May 30, 2024  
2015-2016 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

English Major: Literature and Criticism Option

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Departments, and Programs

BA degree 

To receive a degree with a major in English, students must demonstrate their ability to read intelligently and perceptively in such genres as fiction, poetry and drama; in works of literary criticism and literary history; and in works dealing with the nature of language itself. Candidates must also demonstrate the ability to write effectively, to use a library efficiently and honestly, to deal critically with generalizations about historical periods and genres and to handle a variety of critical questions with some maturity.


Students must earn a C- or better for courses to count toward the English major degree.  English majors are encouraged to take some of their electives in additional English courses.

Foundation Courses

Literature Core

Select nine additional courses with at least seven at the 300 or 400 level, including a 400-level literature seminar which will serve as the capstone course, by the following criteria:

Major Author

One major author course from the following list:

Historical Courses

At least four courses in history of literature from the following list. Two must be pre-1800 and two post-1800.

Literature Seminar

Three (3) credits at the 400 level.

Total Credits: 36

English Honors Program

Candidates must have completed a minimum of 6 English courses beyond the freshman level and have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.2 in all English courses taken to be considered for admission to English Honors. Qualified candidates will be admitted upon recommendation of an English department faculty member willing to serve as sponsor.

Criteria and Methods of Evaluation

A three-person faculty committee (preferably including one specialist in the field under investigation) will judge all written work and administer an oral examination on the subject of the Honors Thesis. (Students are entitled to select one of their examiners.) This committee will then award “Honors” or not, on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. overall seriousness of purpose;
  2. mastery of scholarly or creative methodology;
  3. sophistication of insights achieved;
  4. ability to relate findings verbally.

Interested students should consult their advisors and/or Professor Janet Gardner no later than the beginning of the senior year.


The program involves a closely supervised, two semester (6-credit) investigation into a literary, creative or rhetorical topic devised by the student in consultation with the faculty sponsor; and requiring a substantial amount of independent reading, writing and research.

University Studies Requirements

In addition to the requirements in the major, students will be required to complete the University Studies requirements. For more information:

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Departments, and Programs