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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 speak with a faculty member 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.

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.

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.

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

Courses at the 100 and 200 level tend to require considerable reading of primary texts, frequent writing assignments, and tests. Courses at the 300 and 400 level include more literary criticism in addition to primary tests, research assignments, and class presentations.

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

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.