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.