills gained at UNH strengthen the capacity of Katie Bouton '96 to create a positive impact through Koya Leadership Partners. Watch video.
  • English Major | Co-President of the UNH Northern California Alumni Network
    Read more about Katharine's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.
    English Major | Co-President of the UNH Northern California Alumni Network
    Read more about Katharine's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.
  • English Major | Internal Communications for Deloitte
    Read more about Rachel's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.
    English Major | Internal Communications for Deloitte
    Read more about Rachel's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.
  • English Major | Librarian at a Sports Museum
    Read more about Meredith's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.
    English Major | Librarian at a Sports Museum
    Read more about Meredith's success using her English degree on UNH Tales.

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. 

Major Requirements

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 40 credits of with a minimum grade of C-.
  2. The required minimum overall GPA is 2.0.
  3. ENGL 401, 415s, "Literature and..." courses, 444s, ENGL 620 and ENGL 788 may not be used to satisfy major requirements.
  4. A total of six courses must be numbered 600 and above.
  5. One major-required course may be used to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.
  6. Only one online course may count toward major requirements.
  7. Special Topics in Literature courses (e.g. ENGL 693, 787, 797) may be used to satisfy Pre-1800 or Post-1800 and/or Race Requirement areas if the designated topic is appropriate. 
  8. Capstone must be completed with a minimum grade of C. May not be double-counted toward major requirements. Submit a Capstone Declaration form indicating the English course to be taken at the time of registration.

