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Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

English Language and Literature (ENGL)

College of Arts and Humanities
1128 Tawes Hall, (301) 405-3825
Chair: A. Bailey
Director: C. Walter
Professors: E. Arnold, J. Auerbach, C. Caramello, K. Cartwright, M. Casey, W. Cohen, T. Coletti, M. Collier, M. Collins, J. Donawerth, N. Fraistat, D. Hamilton, L. Kauffman, T. Leinwand, R. Levine, H. Norman, M. Olmert, B. Pearson, S. Plumly, S. Ray, B. Richardson, L. Rosenthal, M. Smith, O. Wang, M. Washington, J. Weiner, D. Wyatt
Associate Professors: A. Bailey, R. Bauer, T. Chico, L. Coleman, K. Coles, J. Enoch, O. Gaycken, M. Israel, S. Jelen, M. Kirschenbaum, K. Kraus, M. Lindemann, P. Mallios, T. Moser, Z. Nunes, R. Ontiveros, G. Passannante, K. Robertson, J. Rudy, V. Valiavitcharska, C. Walter, S. Wible, E. Wong
Assistant Professors: C. Adsanatham, S. Balachandran Orihuela, J. Fleming, M. Kill, L. Konstantinou, E. Mitchell, S. Trudell
Lecturers: E. Robinson
Professors Emeriti: J. Auchard, V. Beauchamp, A. Berlin, J. Bryer, V. Carretta, R. Coogan, S. Cooper, R. Cross, J. Fahnestock, V. Flieger, G. Hamilton, E. Hammond, R. Harrison, H. Herman, N. Isaacs, R. Jellema, R. Kolker, L. Lawson, S. Leonardi, S. Logan, M. Mack, M. Marcuse, C. Peterson, W. Peterson, L. Ryan, M. Trousdale, R. Vitzthum, C. Winton

The Major

The English major has four parts: English 301, Group I Requirements, Group II Requirements, and Emphasis/Elective Requirements.  English 301 is a required course and should usually be taken in the first semester after a student becomes an English major.  Group I Requirements provide a broad foundation in literary history and an awareness of questions an inquiring reader might ask of a text.  Group II Requirements explore in greater depth both literary periods and literary themes across periods, and develop skills in reading, criticism, writing, and research.  The Emphasis/Elective Requirements allows students to focus on their personal interests within the major.

  • The major requires 36 credits beyond the University's Fundamental Studies requirements. At least 30 of the 36 credits must be at the 300- or 400-level; at least 12 credits must be 400-level.
  • A "C-" or better is required in each course making up the 36 credits of the major.
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
  • Three credits of ENGL388 (Internship) may be included in the 36 credits of the major.
  • Only 6 credits of ENGL429 (Independent Study) may be included in the 36 credits of the major.
  • Only 9 credits of ENGL379 (Special Topics) may be included in the 36 credits of the major.
  • Only 9 credits of ENGL428 (Seminars) may be included in the 36 credits of the major.

Program Objectives

The English major has been designed to give students an overview of the history and variety of literature written in English; to use the critical study of language and literature to help students think carefully and express themselves well; and to introduce students to the debates about literature and culture that shape our intellectual lives and our national and global conversations.  Our hope is that our graduates will enter the world with the sophistication, critical acumen, and sympathy born of wide reading and with the skills needed to carry their convictions into action, no matter what line of work they pursue.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to analyze texts critically.
  • Students will be able to write persuasively. 
  • Students will be able to conduct research in English studies. 
  • Students will be able to communicate the importance of studying literature, rhetoric, and writing across time and from various perspectives.

Requirements for the Major

The English major requires 36 credits distributed as follows:

ENGL301: Critical Methods in the Study of Literature 3
  English majors must take ENGL 301 before they take other 300- or 400-level English courses. We strongly recommend it be taken during the sophomore year.   
GROUP I REQUIREMENTS (One course to be taken in each area) 9
  Literary and Cultural History 3
  Literary, Linguistic, or Rhetorical Analysis 3
  Literature of African-Americans, Peoples of Color, Women, and/or Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgendered 3
All courses to be taken at the 300- and 400-level. At least 12 credits within Group II and the Emphasis/Elective Requirements must be at the 400-level.  
  Writing before 1800  (two courses) 6
  Modern British, Anglophone, and/or Postcolonial  Writing after 1800  (one course) 3
  American, African American, and/or U.S. Ethnic Writing  (one course) 3
All course to be taken at the 300- and 400- level. At least 12 credits within Group II and the Emphasis/Elective Requirements must be at the 400-level.


