Concentrations

Below are the requirements for an English major with a concentration in:

New requirement for English majors graduating in 2014:  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.

American Literature

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American LiteraturePyramid

An American literature concentration includes two of the four Barnard survey courses in American literature, including one before 1870 (either ENGL BC3179 or 3180) and one after 1871 (either ENGL BC3181 or 3183); one senior seminar in American literature; and one additional course in American literature.  In addition, students must fulfill all requirements for the English major (minimum of ten courses).  Students interested in this concentration should consult with Prof. Monica Miller.

1. Critical Writing ENGL BC3193 (formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory). Best taken in the sophomore year.

2. Colloquia ENGL BC3159 and 3160. Taken in the junior year.   (Click to view possible substitutions.)

3. Two courses in English and American literature written before 1900.   One must be either ENGL BC3179 or 3180.  (Click for details.)

4. One survey course on American literature between 1871 and the present, either ENGL BC3181 or 3183.

5. Two electives, of which one will be in American literature and the other selected from the entire English Department offering: from ENGL BC3103 through 3194.  (N.B. These include courses in writing, speech, theatre, and seminars on special themes but not the Colloquia.)  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.)

6. Two senior seminars, of which one must have a focus on American literature.

Permissible substitution for one of these seminars (requiring approval of the instructor and the department chair or departmental representative): ENGL BC3999 Independent Study (4 points).  Apply by April 15 for fall-term projects and by November 15 for spring-term projects.  See the Chair of the department or Sarah Pasadino for guidelines and application form.  Click here to view online instructions and application form.


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Creative Writing

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Creative Writing Pyramid

This concentration differs from the others in that students must submit an application to be considered for it.  Majors interested in being considered for the Writing Concentration should submit 15-20 pages of their prose (including fiction, personal narrative, creative non-fiction or playwriting) and/or poetry writing online via Google Form, which can be accessed here, by the last day of advanced program filing (occurring in mid-April for the spring semester or in mid-November for the fall semester) in the second semester of their JUNIOR year. The submission may contain a single piece of writing or several shorter ones.   

Students considering a concentration in Writing should review the Departmental requirements below before they apply: we recommend that they make sure they can comfortably fulfill these before they apply. It is especially important that all students who concentrate in Writing plan for when they will write their Senior Project in Writing (ENGL BC3996 in conjunction with a creative writing course or ENGL BC3999) and sign up for it on time in the appropriate semester.

Once a student is informed that she is eligible for the concentration, she must fill out a Declaration of Writing Concentration Form and submit it to the Registrar's Office or her transcript will not reflect the concentration.  

Please remember that being accepted as a writing concentrator does not guarantee acceptance into writing classes.

Students interested in this concentration should consult with Prof. Timea Szell, Director of the Creative Writing Program.

A major in English with a concentration in Writing consists of a minimum of eleven courses.

1. Critical Writing ENGL BC3193 (formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory).  Best taken in the sophomore year.

2. Colloquia ENGL BC3159 and 3160. Taken in the junior year.  (Click to view possible substitutions.)

3. Two courses in literature written before 1900.   (Click for details.)

4. One additional literature course, excluding the Colloquia (ENGL BC3159-60) and the English Conference.

5. Two writing courses, preferably one introductory (ENGL BC3105-3113 or ENGL BC3120) and one advanced (ENGL BC3114-3118).  Please note that Columbia's introductory classes (specifically classes for which no application is required) do not count for the writing concentration.

6. An elective, either in literature or creative writing.  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.)  Consult Prof. Szell about the applicability of Columbia courses.

7. A Senior Project, written either in a third writing course combined with a Special Project in Writing (ENGL BC3996), or, in rare cases, written in an Independent Study (ENGL BC3999).

8. One senior seminar.

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.

Film

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Film Concentration Pyramid

A major in English with a concentration in Film consists of a minimum of eleven courses.  Students interested in a film concentration should consult with Prof. Ross Hamilton.

1. Critical Writing ENGL BC3193 (formerly called Literary Criticism & Theory).  Best taken in the sophomore year.

2. Colloquia ENGL BC3159 and 3160. Taken in the junior year.  (Click to view possible substitutions.)

3. Two courses in literature written before 1900.  (Click for details.)

4. One additional literature course (excluding the Colloquia).  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. Introduction to Film and Film Theory FILM BC3201 or W3000.

6. One film writing course, either Screenwriting FILM BC3119, or Feature Film Screenwriting FILM BC3120.

7. One film elective, chosen from among specific offerings at Barnard or Columbia.  Approval required.

8. Two senior seminars, one of which must be the Film/Literature Senior Seminar.

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.

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Theatre

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Theatre Concentration Pyramid

A major in English with a concentration in Theatre consists of a minimum of eleven courses.  Students interested in a theatre concentration should consult the Acting Director of the Theatre Concentration, Prof. Pamela Cobrin.

1. Critical Writing ENGL BC3193 (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.  (Click to view possible substitutions.)

3. Two courses in literature written before 1900.  (If you have substituted two or three courses for the Colloquium requirement, ONE of the substitutions will count towards fulfillment of this requirement.)

4. One additional literature course (excluding the Colloquia and the English Conference).  Courses in dramatic literature will apply towards fulfillment of the Theatre concentration electives requirement.  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. A total of three courses in theatre history and dramatic literature. Students may elect to take two courses in theatre history (THTR V3150: Western Theatre Traditions: Classic to Romantic and THTR V3151: Western Theatre Traditions: Modern) and one dramatic literature seminar, OR one theatre history course and two seminars in dramatic literature.

6. Special Project in Theatre. This may be written in a Senior Seminar with a focus on dramatic literature; written in a dramatic literature course that is combined with ENGL BC3996: Special Project in Theatre; or, in rare cases, written in ENGL BC3999: Independent Study.

7. One senior seminar.

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.

Questions on the Theatre concentration may be directed to Prof. Cobrin.

page last updated 9/15/15