Designed to produce skilled and sophisticated readers and writers, the University of Toledo English major gives students sound academic preparation while providing flexible professional options. It involves not only the study of great literature but essential practice in the skill of reading, a skill necessary for communicating and understanding in a complex world. Alumni of the English department find these skills valuable in the classroom, in publications of all kinds, and in law, politics, and business. Students also have the opportunity for hands-on study in the department’s fine press and typography lab.The major also provides a solid background for students considering graduate study in English or other fields; for those students, and others interested in the challenge of an independent project, the department’s Honors Program is recommended.
Students considering the major are welcome to meet with the advisor in their area; newly declared English majors should do so as soon as convenient.
The English Department currently offers the Shapiro Senior Scholarship for English majors and the Ernest Gray Award for a graduating senior English major with a GPA of at least 3.6. English majors are also eligible for the essay revision contest open to all undergraduates and a writing contest for students in English courses. Full-time undergraduates experiencing a temporary financial emergency are also eligible for Dessner Fund grants.
English majors can chose either of two concentrations. You must choose a concentration before you can apply for graduation; declaration forms are available in the College of Arts and Sciences, University Hall, Third Floor Room 3160. Both require a core group of courses introducing the techniques and background required for advanced literary study, including intensive study of an author through Shakespeare. Together these courses provide a foundation for more advanced work, which varies according to the concentration a student chooses. The concentrations available are:
- Literature: This concentration is intended to provide a solid background in the skills of literary criticism and the knowledge of literary history. In addition to the major core, this concentration requires four courses leading to an understanding of literature advanced in both breadth – through coverage of major historical categories – and depth – through investigation of a single author.
- Creative Writing: The Creative Writing Concentration is intended for students with a serious interest in writing poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction, students who are considering obtaining an MFA in Creative Writing. The major is focused around three writing workshops, which build skills in specific genres through rigorous revision and peer review, and the capstone course, designed to prepare student work for applications to graduate school or submission to literary journals.
Click on the links above for specific requirements for each concentration. For more information see the booklet Guide to the English Major, available in the English Department main office, Field House 1500.