Requirements for the English Major


English Major Pyramid

The major in English consists of a minimum of ten courses.  Six of the ten must be taken at Barnard or Columbia.

  1. ENGL BC3193 Critical Writing (formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory).  Best taken in the sophomore year.
  2. Colloquia ENGL BC3159 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.)
  3. Two courses in English or American literature written before 1900 (Note: ONE of the Colloquium substitutions will count towards fulfillment of this requirement.)
    For details, refer to the Substitutions page.
  4. Three electives chosen from the entire English Department offering, excluding The
    English Conference, ENGL BC3101 and ENGL BC3123. One of these courses must be
    a literature class. With the approval of the Chair of the Barnard Department of English,
    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.
  5. 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 ENGL BC3999 Independent Study (4 points).  Apply by the day before the last day of Program Filing, since the computer system enabling you to register online updates over night.  The form can be downloaded from our Forms page and must be turned in to Sarah Pasadino in the English Department office (417 Barnard Hall.)

At least one of the English courses you take must be in American Literature.  It can simultaneously fulfill other requirements (elective, pre-1900, etc.) where appropriate.

Majors should chart their progress using the English major self-audit, available at the top of this page and in the department office.