English courses at Mount Holyoke offer students an opportunity to study texts and writers from the many cultural traditions that have shaped, and been shaped by, the English language. We encourage each major to take advantage of the variety of departmental offerings by thoughtfully devising their own path of study while gaining familiarity with different genres, periods, and media. Our course topics range from Anglo-Saxon England through the twenty-first century and encompass multiple national, racial, and cultural identities. The department’s courses cultivate skills in close reading, critical thinking, and creative writing.

For students interested in writing, a number of courses offer practical instruction in the techniques of fiction, poetry, and other literary genres, as well as journalism. The major helps prepare students for a wide range of careers, including teaching at all levels, law, business, and graduate study in literature and culture. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College’s learning goals. Brief major and minor requirements are below and the English chapter of the course catalog provides more details on credit and course requirements.

Courses and Requirements 

See the English chapter of the course catalog > 

Teacher Licensure in English

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of English can combine their course work in English with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of English, please consult the chair of the English department. For information about the requirements for the minor in education, please consult Teacher Licensure in the Other Degree and Certificate Programs chapter of the course catalog.  Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the Department of Psychology and Education. Information and materials are available on the Teacher Licensure application website.