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 structure of the major is both theoretical and historical, with study moving from a 200-level introduction to critical theory and research methods to a more detailed, 300-level examination of literary periods, including a required course in Shakespeare. 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.
The English Major
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 prepare you for a career in the 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.
The English Department strives to provide a safe, respectful learning environment for all students. Although admissions restrictions unique to service academies, such as military service fitness standards and geographic quotas mandated by statutory law, might limit the diversity of our student body, the faculty and staff of the English Department value diversity highly. We believe that an inclusive curriculum, diverse faculty and student body, and welcoming climate, are critical to academic excellence and a well-rounded education.
With regard to faculty, since this institution is run by the federal government, restrictions related to legal work status do apply. Beyond that, we believe that our faculty should be diverse. We define diversity as encompassing differences in age, cultural identity, language background, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, faith, neurological make up (neurodiversity), geographic background, political and ideological perspectives, disability status, race, sexuality, social and economic status, and veteran status.
Our students can rely on us to sustain a generative space for creativity, rhetorical and civic deliberation, scholarly inquiry, and an openness to new ideas. We oppose harassment or bullying of any sort, particularly that based on race, gender, religion, national origin, LGBTQ+ status, immigration status, age or disability.
We welcome individuals, perspectives, and ideas that reflect the heterogeneity of the United States and the world.