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English, BA

Offered in: CHICAGO

Students who major in English will undertake a course of study designed to develop knowledge in literary trends, themes, and genres as well as skills in critical interpretation and written communication. In advanced courses, students will investigate the structure, style, intellectual content, historical significance, and cultural context of the literature produced in Great Britain and the United States as well as Anglophone literature from around the world. This extensive textual study will foster appreciation of diverse cultural values and of the means by which culture is transmitted through language.

The English faculty has designed the curriculum in the firm belief that acquiring cultural knowledge and strengthening skills in research, analysis, and communication are not only intellectually rewarding but also valuable to students with a variety of goals, such as pursuing graduate degrees in English literature and language; teaching English in secondary schools or in foreign countries; pursuing careers in professions such as publishing, law, medicine, technology, or business; working in any field for which cultural awareness and strong analytical, interpretive, research, and writing skills are desired.

Students majoring in other disciplines may choose to minor in English. Although not as extensive as the major curriculum, the minor will also develop cultural knowledge and critical communication skills that complement a student’s work in any of the other academic majors in the University.

During their course of study at Roosevelt University, our English majors:

  • Read and interpret a wide range of literature in order to understand how those texts engage with social, political, historical, and aesthetic issues.
  • Learn to understand the craft of writing through incorporating the techniques and practices of published writers.
  • Develop skills in the processes of reading, research, composition, and editing.
  • Acquire a foundation of content and skills that stimulates intellectual inquiry and the ability to think critically and imaginatively.
  • Discover how language is a nuanced and powerful means of self-expression and social interaction.
  • Appreciate how literary texts (including both print and new media) both reflect and participate in cultural conflict and change.
  • Gain insight into the myriad ways that language and literature help us to understand and to work for social justice.
  • Become thinkers and writers equipped to follow a diverse range of career paths, including (but not limited to) writing, editing, publishing, library science, law, education, marketing, and journalism.


Major in English Literature leading to a BA degree

The major consists of 13 courses in English literature: seven core courses and six electives. Five of the core courses -- ENG 210, 211, 212, 213, and 215/207 -- have a prerequisite of ENG 101 and thus may be taken by second-semester freshmen. The two required courses in analytical interpretation (ENG 220 & 221) have a prerequisite of ENG 102. Of the electives, five must be at the 300 level, all of which have a pre-requisite of Introduction to Literary Analysis (ENG 220). Texts and Contexts (ENG 221), although not a pre-requisite, is strongly recommended before undertaking 300-level electives. Transfer students must complete at least five 300-level English courses at Roosevelt.

Electives should be chosen in close consultation with an advisor to devise a program that both satisfies the student’s interests and involves sufficient breadth. For students whose expository writing would profit from additional practice, an advisor may also strongly recommend or require English 222.

Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the major, and must earn grades of C- or higher in all major coursework.

Core courses

  ENG 210 British Literature to 1789 .....3
  ENG 211 British Literature 1789 to Present .....3
  ENG 212 American Literature to 1865 .....3
  ENG 213 American Literature, 1865 to Present .....3
  ENG 220 Introduction to Literary Analysis .....3
  ENG 221 Texts and Contexts .....3

Core options: Students choose one of these three-semester-hour courses

  ENG 207 Introduction to African-American Literature .....3
  ENG 215 Topics in World Literature .....3


  Six electives in English literature, five at the 300 level .....18


  Total Credit Hours .....39

Concentration in Creative Writing

Students interested in this concentration follow a curriculum that complements the study of literature with four workshops that provide exposure to and further practice in a variety of genres in creative writing.

In literature, students concentrating in Creative Writing take two of the four survey courses (Eng 210, 211, 212, 213); ENG 207 or ENG 215; ENG 220; ENG 221; and four 300-level literature electives.

The creative writing workshops include a multi-genre introductory course (CRWR 153), at least two of three genre courses (CRWR 250, 251, 252), and the Creative Writing Capstone course (CRWR 303), in which students assemble and revise a portfolio of their best work.

General Education Requirements

Academic Communities of Practice

  ACP 101 First-Year Seminar (required for students who enter RU with fewer than 12 semester hours) .....3
  ACP 110 Primary Texts .....3
  ACP 250 Grounds for Change .....3

English Composition (minimum grade of C- required)

  ENG 101 Composition I: Critical Reading and Writing .....3
  ENG 102 Composition II: Introduction to Academic Research .....3


  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Art History, English (excluding 101 and 102), History, Languages, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, Speech and Women's and Gender Studies .....9


  MATH 110 Math 110 or above (Math, Computer Science & Technology, and Science majors have different requirements -- see advisor). .....3

Non-Western Requirement

  Non-Western course (can be used for Humanities or Social Sciences general education requirements) .....3

RU Mission-Related Course (minimum grade of C- required)

  LIBS 201 Writing Social Justice .....3


  One biological science and one physical science required; at least one must be a four-hour lab (not applicable for science majors) TOTAL: at least 7 science hours. .....7-8

Social Sciences

  Nine semester hours total required from these subject areas: African-American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, History, Journalism, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies .....9

These quantitative requirements also apply to degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences:

  • Students may apply no more than 60 semester hours of 100-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must apply no fewer than 60 semester hours of 200- and 300-level courses toward the degree.
  • Students must have at least 18 semester hours (of the 60 semester hours above) at the 300 level.
  • Students may transfer in no more than 66 semester hours from community colleges.
  • Students must take their final 30 hours at Roosevelt University. Note that some majors have additional requirements for RU hours.
  • Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher to graduate. Note that some majors have additional GPA requirements.
  • Students must have a minimum of 90 hours in Arts and Sciences.
  • Students may apply no more than 51 hours in the major (BA) or 57 hours in the major (BS)