Liberal Arts - 32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT - 59812
Requirements for the English Major
Having completed all of the Pre–English requirements, students may move on to the requirements for the major (42 credits), which are as follows:
1. Core Courses (18 credits required)
Complete the following (3 credits):
- LIT 201: Introduction to Literary Studies
Choose at least one of the following (6 credits):
- LIT 220: British Literature: Medieval through Early Modern
- LIT 221: British Literature: Enlightenment through Romantic
Choose at least two of the following (6 credits):
- LIT 222: British Literature: Victorian through Contemporary
- LIT 210: American Literature I
- LIT 211: American Literature II
Complete both of the following (6 credits)
(Note: Students must complete at least 12 credits of lower–division LIT classes before they can proceed into 300–level courses):
- LIT 300: Literary Criticism
- LIT 327: Shakespeare
2. Upper–Division English Electives (21 credits required)
In addition to the core requirements, students must take seven (7) 300–/400–level English courses. These twenty–one (21) credits must include at least one course from each of the following designations: A (Medieval through early modern British Literature); B (Enlightenment through Romantic British literature, or pre–1865 American literature); C (theory); D (diversity). Designations A and B can be satisfied fully or in part at the 200–level. When this occurs, students must enroll in additional upper division electives to ensure completion of 42 credits. These A/B/C/D designations of course offerings for each semester will be posted in the English Department; additionally, ask your advisor if you have any questions about them.
3. Capstone Course: Senior Seminar (3 credits required)
- All students must complete LIT 494: Senior Seminar before graduation; this course will have variable content depending on the instructor.
4. Foreign Language
Two years of a single modern or classical language or the equivalent (202+ level) score on a Competency exam is required. (See the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures for language placement test dates and times)
Note: Students are strongly encouraged to take LIT 201: Introduction to Literary Studies before enrolling in the 200–level survey courses (i.e., LIT 220–22, 210–11), or at least simultaneously with their first such course; LIT 201 is designed to prepare students for work in these surveys and in the courses that follow. Similarly, students are required to complete the balance of the 200–level requirements before proceeding on to the upper–division electives, as the surveys will serve as a foundation to these more specialized upper–level courses. See the sample course of study in the English Course Catalog for a semester–by–semester model for registration.
The Curricular Through–Line
The curriculum features a carefully designed, interlocking flight of three foundational, skills–building classes, one at each level of the curriculum (i.e., at the 200–, 300–, and 400–levels):
LIT 201: Introduction to Literary Studies is an introduction to the English major and the discipline of literary studies more broadly. The aim of this course is for each participant to become a more perceptive reader of literature in the genres of poetry, drama, and prose fiction. While students study a small selection of works from these three genres, this course is designed chiefly to help them acquire and practice the transferable skills one needs to read and write about literary works, of any sort, beyond the scope of this particular course. Through a series of visits from English department faculty, students learn about a range of interpretive approaches that literary scholars are employing today in their research and teaching. This course will familiarize students with the conventions of and expectations for writing about literature at the college level. One or more of the required essay projects involve working with critical sources, and with finding and evaluating sources of value and good quality using the Mansfield library´s electronic databases.
LIT 300: Applied Literary Criticism explores a wide range of approaches to literary interpretation. As part of the course, students will study the history of English as a distinct academic discipline and the evolution of critical theory in the 20th Century and beyond. Some of the issues to be explored include whether interpretation should focus on uniquely "literary" aspects of creative texts, the relationship between texts and the "outside" world (literature´s social and/or historical contexts), what it means to be an author as well as a reader of texts, whether texts reflect human psychology and to what degree they can be regarded as "meaningful" in any stable and/or reductive manner. In sum, the course asks: just what are we doing when we claim to be interpreting a work of literature? Another major focus in this course will be how to use ideas derived critical theory to interpret specific texts. Writing assignments are places to test both a student´s understanding of critical theory and her or his ability to apply theoretical concepts creatively to interpret literary texts.
LIT 494: Capstone Seminar in Literature is designed to provide an opportunity for students to develop advanced studies in literature, culminating in a long critical research paper of 15–20 pages. The course serves as the logical, progressive goal of our curriculum: after undertaking a coherent program of study, we free our majors to pursue a sustained, detailed, and thoughtful literary and critical analysis of a work or works of vital importance and interest to them. All majors must take the capstone course, which serves as the culminating experience of their program of study.