English Degree Requirements

St. Joseph’s College students can choose to take either the 42-credit English major or to combine it with the adolescence education program, which prepares for teaching at the secondary level.

The English major exposes students to British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the 2First century and American literature from the Colonial period to current writers. Students can explore classical literature and ethnic influences on American authors while examining other literary cultures that have produced major authorial voices.

All English majors prepare a senior thesis where they produce a significant piece of literary research and critical argumentation. The process encompasses the spring and fall semesters prior to graduation.

Core Courses

All 100-level literature courses at or above ENG 112. Literature courses at the 200 and 300 level may be offered as additional core courses.

The English Major

Students must complete 39 English credits after completing ENG 103. One course must be in English Renaissance literature and one must be in medieval literature before 1550.


Junior Year

  • ENG 400 Scholarly Writing about Literature

  • ENG 404 Advanced Survey of American Literature to 1865

  • ENG 405 Advanced Survey of American Literature since 1865

Senior Year

  • ENG 402-403 Advanced Survey of English Literature and Literary Criticism

  • ENG 487 The Senior Thesis

A 2.7 GPA must be achieved and maintained in 400-level courses.

Adolescence Education

Through the adolescence education program, the curriculum changes slightly for students wishing to teach at the secondary level. Along with ENG 103, 39 credits are required and must include ENG 400 and an American, British and world literature course. Three speech courses with a 3.0 average are required. They are:

  • SPC 102 Speech Communication

  • SPC 217 Oral Interpretation of Literature

  • SPC 218 Normal Language Development

To complete the adolescence education program, students must have a 2.7 GPA and maintain it in both their major and education courses.

Adolescence Education Courses

  • EDU 115 Educational Psychology

  • CS 121 (B)/EDU 121 (L.I.) Psychology of the Exceptional Child/Teaching Adolescents with Exceptionalities

  • EDU 234 Sociological and Philosophical Foundations of Education

  • PSY 220 Adolescent Psychology

  • EDU 360 Methods in Secondary Education

  • EDU 361 Methods of Teaching English in Secondary Education (in student’s major field)

  • EDU 473 Supervised Student Teaching

Students are also required to perform 100 hours of fieldwork in middle and secondary schools prior to student teaching. Advisement is available throughout the program.

To gain initial certification, students must pass the NYSTCE Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST), the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W) and the Content Specialty Test (CST) in their major field, as well as submit fingerprinting documentation and participate in a Child Abuse and Violence Prevention workshops. These are offered here.

Concentration for Child Study Majors

Child study majors who choose the English concentration must earn 30 English credits after completing ENG 103. Also, 18 of the 30 credits must be in courses above the 100 level. Other requirements for the concentration include:

  • ENG 400 Scholarly Writing About Literature

  • ENG 404 Advanced Survey of American Literature to 1865

  • ENG 405 Advanced Survey of American Literature since 1865

Note for Transfer Students

Since the Department of English requires that 18 of the 39 major credits be in courses at the 200 level or above, transfer students who have completed a program in creative writing will probably need to take all 18 credits at St. Joseph’s College. Those who have taken a literature sequence will have each course evaluated.

Introductory courses will transfer at the 100 level and more specialized studies may transfer at the 200 level. Developmental or remedial courses do not count toward the major. Neither does any standard composition course that is a college requirement.

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