The English Major: A Guide
Talk to an Advisor Every Semester at Least
- Director of Undergraduate Studies Darren Canady (email@example.com)
- Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Coordinator Mary Klayder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Advising Specialist J.D. Smith (email@example.com)
Kick it Off Right
One great way to kick off your English coursework is to take a 200-level course or a 300-level class that interests you. Always been a big Shakespeare fan? Take 332! Want to study rhetoric and writing? Try 380! Want to do creative writing? Take a workshop!
Take ENGL 300 as Early as You Can
This introductory, seminar-style course will orient you to English courses, fields of specialization, opportunities, and career-pathways. It’s offered every semester! The earlier you take, the better prepared you’ll be for the rest of your courses.
Read Course Descriptions
Every semester, the English department posts descriptions of all courses. Read these to get a sense of what the courses will involve!
Mix it Up
At the 300-level, try to mix “knowledge base” courses (like literary history courses (312, 314, 320, 322), Shakespeare (332), and literature of social justice (341)) with courses that focus on your interests (like fiction writing (351) or special topics courses).
Think about what courses will challenge and support you intellectually and practically. Whatever you end up doing after college, the intellectual rigor of English classes will help you.
Think about Research or Department Honors
Research in English can take many forms: publishing a piece of creative writing, doing archival research, presenting your work to peers, and much more. The department also boasts one of the most active Honors programs at KU. Ask an advisor for more information.
Enroll with a Purpose
Be sure to think (and talk to an advisor) about what courses you should take. If you have particular outcomes in mind (like med school, law school, graduate school, editing, copy-writing, and on and on), then look at the sample course profiles and make a coursework plan.
Remember What Capstone Means
You are required to take two 500- or 600-level (“capstone”) courses for the major. Think of these capstones as advanced, research-intensive work in your area.
Take Advantage of Resources
Your instructors, the advisors, and other English students can be a great resource for making your way through the major.