Requirements for the Major

The bird that quoth the word In keeping with our mission as an English faculty and our vision for our students' literary education, we offer our majors a curriculum with a philosophical focus on intellectual discovery. Our intentions are both to foster student engagement in creating coherent programs and to ensure a structured preparation for the Senior Project.

The major includes a gateway course (ENGL 190), which is prerequisite for taking the upper-level foundational surveys. The Department has minimum performance standards for introductory literature and creative writing classes, which must be met in order to continue with the major. Please see the current College Catalog for a complete description of the major and its requirements.   

Each student will meet at the Junior Review with the student’s advisor and another department faculty member of the student’s choosing. These faculty  members will review the student’s writing, and help the student to plan a program ensuring that the student will have taken the necessary "Approaches" course in critical methodologies (described below) prior to writing a Senior Project ( or "thesis"). 

Upper-level literature courses (with creative writing courses for the Creative Writing Concentration) form the core of the major.  Students also take a methods course in preparation for the senior project. 

Students can keep a record of their progress in completing requirements and electives for the major on the Major Worksheet.  To download the Major Worksheet, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download a free copy of the software.

Each term the department will offer at least one "Approaches" course, a seminar-sized course highlighting critical methodology and/or literary theory as it is used to read and write about literary texts. Students will write a properly documented critical analysis of at least ten pages using both primary and secondary sources. Both an "Approaches" course and Writing Level 4 (WL4) are prerequisites for the Senior Project.

Three-Year Degree Option:
For students majoring in English, Hartwick’s Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program is a unique opportunity to earn a degree in three years. For more information visit the Program Web site at