English - English Major Option, B.A.


Department of English

Kathleen Godfrey, Chair
Peters Business Building, Room 382
FAX: 559.278.7143

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in English - English Major Option, B.A.
BA in English - English Education Option, B.A.
CERT in Composition, Certificate of Adv. Study
CRED in Single Subject Credential - English
MA in English - Literature Option, M.A.
MA in English-Literature & Composition Theory Option, M.A.
MA in English-Rhetoric and Writing Studies Option, M.A.
MFA in Creative Writing, M.F.A.
MN in English, Minor
MN in Creative Writing, Minor

Courses Offered

Certificate of Special Study in Creative Writing

English is a general major or minor designed to give proficiency in skills that traditionally have been among the most highly prized by society: an ability to read with comprehension and critical judgment; to communicate accurately and clearly both orally and in writing; to grasp difficult ideas and think logically; to do research and organize materials; to make ethical and moral judgments from an historical and humanistic framework; and to appreciate literature and the arts.

The core of the English major consists of four basic kinds of courses in the upper division: literary history courses, literary genre courses, literacy seminars, and writing courses. The masterpiece courses apply to the minor and may meet General Education requirements. The department also offers courses in mythology and folklore, methods of research, film, and women's studies.

The Subject Matter Program for teaching credential candidates contains a number of specific prerequisites and special required courses, some of which are outside the Department of English. For specific program requirements, consult with the credential adviser each semester.

Please note: The Composition Theory Option has been suspended as of May 2015.


Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

English Major

Each student seeking a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English must fulfill the lower-division core, core competencies, and all requirements listed under the English major degree option. Students also must fulfill the university's General Education requirements (49 units). The English Department requires two college-level courses in the same foreign language for both English major degree options.

1. Major requirements (48-57 units)

Lower-division core (8 units)
ENGL 31, 32

Core competencies (8 units)
ENGL 105 and 189 (or approved topics course in Shakespeare)

Options (32-43 units)
I. The English Major (32 units)
II. English Education (41-43 units)

Electives and remaining degree requirements (12-21 units)
(See Degree Requirements); may be used toward a double major or minor

2. General Education requirements (49 units)

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5. Total units (120)*

* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. See advisor for details.

Degree Options

The English Major

From the following three literature categories, select at least two courses before 1865.*

British Literature (8 units)
Select two: ENGL 146, 147, 150, 151, 152, 156, 184, 187

American Literature (4 units)
Select one: ENGL 153, 154, 155

World Literature (4 units)
Select one: ENGL 112, 113, 114, 167

Literature of Diversity (4 units)
Select one approved course: ENGL 141, 142, 143, 144, 168T, 178, 179, 193T, 194T

Approved upper-division electives in major (12 units)
See advisor

Total (32 units)

* Definition of a course before 1865: ENGL 112, 113, 116, 146, 147, 150, 151, 153, 184, 187.

Advising Notes

  1. A course may fulfill the requirement in more than one of the above content categories but will not reduce the number of total units required for the major.
  2. The English Department requires that students take at least one senior seminar (ENGL 193T or 194T) in their senior year. This may fulfill an upper-division requirement or an elective.
  3. CR/NC grading is not permitted in the English major with the exception of 4 units total of ENGL 175T and 186.
  4. General Education and elective units may be used toward a double major or minor (see double major or departmental minor). Consult the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or faculty advisor for further information.
  5. Not more than 6 units by extension and correspondence courses may be applied toward the English major; correspondence courses may be applied only if they are acceptable for the major at the college where the course is offered.
  6. English majors are advised to select a course in English history as one of their upper-division electives.
  7. English majors considering eventual graduate degrees should consult the graduate advisor.


The English Department consists of 26 full-time faculty whose teaching fields cover every area of literary studies and the humanities, including film and folklore. Most of the faculty have published books, textbooks, and articles in their disciplines, five have received outstanding teaching awards at the university, and one has received an outstanding teaching award for the entire CSU system. In addition, the faculty includes a number of lecturers, part-time instructors and teaching assistants, and the department operates an English writing lab staffed by tutors trained to work with students on an individual basis.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.A. in English

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Students reading together

An English Major or Minor enables students to develop expertise in analyzing literature and using language in a wide variety of ways:

  • to read with comprehension and critical judgment;
  • to study and evaluate literature and other writings within historical, aesthetic, and other contexts;
  • to communicate one's ideas accurately and clearly;
  • to perform scholarly research and construct persuasive arguments using a variety of sources;
  • to craft language in meaningful and effective ways;
  • to promote literacy through instruction and other activities; and
  • to appreciate the important role that literature and language play in the contemporary world.

The core of the English major consists of four basic kinds of courses in the upper division: literary history courses, literary genre courses, literary seminars, and writing courses.

The Subject Matter Program for teaching credential candidates contains a number of specific prerequisites and special required courses, some of which are outside the Department of English.

What You Can Earn

Public School Teacher
$52,085 (in our region)

Source: HR Reported data from salary.com as of December 2012

What You Can Do

Pursue careers in a variety of vocations, including law, journalism, editing and publishing, business management, and professional careers in writing

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Readings in American Literature
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing
  • Children's and Adolescent Literature
  • Advanced Writing of Poetry

What You Can Learn

  • The theory and practice of literary analysis
  • World literature from areas such as China, India, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Rome
  • Advanced writing of fiction
  • The structure, content, and function of myth and folklore in literature

About the College

The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

College Contact Information

College of Arts & Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats MS/MB99
Fresno CA 93740-8024

(559) 278-3056
FAX: (559) 278-6758

Where We Are Located

We are located in the west wing of the Music Building in Room 186.

Department Contact Information

Department of English 
5245 N. Backer Ave. M/S PB 98
Fresno CA 93740-8001

Phone: 559.278.2553 - FAX: 559.278.7143 
Location: Peters Business Building, Third Floor, Room 382