• The English Department encourages intellectual independence by stressing creative and critical thinking combined with informed reading and interpretation.


p: 704-894-2254

Mailing Address

Box 7125
Davidson, NC 28035

Shipping Address

209 Ridge Road
Davidson, NC 28035


English Major

The English Department provides you with a depth and breadth of literary knowledge while teaching you to explore problems creatively, to be sensitive to life's diversity, and to read the world critically and thoughtfully.

To declare a major in English, please select a faculty member (not visiting) and request that the professor serve as your adviser. Pick up the appropriate form from the Registrar's Office and take it to the department chair for approval.

If the adviser you selected cannot take any more advisees, then you will decide on a second choice with the chair. Your choice of adviser is extremely important as he/she will help you design a major program and provide advice, and/or recommendations for jobs and graduate school. Use our major advising form (DOC) as a guide to your coursework.

The English major has been revised and there are currently two versions. The Class of 2016 must follow the old major. Classes of 2017 and 2018 may choose either the old or revised major. Class of 2019 must follow the revised major.

Old Major Requirements

To graduate as an English major requires you to complete 10 courses as follows:

  • English 220 (to be completed by the end of sophomore year)
  • Three historical survey courses:
    • ENG 240 British Literature through 18th Century
    • ENG 260 or 290 British Literature through 19th through 20th Century or World Literatures, a historical survey of texts outside British and American traditions
    • ENG 280 American Literature through 20th Century
  • At least one writing, creative writing, or creative practice course (at 200, 300, or 400 level)
  • Five electives, four of which should be at the 300-level or higher, at least two at the 400 level

Revised English Major Requirements

The English major consists of ten courses, as follows:

  1. ENG 220: Literary Analysis, the gateway course to the major, by the end of the sophomore year
  2. One course in each of the following three categories: Diversity, Historical Approaches, and Innovation
  3. Five elective courses (two of which may be taken outside the department, either in residence or abroad, pending approval of the syllabi and completed work by a department subcommittee)
  4. A capstone experience in the senior year

Categories 2 and 3 will include two courses at the 200 level and two courses at the 300 level. Students must also have two courses at the 400 level, one of which fulfills category 4. No more than one English course at the 100-level will count for credit toward the major.

Progression and Sequencing: The successful English major follows an effective sequencing of courses. To that end, all majors will take:

  • Two 200-level courses by the end of sophomore year, one of which is ENG 220
  • At least one 300-level course by the end of the junior year
  • Two 400-level courses in the junior and/or senior year

Any exceptions to the above sequencing must be approved by the English department chair.

All English majors will maintain a Davidson Domains site to which they will upload one (or more) of their essays from the gateway course (ENG 220), along with other writing samples from 200- and 300-level courses.

To determine whether you should pursue the old or revised major, log into Degreeworks and play the "what if" game:

  • Log into your Banner Self-Service account using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome
  • Go to Degreeworks
  • Select the "What if" button
  • Select 2015/16 as the Catalog year (this is crucial)
  • Pick English as your major (you do not have to be a declared English major)
  • Have the "Process What-if" routine run, and you will know what requirements you have met, what still remains to be done, and what courses offered this semester would satisfy your remaining requirements

Additional information about the English major is available in the College Catalog.

Literary Analysis

English 220 lays the foundation for the three introductory historical survey courses (240, 260, 280) and for upper-level literature courses. Prospective English majors are encouraged to take English 220 as early as possible. The purpose of English 220 is to address many of the essential questions that confront a student of literature.

  • What do we do when we study "English?"
  • How do we determine that a text is "literature" and how does that determination affect our reading of it?
  • How do we account for the author's intentions in our response to the text?
  • What is required in the formal analysis of language, structure, sound, and rhythm in literature?
  • What do history, politics, and gender have to do with the discovery of meaning in a literary text?
  • What is the range of possibility in the reading and interpretation of literary texts?
  • What is the value of studying literature at all?

English 220 explores these and other critical issues through well-informed discussion and writing on selected texts of poetry, fiction, and drama by major authors in world literature.