Required
ENGL 419How to Read Anything (Minimum grade of C)4
Select two courses from the following:8
500-level Courses
ENGL/LING 405
Introduction to Linguistics
ENGL 501
Introduction to Creative Nonfiction
ENGL 502
Professional and Technical Writing
ENGL 503
Persuasive Writing
ENGL 510
Introduction to the Digital Humanities
ENGL 511
Major Writers in English
ENGL 512
British Literature I Age of Heroes: Beowulf to Dr. Faustus
ENGL 513W
British Literature II Age of Revolutions: Shakespeare to Austen
ENGL 514W
British Literature III: Revolts, Renewals, Migrations
ENGL 515W
American Literature I Conquest and Nation: First Contact to the Civil War
ENGL 516W
American Literature II Money, Migration, and Modernity: Huck Finn to Beloved
ENGL 517
Black Creative Expression
ENGL 518W
Bible as Literature
ENGL 520
Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
ENGL 521
Nature Writers
ENGL 526
Introduction to Fiction Writing
ENGL 527
Introduction to Poetry Writing
ENGL 533
Introduction to Film Studies
ENGL 534
21st Century Journalism: How the News Works
ENGL 549
In the Groove: African American Music as Literature
ENGL 550
Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race
ENGL 555
Science Fiction
ENGL #557
Crime and Espionage
ENGL 560
Introduction to Latinx Literature and Culture
ENGL 575
Sex and Sensibility: The Rise of Chick Lit
ENGL 581
Reading the Postcolonial Experience
ENGL 585
Introduction to Women in Literature
ENGL 585R
Introduction to Women in Literature
ENGL 595
Literary Topics
Select two courses from the following:8
Pre-1800 Literature Courses
ENGL 512
British Literature I Age of Heroes: Beowulf to Dr. Faustus
or ENGL 513W
British Literature II Age of Revolutions: Shakespeare to Austen
ENGL 595
Literary Topics (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL 657
Shakespeare
ENGL 693R
Special Topics in Literature (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL #741
Early American Literature: Colonialism, Revolution, Nation
ENGL #751
Medieval Romance
ENGL 753
Old English
ENGL 756
Chaucer
ENGL 758
Advanced Shakespeare
ENGL 758R
Advanced Shakespeare
ENGL 759
Milton
ENGL 767
Literature of the Restoration and Early 18th Century
ENGL #768
Literature of the Later 18th Century
ENGL 780
Drama of Shakespeare's Contemporaries: Will and Company
ENGL 783
English Novel of the Eighteenth Century
ENGL 787
English Major Seminar (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL 787R
English Major Seminar (if topic is appropriate)
Select two courses from the following:8
Post-1800 Literature Courses
ENGL 514W
British Literature III: Revolts, Renewals, Migrations
or ENGL 516W
American Literature II Money, Migration, and Modernity: Huck Finn to Beloved
ENGL 595
Literary Topics (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL 609
Ethnicity in America: The African American Experience in the 20th Century
ENGL 636
Literature and the Environment
ENGL 650
I Hear America Singing: Studying American Literature and Culture
ENGL 681
Contemporary African Literature
ENGL 690
African American Literature
ENGL 693R
Special Topics in Literature (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL #738
Asian American Studies
ENGL 739
American Indian Literature
ENGL 743R
American Literature, 1865-1915: The Birth of the American Empire
ENGL #745
Contemporary American Literature
ENGL 749R
Major American Authors
ENGL #747
Studies in American Poetry
ENGL #771
Victorian Love Poetry
ENGL 773
Literary Modernisms: Return, Revolt, Recycle
ENGL 774R
Modern & Contemporary British Literature: New Departures
ENGL 775
Modern Irish Literature: A Changing Landscape
ENGL 777
The English Novel in the World
ENGL 782
Modern and Contemporary Drama
ENGL 784
English Novel of the 19th Century
ENGL 787
English Major Seminar (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL 787R
English Major Seminar (if topic is appropriate)
ENGL 797R
Special Studies in Literature (Race & Racial Theories) (if topic is appropriate)
Select one course from the following:4
Race, the Construction of Race, and Racial Theory Courses
ENGL 440A
On Race in Culture and Society
ENGL #441
On Race and Culture in Society
ENGL 517
Black Creative Expression
ENGL 549
In the Groove: African American Music as Literature
ENGL 550
Introduction to the Literature and Culture of Race
ENGL 560
Introduction to Latinx Literature and Culture
ENGL 585R
Introduction to Women in Literature
ENGL 609
Ethnicity in America: The African American Experience in the 20th Century
ENGL 650R
I Hear America Singing: Studying American Literature and Culture
ENGL 690
African American Literature
ENGL 693
Special Topics in Literature (subtopic R)
ENGL 693R
Special Topics in Literature
ENGL #738
Asian American Studies
ENGL 739
American Indian Literature
ENGL 743R
American Literature, 1865-1915: The Birth of the American Empire
ENGL 749R
Major American Authors
ENGL 758R
Advanced Shakespeare
ENGL 774R
Modern & Contemporary British Literature: New Departures
ENGL 778
Race and Gender in Film and Popular Culture
ENGL 787R
English Major Seminar
ENGL 797R
Special Studies in Literature (Race & Racial Theories)
Select one additional 500-, 600-, or 700- level ENGL course4
Capstone (one 700-level ENGL course)4

Please see your advisor if you have questions about other courses that might fulfill these requirements.

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

Undergraduate students in the English Department at the University of New Hampshire have many options as they advance to degree. They can choose to complete a general English major or opt to follow one of several specialized tracks: English Literature, Journalism, English Teaching, and Linguistics. I. All undergraduate English majors acquire the same core skills. These include:

  • Proficiency in analytical writing, critical thinking, and public-speaking.
  • Knowledge of important literary genres and subgenres
  • Fluency in literary terminology,
  • A broad understanding of British-and-American literature, from the medieval period in England and the moment of first contact in America to the present day.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in writing an analytical essay that offers a sophisticated close-reading or explication of a literary text. This essay will have a clear thesis and proceed in a logical fashion, with interpretive claims supported by evidence from the text.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in literary research and in writing an extended thesis-driven research paper in which sources are correctly and responsibly cited.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to read across the color line in the US and /or how to analyze literary works written in English from outside the UK and the US--from India, Africa, and the Caribbean, for example.

take the next step

student posing in doorway on campus
LEARN HOW TO APPLY
thompson hall in summer
SCHEDULE A VISIT
student at Career Event
REQUEST INFORMATION