English is a complex field with a variety of intellectual-interpretive approaches. The English department expects each major to take advantage of the variety of departmental offerings by thoughtfully devising her own path of study while gaining familiarity with all genres. Certain core requirements ensure exposure to a body of material and a range of critical methodologies generally held to be essential to the mastery of the field. The English chapter of the course catalog provides details on credit and course requirements for the major and minor.

English Major

The English major at Mount Holyoke offers students an opportunity to study a diverse range of texts written in English, both those comprising the tradition of British and American literature as well as the work of writers from other parts of the world. A student of English should be acquainted with texts from different historical periods and different national traditions, as well as with works in a variety of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.

A minimum of 36 credits which includes:

  • ENGL-199 Introduction to the study of LIterature
  • 32 additional credits
    • Two courses in literature written in English before 1700, at either the 200 or 300 level
    • One course in literature written in English between 1700 and 1900, at either the 200 or 300 level
    • Four courses at the 300 level, two of which must be taken at Mount Holyoke and one of which must be a designated seminar
 Please note: 
  • First-Year Seminars do not count toward the completion of the English major. 
  • ENGL-295 and ENGL-395 do not count toward the completion of the English major. 

The English chapter of the course catalog provides details on credit and course requirements for the major.

English Minor

Students who minor in English take a minimum of 16 credits (four courses): two courses at the 200 level and two courses at the 300 level. The choice of courses is at the discretion of the student, with no departmental approval required. Members of the department are, of course, available for consultation about possible minor programs, and the approval of the chair is necessary for any exception to the requirements.

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.