English Degree (B.A.), Literature Concentration

The study of literature provides, through rigorous analysis of major literary works, a unique experience in recognizing, evaluating, and articulating human values, motives, and qualities.

  • We provide students a strong foundation in literary history and genre with opportunities to take specialized upper-level courses in faculty members' areas of expertise, including courses on the American Novel, Satire, Narrative Medicine, Literature and Film, and Caribbean Literature, among others 
  • We have particular strengths in diverse literary traditions, offering courses in Native American Literature, Asian American Literature, Black American Literature, and Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Our faculty are active teacher-scholars and take students to national English conventions
  • Our literature students complete a capstone experience, either an internship or an independent study


Requirements For All English Majors
  1. A minimum of 45 credits is required within the English major.
  2. Completion of at least two college semesters of one foreign language is required, unless during high school the student has (a) completed three years of study of one foreign language, or (b) completed two years of study in each of two foreign languages. A student may also satisfy the foreign language requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed nationally and administered locally.
  3. Students who transfer into the English major from other institutions must complete 21 credit hours in English at Westfield State University.

Students may satisfy three of the required six credits in the Literary and Philosophical analysis area of the core with any of the courses on the following list. English Education students may satisfy all 6 of the required Literary and Philosophical analysis credits with courses from this list.

English, Literature Concentration - 45 credits

Literary History, Genres, and Critical Approaches - 18 credits

Diverse Literary Traditions - 9 credits

Writing Courses - 9 credits

Two Elective 300-Level Courses - 6 credits

Any two courses at the 300-level with the ENGL prefix may be taken, according to availability and interest. 

Capstone Experience - 3 credits

Students will complete a capstone experience in the senior year in the form of an internship, independent study, or additional 300-level course. They should submit their choice to their advisor and department chair with a rational connected to career plans.

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.

English - Literature Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding of literary history by analyzing literary texts in relation to literary movements, genres, or periods
  • Demonstrate ability to employ concepts and methods from major literary theories and critical approaches in original critical writing. 
  • Demonstrate ability to investigate connections between cultural contexts (domestic or global) and the English language and literature in English. 
  • Demonstrate competence in locating and using library resources, including book collections and scholarly research databases, and in selecting and integrating source materials in critical essays, using MLA documentation style.
  • Demonstrate understanding the ability to write clearly, engagingly, and persuasively in literary analysis and other genres.
  • Demonstrate ability to apply learning in the major to professional and applied settings, as evidenced in such activities as teaching practica, internships, graduate school and career exploration, and participation in conferences and societies. 
  • Demonstrate effective and informative oral and presentation communication skills.
A Westfield State English student receives an award