Requirements for the English Major
The major in English consists of a minimum of ten courses. Six of the ten must be taken at Barnard or Columbia.
- BC 3193 Critical Writing (formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory). Best taken in the sophomore year.
- Colloquia BC 3159 and 3160.
Taken in the junior year.
All sections of 3159 (fall semester) are on the Renaissance; all sections of 3160 (spring semester) are on the Enlightenment.
(Information on Colloquia substitutions.)
- Two courses in literature written before 1900 (Note: ONE of the Colloquium substitutions will count towards fulfillment of this requirement.)
For details, refer to the Substitutions page.
- One additional literature course (excluding the Colloquia and the English Conference).
- Two electives chosen from the entire English Department offering, 3103 to 3195 and V 3260, excluding the Colloquia (3159-60), the English Conference, The Writer's Process (3101), and Rhetorical Choices: the Theory and Practice of Public Speaking (3123). N.B. These include courses in writing (including Screenwriting through the Film Studies program), speech, theatre, and seminars on special themes. With the approval of the Chair of the Barnard English Department, one course based in the literature of a foreign language (in English translation or in the original language) can count as an elective. See our page on Substitutions for more details.)
- Two senior seminars. Seniors who wish to substitute Independent Study for one of the two required senior seminars should consult the chair. Permission is given rarely and only to proposals meeting the criteria specified under the course description of BC 3999 Independent Study (4 points). Apply by the day before the last day of Program Filing, since the computer system enabling you to register on-line updates over night. The form can be downloaded from our Forms page and must be turned in to Lucy Coolidge in the English Department office (417 Barnard Hall.)
New requirement for English majors graduating in 2014 and later: You must take at least one course in American Literature. It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, pre-1900, etc.) where appropriate. Taking American Literature is encouraged for, but not required of, English majors graduating in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Majors should chart their progress using the English major self-audit, available at the top of this page and in the department office.