A major in English at the University of Michigan-Dearborn focuses on the dynamic intersection of language, literature, and society as well as the identities and communities shaped by this intersection.

English majors have the opportunity to explore the relationships between reading and writing printed text by becoming familiar with the strategies that writers use to shape conceptions of truth. The English faculty’s primary goal is to help students develop a sensitivity to the ways spoken and printed language frame how we conceive and discuss our identities throughout history, in the context of a global community both in — and beyond — Metropolitan Detroit. English majors may expect to develop a close relationship to the social ramifications of the written word and its potential for incorporating both communities and individuals into a larger, more internationally aware reading and listening audience.

  • More about English

    The UM-Dearborn English faculty offer courses that contextualize language in terms of the various traditions and genres of British and American literature, and of world literature in English, and that provide the critical skills necessary to craft effective expository and creative prose.

    The English faculty are both committed, innovative teachers and active scholars, and include recipients of the campus’s awards for Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Research. Faculty frequently direct students in independent study projects, and often teach courses that connect literature to other fields, from history and the arts to religion, philosophy, science, and visual culture.

    Introduction to English Studies (ENGL 200) provides the gateway to the English major, while courses in the Introduction to Literature series (ENGL 230, 231, 232, 233, and 239) meet the CASL Letters Requirement for majors and non-majors alike.

  • English Discipline Statement on the U.S. Political Climate

    The English Discipline at the University of Michigan-Dearborn has always been grounded in intellectual inquiry, critical thinking, and ethical behavior. It is crucial to this enterprise that we maintain a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment that fosters a sense of belonging. Therefore, the English Discipline unequivocally condemns all racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, heterosexist, misogynist, and other hate speech and acts. The members of our department are affiliated with Women's and Gender Studies, and African and African American Studies, and other social justice oriented college wide programs, and support the work and value of these programs. Due to these affiliations and our own sense of civic engagement, empathic reasoning, and free and open discourse, we  reject any action that, intentionally or not, contributes to the creation of a climate of fear, hostility, and suspicion of our neighbors; and we condemn harassment of all kinds. Since the conclusion of the unprecedented 2016 US Presidential campaign, there has been an increase in hate crimes, in heated, nationalist rhetoric, and in argumentation based on misinformation and sloganeering, rather than sound, evidence-based argumentation and fact. We believe that now, more than ever, institutions of higher learning, and especially our discipline, plays a vital role in the health of a democratic society. We remain committed to our focus on critical thinking and empathy, and committed to training our students to question the assumptions that ground our society and to imaginatively transport themselves into the perspectives of others.

Degree Requirements

  • Bachelor of Arts in English

    To see the specific requirements of the English major, please click here.

    PLEASE NOTE: Students are strongly advised not to wait until their final semesters to take courses required to graduate, as those courses may not be offered and available for you to take.

  • II. Minor in English

    Students at UM-Dearborn may apply for recognition of a minor, which consists of 12 hours in courses numbered 300 or above in a particular discipline. The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters also offers cross-disciplinary minors consisting of 15 hours in a series of courses that, taken together, provide the student with an additional dimension of expertise or skill. Minors are recognized on student transcripts at the time of graduation.

    English concentrators may find a minor in Communications, Business Administration, Modern and Classical Languages, Women's Studies, Art History, Religious Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, International Studies or Humanities a valuable supplement to the concentration. Students should consult with an academic advisor before deciding to pursue a minor.

  • III. Certification for High School English Teaching

    One of the following supplements is required for students seeking certification for high school teaching in English. A major consists of 30 hours, including one upper-level writing course

    English 323: Advanced Creative Writing, or English 327: Advanced Exposition

    and two linguistics courses

    Linguistics 280: Introduction to Linguistics and Linguistics 461: Modern English Grammar

    The balance of the 30 hours for the major must be selected with the approval of the degree and certification advisers in accordance with the English concentration and certification requirements.

    A minor in English for certification consists of 20 hours, including the same required courses in writing and linguistics, with the balance to be selected with the approval of degree and certification advisers.

    Both the major and the minor have "Library Science 470: Literature for Young People" as a supplementary requirement; please note that this course is not included in the 30 or 20 hours.

Program Goals

Students completing a concentration in English are exposed to texts and conversations about texts so that they may understand how the literary imagination works.  Students should emerge with (1) a set of technical skills and (2) an understanding of a variety of critical frameworks and contexts for communicating insights about texts.

Specifically, students successfully completing an English major will be able to demonstrate: 

  • Skills: Reading, Writing, Conducting Research, Informed Criticism
    • Facility at "close reading"--the ability to read texts for both denotative and connotative meaning, and to use appropriate literary concepts and terminology.
    • The ability to use writing to analyze, interpret, and make arguments about texts
    • The ability to conduct and incorporate research into writing about texts, providing appropriate documentation
    • The ability to apply critical theories and methodologies to texts
  • Understandings: Cultural, Historical, and Diverse Contexts
    • Understanding of the relationship between works of literature and the cultures in which they are embedded
    • Understanding of literary genres and traditions
    • Understanding of the presence and role of diverse voices within the traditional Anglo-American literary canon

Student Services & Facilities

Many English students take advantage of the services offered by, or work as peer tutors for, the campus’s Writing Center, the main location of which is 3035 CB.

Internship, Co-op, and Research Opportunities

  • Internships & Co-ops

    Students majoring in English are strongly encouraged to take advantage of Internships—generally unpaid career-related work experiences for which the student receives academic credit—and Co-operative educational opportunities—paid, career-related work experiences. Internships and Coops are fantastic ways to gain work experience relevant to your academic and career interests, and they often lead to employment after graduation. Internships for English students are coordinated by the Humanities/History Internship Office, while Coop placements are available through the CASL Co-op Office.

  • Research Opportunities

    Every English major is required to complete a research requirement, either by taking an upper-level English course designated “research intensive” or by conducting an Independent Study (ENGL 398/399) under the direction of a faculty member. Independent Study projects can be especially valuable for students interested in attending graduate or professional school. Opportunities for students to present the results of their research are available each year at the Meeting of Minds conference, the Michigan Undergraduate Research Forum, and at the annual conference of the Michigan Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Congratulations to English majors Matthew Enright, Emma Hegel, Emily Podwoiski, and David Davis, who all presented on the “Reading the English Renaissance" panel at the Meeting of Minds Conference on Friday, May 11, 2018. Their work displayed a range of excellent scholarship on early modern topics, ranging from illustrations of Shakespeare's plays to recent controversial performances of Julius Caesar to questions of mortality and immortality in Doctor Faustus

Student Clubs & Organizations

Many English majors contribute to or serve on the editorial board of Lyceum, UM-Dearborn’s award-winning literary magazine. Others work on The Michigan Journal, the campus’s student newspaper.

  • English Club

    The English Club hosts a reception for English majors and students interested in English each Winter term, and it sponsors other English-related social and cultural events, faculty lectures, and a journal of literary criticism by students.

  • League of Extraordinary Poets

    A student organization dedicated to writing, studying and celebrating poetry.

  • Lyceum

    The award-winning campus arts and literary journal. 

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