  Four English emphasis courses which may follow a designated pathway if the student desires. Students may also count one 300- or 400-level literature course in a literary tradition other than English, either in the original language or in translation, as an elective.


Students pursuing the major should review the academic benchmarks established for this program. See: www.4yearplans.umd.edu .  Students will be periodically reviewed to insure they are meeting benchmarks and progressing to the degree.  Students who fall behind program benchmarks are subject to special advising requirements and other interventions.

English and English Education Double Major
In conjunction with the College of Education, the English Department offers a special 125-credit program for students wishing to double major in English and English Education, allowing them to earn a certificate to teach English at the secondary level. For a list of requirements, contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office (1128 TWS, 301-405-3825).

All courses presented for the major must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements for the Minor

Requirements for the Creative Writing Minor

The minor in Creative Writing offers students the opportunity to engage deeply with their own writing and that of their peers in a graduated series of workshops led by professional writers of poetry and prose.

The Creative Writing minor's 15 credits consist of the following:

  • Three credits at the 200-level (ENGL271 or ENGL272 or ENGL273 or AASP274/ENGL274)
  • Three credits at the 300-level (ENGL352 or ENGL353)
  • Six credits at the 400-level (two sections of ENGL498 or of ENGL499)
  • Three credits in any upper-level English literature course

After admission to the minor, students choose to specialize in either prose (352, 498) or poetry (353, 499).  Students admitted directly to a 300-level workshop must take three workshops (9 credits) at the 400-level.

No course grade below the grade of C- may count toward the minor. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.

Requirements for the Professional Writing Minor

1220 Tawes Hall

For students who wish to specialize in public and professional writing as an area of expertise and for students who wish to communicate their discipline through writing, the Professional Writing minor offers opportunities to engage deeply with the theory and practice of writing, editing, and designing both print and digital documents for professional workplaces, civic organizations, and community deliberations. Students will develop electronic portfolios throughout their minor coursework as a means to showcase their professional writing knowledge and skills. Writing-focused internships will be encouraged, although not required, in the later stages of coursework.

Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor requires the following:

A. Fifteen credit hours of coursework consisting of: 

1) Three credits in ENGL 297: Introduction to Professional Writing

2) Twelve credits from the following courses, including at least nine credits at the 300 or 400 level and three credits at the 400 level:

ENGL281: Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Diction (See Note 1)

ENGL282: Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

ENGL291: Intermediate Writing

ENGL292: Writing for Change

ENGL293: Writing in the Wireless World

ENGL381: MGA Legislative Seminar (See Note 2)

ENGL384: Concepts of Grammar (See Note 1)

ENG388M: Writing Internship: Maryland General Assembly Pre-Professional Writing Internship (See Note 2)

ENGL388P: Writing Internship: Pre-Professional Writing Skills Internship

ENGL388V: Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) Internship in Academic Writing or Professional Writing

ENGL388W: Writing Internship: Writing Center Internship 

Professional Writing Program Courses:

ENGL390: Science Writing

ENGL391: Advanced Composition: Argumentation

ENGL392: Legal Writing

ENGL393: Technical Writing

ENGL394: Business Writing

ENGL395: Writing for the Health Professions

ENGL398A: Writing for the Arts

ENGL398B: Writing for Social Entrepreneurship

ENGL398C: Writing Case Studies and Investigative Reports

ENGL398E: Writing for Economics

ENGL398L: Scholarly Writing in the Humanities

ENGL398N: Writing for Non-Profit Organizations

ENGL398R: Writing Non-Fiction Narratives

ENGL398V: Writing for the Environment

ENGL487: Foundations of Rhetoric

ENGL488: Topics in Advanced Writing

ENGL493: Advanced Writing Theory and Practice

ENGL494: Editing and Document Design 

B. Submission of an electronic professional writing portfolio

Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor also requires the submission of a writing portfolio during a student's final semester. This portfolio must be submitted to the minor advisor by November 1 for fall semester graduation or April 1 for spring semester graduation. The electronic portfolio must contain, at a minimum, the following material: 1. A welcome page; 2. Six finished, polished texts written by the student in Professional Writing minor courses; and 3. A reflective essay that analyzes how these documents demonstrate the student's achievement of the minor's learning outcomes. The minor advisor will confirm that each portfolio meets these minimum requirements.


