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English Liberal Arts

The English liberal arts major requires each student to take 11 courses.

3 Critical Content Courses

  • LIT 200 – Introduction to Poetry
  • LIT 201 – Approaches to Literature
  • LIT 202 – Cultures and Canons

These three critical content courses should be completed satisfactorily (see the program standards at before the junior year.  Transfer students should complete them as soon as possible.

3 Courses in Literary History

Choose three courses from the department’s offerings in literary history.  At least one of these courses must be in literature before the Restoration (that is, before 1660).

3 English Electives

Choose three electives from the literature (LIT), language/linguistics (LNG) and creative writing (CWR) courses offered by the department. In order to promote interdisciplinarity, students may, with permission of the Associate Chair, fill one of these electives with a relevant 200-level or higher course in literature, linguistics, aesthetics, cultural studies, film or writing from another program or department at TCNJ.

2 Literary Capstones

Two Capstones in different semesters. Most students will complete the requirement with two sections of LIT 499 Seminars in Research and Theory. These topics-based courses are writing and theory-intensive and will emphasize independent research. By permission of the Associate Chair, LIT 497 Seminar in Literary Theory may substitute for one LIT 499, and a student writing an honors thesis in the senior year may do so in place of the second LIT 499, but a student may not make both substitutions; that is, every student is required to complete at least one LIT 499. LIT 201 is an absolute pre-requisite for LIT 499 and LIT 497.  

Note: Only 6 courses at the 200-level (and none below the 200-level) will apply to the English liberal arts major, so plan wisely. Students are encouraged to explore minor concentrations such as African-American Studies, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, US Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. It is college policy that only one course taken as part of a student’s major may also be counted toward the student’s minor.

Learn more about the goals of the English Major »

See Advising Advice for program planners and sample schedules »