The College of New Jersey

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English Secondary Education

The English secondary education major requires each student to take 11 courses in English, and 10 units (9 courses) in secondary education.


4 Critical Content Courses

LIT 200 – Introduction to Poetry
LIT 201 – Approaches to Literature
LIT 202 – Cultures and Canons
LNG 201 – Introduction to the English Language OR LNG 202 – Structure and History of the English Language (LNG 202 is recommended) OR WLC 215 Introduction to Linguistics

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).

2 English Electives

Choose two electives from the literature (LIT), language/linguistics (LNG) and creative writing (CWR) courses offered by the department. In order to promote interdisciplinary, 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. Every student is required to complete at least one LIT 499. LIT 201 and LIT 202 are pre-requisites for either LIT 499 or LIT 497.

Distribution Requirement

The Literary History and English Electives courses must include at least one course from each of the following categories as approved by the department: American/U.S. literature, British literature, World literature. See PAWS or this Literary History and Liberal Learning Designations.

Note: Only 6 courses at the 200-level (and none below the 200-level) will apply to the English major, so plan wisely.

Learn more about the goals of the English Major »

Secondary Education (Rev. 2017-2018; for students graduating in or after 2020)

Sophomore Year (2 Units)

  • EFN 299 – Schools & Communities
  • SED 224 – Adolescent Learning and Development

Sophomore or Junior Year (1 Unit)

  • SPE 103- Social and Legal Foundations of Special Education

Junior or Senior Year (4 Units)

EED 390, SED 399, and RAL 328 include a shared field experience and should be taken together:

  • EED 390 – Methods of Teaching Secondary English (1 units)
  • SED 399 – Pedagogy in Secondary Schools (1.5 unit)
  • RAL 328- Reading in Secondary Education (.5 units)
  • EED 380- Teaching Writing (can be taken before Clinical I, with Clinical I, or with Clinical II)

Senior Year (3 Units)

These two courses must be taken together, during the semester immediately following Clinical I.:

  • EED 490 — Student Teaching (2 units)
  • SED 498 — Collaborative Capstone Seminar

It is strongly recommended that the student not enroll in any additional courses during his or her Clinical II semester.

Program Grade Requirements
Students must earn a grade of B or better in SED 224 and EFN 299.
Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 to enroll in SED 399, EED 399, and SPE 323.
Students must have earned a grade of B or better in SED 399, a B- in EED 390, a B- in EED 380 and have an overall GPA of 2.75 to enroll in Clinical II, and an overall GPA of 3.0 for certification.

See Advising Advice for program planners and sample schedules »

1 Health Requirement

You must meet the State of New Jersey health requirement in order to be certified in New Jersey. The requirement may be met in the following ways:

  • Basic US Military Training
  • Any college course in biology, nutrition, anatomy & physiology, health & wellness issues, or personal/family/community health
  • TCNJ course BIO 104
  • Health and hygiene test taken in the TCNJ Certification Office (Education 106)*

*The test takes approximately 40 minutes and covers general health & fitness, illness & disease, smoking, and drug and substance use & abuse. All questions are taken from a study guide available below. Students should contact the Certification Office to schedule a time to take the test.

Click here for Health and hygiene test study guide

For more questions about English Secondary Education other than certification, please contact Emily Meixner, Director of the English Secondary Education Program or view the Secondary Education website.


Prior to Clinical I: All Secondary English Education students must meet the State of New Jersey Basic Skills Requirement:

  • SAT: (If taken before 2/28/16): Verbal 560, Math 540; (If taken after 3/1/16): Verbal 610, Math 570
  • OR ACT: English 23, Math 23 (This is not a composite score. Both individual scores must be 23 or above).
  • OR PRAXIS CORE: Reading 156, Writing 162, Math 150

During the final year of your program, you should arrange to take the PRAXIS II test, the English content-specific test required for New Jersey secondary certification in English. The test you will be required to take is #5038: “English Language Arts: Content Knowledge,” You must take this test prior to Clinical II. You must pass this test prior to applying for certification (Qualifying Score, 167)


Apply for certification early in the semester of your graduation in the Certification Office Education Building Room 106. Note that you cannot be certified until after you have graduated. If you “walk” in the May graduation ceremony but take any courses over the summer, you are considered an August graduate and cannot be certified until late August, which may prevent you from being hired in many school districts.

For further information on certification, contact:
LaChan Hannon in the TCNJ Certification Office Education Room 106
609-771-2396 or