1. Credit toward the minor will be granted for only one of these two courses: ENGL281 or ENGL384.

2. ENGL381 is a prerequisite for ENGL388M.

3. A student cannot count toward the Professional Writing minor the PWP course that he or she takes to fulfill the Fundamental Studies Professional Writing requirement for the University of Maryland General Education Program. Only a second PWP course can be used to fulfill the Professional Writing minor requirement. Advisors will encourage students to select a second PWP course only if it complements the students' academic or professional goals.

4. Students may satisfy up to three credits of the nine-credit 300- or 400-level coursework requirement through documented writing-intensive professional or internship experience. Students must submit an acceptable portfolio of workplace writing to the Professional Writing minor advisor in order to have these three credits count toward their minor.

5. Following university policy, English majors may count two Professional Writing minor courses toward both the requirements for the English major and the Professional Writing Minor.

Students must be accepted into the minor no later than the start of the semester before the semester in which they plan to graduate.

All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better.

An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to  www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors .

Requirements for the Rhetoric Minor

The minor in Rhetoric is an interdisciplinary program offered through the cooperation of the Department of English and the Department of Communication.  Requirements are listed in the Communication section of the catalog.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors .



Academic advising is available throughout the year in 1128 Tawes Hall.  Departmental academic advising is mandatory for all majors each semester.  Students should check One.UMD ( https://one.umd.edu/ ) for their registration date and schedule an advising appointment for at least one week in advance of that date. The English Department also offers internship and career advising.  Advising appointments can be made by calling 301-405-3825 or by visiting the English Undergraduate Studies Office in 1128 Tawes Hall.  For information, visit: www.english.umd.edu/academics/undergraduate/advising .

The Writing Center

The Writing Center, 1205 Tawes Hall, 301-405-3785, provides free tutoring to undergraduate students with writing assignments.  Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome based on availability of tutors.  Appointments can be made by calling the Writing Center or visiting its website.  Students, faculty, and staff with questions about punctuation, sentence structure, word choice, or documentation can call the Writing Center's Grammar Hotline at 301-405-3785. For information, visit: www.english.umd.edu/academics/writingcenter .


The department both sponsors internships and offers credit for outside pre-professional internships. Departmental internships include: Maryland General Assembly Internship, Dickinson Electronic Archives Digital Humanities Internship, Romantic Circles Internship, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) Internship, Writing Center Internship, Undergraduate Teaching Assistants in Writing Programs Internship, and Pre-Professional Writing Skills Internship. Students must have completed their Professional Writing requirement and have a 2.5 overall GPA to be eligible for English Department internship credit.  For more information, please make an appointment with our Internship Advisor by calling (301) 405-3825.  For information, visit: www.english.umd.edu/academics/undergraduate/internships .

Honors Program

The English Honors Program offers lively and challenging seminars, the opportunity to do a long-term project in an area of special interest, and the sort of intellectual and literary community that you might find at a small liberal arts college.  Students work closely with faculty members and peers in seminars and on a senior project.  Interested students should ask for details from an English Department advisor as early as possible in their college careers.  For information, visit: www.english.umd.edu/academics/undergraduate/honors .

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students.  For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

Academic Excellence in English
The English Department Academic Excellence Awards are presented each term to students graduating in English with the most outstanding academic records in their coursework in the major. Winners receive a certificate and a signed book from the department.

Henrietta Spiegel Creative Writing Award
This award is bestowed each spring to honor undergraduate work in creative writing judged by the Creative Writing faculty to be the most outstanding. It is named for the oldest person ever to complete an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland (B.A. in English, 1989, at age 92).

Joseph W. Houppert Memorial Prize
This prize, named for a distinguished member of the department who served from 1963 until his death in 1979, is awarded each spring to the undergraduate who has written the best essay on Shakespeare during the academic year.

Joyce Tayloe Horrell Award
This award, in memory of a master teacher in the English Department from 1960 to 1967, is conferred annually on the English major who has demonstrated the highest academic achievement among the graduating class.

Sandy Mack Award for Outstanding Work in English Honors
This prize, which is given each spring to the student with the most outstanding overall record in English Honors, is named for the faculty member who developed the English Honors Program and guided it for many years.

Sara Ann Soper Undergraduate Service Award
This award honors a graduating senior who has volunteered time, energy, and commitment to community service. It memorializes the mother of a 1989 English graduate, Shannon Altman, who endowed it.

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