Courses and Requirements

Whether you identify primarily as a writer, literary analyst, culture critic, lover of great fiction, storyteller, artist, or otherwise, you will find that you can create a niche for yourself in the English Department. The English faculty is here to support your intellectual growth and spark your curiosity. As a unique group of scholars and writers with varied talents and backgrounds, the faculty provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue their intellectual and creative interests wherever they lead.

While choosing a major can be anything but straightforward for students whose academic interests extend beyond a single field, a commitment to one or more specific departments is not restrictive, but useful in providing a methodology or body of knowledge through which to develop academically. Students interested in pursuing either the major or one of the department’s five correlate sequences have the opportunity to engage critically with the world around them through the wide lens of literary study.

Approved Courses

Our courses bring to bear a variety of historical, critical, cultural, theoretical, and creative approaches to texts and media through richly varied, and often collaborative, teaching and scholarship.

Students can apply one literature course from another department or program toward the major. While most such courses are likely to be in translation, literature courses in the original language will also be accepted for credit. These courses will not count toward any of the English Department’s distribution requirements, nor will they count toward one of the required 300-level courses for the major. You must get your major advisor’s approval for any non-English literature course you wish to apply towards the major.

Study abroad literature courses in the languages of the host country may be counted with certain exceptions: courses taught in English translation may only be counted if language proficiency is neither a requirement nor the goal of the study abroad program in question. The associate chair will be in charge of making the final determination.

Students may receive credit toward the major for other courses offered in the programs (when taught or team-taught by members of the department) upon the approval of the curriculum committee. Please consult with the chair if you have questions about a particular course.

Courses and Requirements

Academic requirements and courses are available in the Vassar College Catalogue.

English Major and Pathways

The Correlate Sequences in English

  • British and American Literary History
  • Creative Writing and Literary Forms
  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Body
  • Literary Geographies
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity