This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2023-2024 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Bachelor of Arts program in English requires a minimum of 120 credits, with at least 33 upper-level (numbered 300 to 499) credits in the major. Six of the 33 credits may be taken in upper-level foreign literature read in the original language or upper-level foreign literature in English translation (FLET). UNIV 111 and UNIV 112 (or equivalent) and a 200-level literature course (or equivalent) do not count toward the major.

English majors must take a minimum of nine credits at the 400 level, including the senior seminar, ENGL 499. Students may expect 300-level courses in the department to emphasize historical breadth, while 400-level courses will offer in-depth focus. ENGL 410-ENGL 414, ENGL 480-ENGL 485 and ENGL 499 will include British, American or other literatures (world, transatlantic, etc.). For specific topics, see the Schedule of Classes; majors are encouraged to choose 400-level courses from more than one literary tradition (British, American, other literatures).

Program goals and student learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Read closely a wide variety of texts from diverse traditions and recognize how texts are shaped by historical, geographical and generic contexts
    • Learning outcome 1: Employ strategies for interpreting form and ideas through close reading in order to build knowledge of human experience
    • Learning outcome 2: Demonstrate competence at synthesizing ideas within given contexts and perspectives
  • Write clear and effective compositions that reflect their understanding of literary genres, critical perspectives and rhetorical purposes
    • Learning outcome 3: Evince a thorough understanding of context, audience and purpose
    • Learning outcome 4: Organize and synthesize ideas to reveal insightful patterns related to the focus of the writing assignment
  • Employ various strategies for research in order to write persuasive essays
    • Learning outcome 5: Demonstrate discernment at engaging high-quality, credible, relevant sources as parts of published scholarly conversations
    • Learning outcome 6: Integrate evidence into a well-structured, logical argument