College of Arts & Sciences

The Department of English offers a wide range of courses in English, American and Anglophone literature, as well as in creative and expository writing, language, criticism and film analysis. English courses emphasize the close reading of texts, the study of particular authors and genres, questions of critical theory and method, and the relationship of literary works to their historical periods and other disciplines. The department seeks not only to foster analytical reading and lucid writing but also to stimulate thought about the nature of human experience. In order to be servant leaders, students must be articulate, they must be able to think critically and analytically, and they must have a grounding in humane thought and letters in order to understand the historical and philosophical contexts of today’s world.

Apart from such global rewards of studying literature, a degree in English-language literature offers intensive training in skills essential to the contemporary job market: the ability to think critically, to analyze and interpret language, to express ideas clearly and forcefully, to grasp multiple cultural traditions, and to relate texts to other areas of study. Graduates of Seton Hall University’s English program have gone on to graduate programs and successful careers in writing and editing, publishing, teaching, law, business and media.

In addition to the English major, the department also offers an English minor and a writing minor, both 18 credits and available to students of any major. At the graduate level, the Department of English offers a Master of Arts designed for present or prospective teachers of English on the secondary or college level, for students contemplating the Ph.D., and for those already involved in careers in publishing, business, writing or media. English majors who qualify for the Dual Degree B.A./M.A. program in English can complete the M.A. degree in one year beyond their B.A. See description below.

To declare an English major, students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA in College English I and II (ENGL 1201 and 1202), or gain permission of the Chair of the Department of English. NOTE: ENGL 1201-1202, 2101-2102, and 2103- 2104 count toward the College of Arts and Sciences core, as well as the English major.
View the College of Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum requirements »


ENGL 1201-1202
 Core English I-II
 ENGL 2204
 Introduction to Literary Studies
 ENGL 2101-2102
 Great Books of the Western World I-II
 ENGL 2111-2112
 British Literature I-II
 ENGL 2103-2104
 American Literature I-II

Advanced Electives


Choose 12 credits from four out of five categories in advanced electives below. Students also pursuing a Writing Minor may not choose Writing as one of the categories.

 British (pre-1800)
   British (post -1800)
   American  3
   Thematic/Comparative  3
 ENGL 5011
Senior Seminar
NOTE: English Education double majors must take the following courses for 9 of the 12 credits in upper-level electives:

  • for British pre-1800: ENGL 3312 Shakespeare
  • for Thematic/Comparative: ENGL 3115 Literature of Adolescence
  • for Writing: ENGL 3620 History of the English Language
  • English Education majors are also advised to take 3 more credits in advanced writing as a general elective.

English Departamental Honors

English majors may qualify for departmental honors by fulfilling the following criteria. Majors may declare their candidacy at any time up to and including first-semester senior term:

  • Maintain a 3.2 GPA in the major
  • Take an additional 6 credits in advanced electives, for a total of 48 credits to complete the English major with honors
  • Receive a Pass with honors on the English Major Assessment Portfolio
  • Senior thesis (from ENGL 5011) must be included in the Assessment Portfolio (in addition to the three revised papers, see below).

English Major Portfolio Assessment

English majors should begin keeping an Assessment Portfolio as soon as they declare their major, which is to be handed in at the end of their senior year to the chair of the Department of English. Portfolios are reviewed by a rotating committee of Department of English faculty. The grading system is pass/fail and appears on the student’s transcript; however, failure on the Assessment Portfolio will not affect student’s graduation. Pass with honors is reserved for English Departmental Honors students. The Assessment Portfolio will be submitted through Blackboard. The Assessment Portfolios should include:

  • Three graded research papers reflecting the student’s best work in the English major from three of the four required advanced elective categories.
  • A comprehensive examination to be given in ENGL 5011 English Seminar
  • A written self-assessment (criteria to be handed out in ENGL 5011)

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