The English major involves reading, understanding, and responding to the most significant works of literature from ancient Greece, Renaissance England, early and modern America, and English-speaking countries in Africa and elsewhere. The basic structure of the major is historical, as study moves from a 200-level survey of periods and types of literature to a more detailed examination of literary periods, with a required course in Shakespeare mixed in. The major culminates in a capstone seminar on one of a variety of topics ranging from a literary problem or period or to an author or genre. Learn more about our department.
The majors program in English offers study of the most significant and influential writings of civilization from ancient times to the present as well as the opportunity for independent study and for creative writing projects. A bachelor of science degree is awarded.
An honors program with a designated honors degree is available for selected students. Built on the premise that students wishing to excel will do so within the framework of the regular major, the honors program requires concentration in literary period courses and participation in seminars focusing on literature and the fine arts and on advanced literary topics.
In addition to the honors program, midshipmen may take advantage of the Trident Scholar Program, study abroad, and poetry and playwriting competitions. For those inclined to be on the stage themselves, the Masqueraders, a highly regarded drama group, offers a major production each year.
Choosing a major in English will not limit career selection in a highly technical Navy or Marine Corps. The qualities of a superior officer must include creativity, interpretation and communication skills, independent thinking, and cultural knowledge through the study of literature. These qualities form the basis of study in all our English courses.