Return to 3220 Department of English
English majors may concentrate in one of four areas: literature, rhetoric and composition, creative writing, and pre-education. Before choosing their concentrations, all English majors have the opportunity at the sophomore level to gain a broad foundation in British literature, American literature, and world languages and cultures. Then, with the help of their advisers, majors choose upper-division courses, which allow them to pursue their interests in more depth. Finally, students study within their chosen concentrations in seminars designed as capstones for the major.
In addition, the department’s joint studies program with the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England, offers Georgia State University English and history majors the opportunity to complete their degrees with a concentration in British and American Cultures.
In each concentration, English majors acquire a sensitivity to the written word and an appreciation for the creative process. At graduation, they will have developed their skills in organization, writing, and interpretation. English courses offer students diverse opportunities to discover their own insights and to articulate those insights with precision.
Majors who concentrate in literature take a range of courses that afford them opportunities to read poetry, prose, and drama from a variety of historical periods and cultural groups. These literature courses promote students’ verbal acuity and abilities at thoughtful evaluation.
The department’s creative writing program enhances many of the same skills while emphasizing the development of students’ own writing practices and artistic points of view. Faculty in this program guide students as they refine their creative work in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
Students who concentrate in rhetoric and composition learn about the history, theory, and practice of writing to specific audiences for particular purposes. In this concentration, students may focus on historical rhetoric, the teaching of composition, and writing within business and technical environments. Courses in this area allow students to explore the history and theory of writing as applied to the teaching of composition and to writing practices in the workplace.
For English majors who wish to teach English in secondary schools, coursework in the pre-education concentration integrates studies of literature, language, and composition with a senior seminar that combines these areas with pedagogy.
The Department of English also offers courses in the related field of folklore. Georgia State University is the only institution in the state offering a wide selection of folklore courses.
A number of courses in the Department of English have an interdisciplinary approach, and several are crosslisted with other units within the university, such as the Department of African-American Studies and the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Because of the dynamic and varied nature of our discipline, many of the courses offered (especially on the 4000 level) focus on specific topics not indicated in detail here. Students should inquire in the department office for further information about courses.
Program Degree Requirements
Students must pass ENGL 1102 with a grade of C or higher or be currently enrolled in ENGL 1102 to register for ENGL 2105, ENGL 2110, ENGL 2120, ENGL 2130, ENGL 2140, or ENGL 2160. Students must pass ENGL 1102 with a grade of C or be currently in the course to take ENGL 2105 or ENGL 2160. All English majors must pass ENGL 1102 and either ENGL 2120 or ENGL 2130 with a grade of C or higher to enroll in upper-division English courses. ENGL 2110 may be substituted for ENGL 2120 or ENGL 2130 as a prerequisite for 3000-level literary studies courses with a global or postcolonial mandate (ENGL 3940, ENGL 3945, ENGL 3965, and ENGL 3970). Students must pass at least 6 hours in 3000-level English courses with a grade of C or higher in order to enroll in any 4000-level English course. All English minors who plan to take British literature courses must have completed ENGL 2120 with a grade of C or higher, and all English minors planning to take American literature courses must have completed ENGL 2130 with a grade of C or higher.
The department requires a minimum of 30 semester hours in upper-division English, with no more than 11 being transferred credits.
In addition to the Program Degree Requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see College Degree Requirements) and the University Degree Requirements (see 1400 University Degree Requirements and Graduation).
University Grade-Point Average and Grade Requirements
Georgia State University undergraduate students must achieve an overall institutional grade-point average of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.0 in Areas G and H to receive a bachelor’s degree from the university. Grades of C- can be used to satisfy graduation requirements. However, some courses have prerequisites that require a grade of C or higher. (See 1460 GPA Requirement for additional information.)