English Major (Literature Sequence)

Within the literature track, we offer classes in a wide variety of periods and genres that begin with a survey of literature through practical criticism and culminate in a senior year seminar that takes a close look at a particular topic in literature.  Students in the literature track have the opportunity to take on independent studies, present papers at research conferences (IWU offers both MUSE and the John Wesley Powell Conference), and work toward research honors in their senior year.  

The English major with a concentration in literature requires the following sequences of classes:

Students may take this sequence as late as the fall semester of the junior year, providing that a sufficient portion of general education requirements have been met. A minimum of ten course units selected from departmental offerings is required:

1. English 280 Practical Criticism

2.   Two or three lower division courses

    a.   One course must be from 220-259

    b.   One or two additional courses from the following:

            English 170 Special Topics in Literature; or

            English 220 Studies in Literature; or

            English 240 through 272

                Note: Only 1 unit of English 170 may be counted toward the major.

3.   Five or six additional courses in literature at the 300/400 level. At least one course must be pre-1830 literature.

4.   English 480 Senior Seminar

5.   Students may either substitute one unit of writing taken at the 100/200 level for 2b above, or students may substitute one unit of writing at the 300/400 level for one course from 3 above, excluding the pre-1830 requirement

For more information on requirements for the literature major, please refer to the University’s catalog or our English Major Checklist.

Declaring the English Literature major

    To declare English Literature as your major, you will need to go to the Registrar’s Office (Holmes Hall 110) and pick up an orange Declaring a Major form.  That form will require signatures from both the department (or advisor) for your current major and the English department (English House).  You will also need to fill out a pink Declaring the Major form at the English House for record in the English Database.