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Department of English

English at Mount St. Mary's University

Words and stories make us human. In the English program, we are committed to exploring these dimensions of our common humanity by studying great literary works and producing new works in dialogue with the literary tradition. Studying English forms our imagination (personal, social, and moral) and your linguistic expression (written and spoken), developing these key human capacities for life-long engagement with one’s community, profession, and the world.


The Major in English (36 credits in required and elective courses)

The GOALS of the English major

Students who major in English will learn:

  • To enjoy the beauty of literary expression.
  • To analyze critically traditional and non-traditional texts, including diverse voices within them.
  • To study genres, modes, and literary periods of British, American, and world literatures.
  • To produce analytical and argumentative writing with an awareness of audience and a mastery of standard written English.
  • To engage in literary research using databases and secondary sources.
  • To explore the relationship between language and culture in order to become responsible citizens within American society and the larger world.


  • Introductory sequence:
    • ENGL 160: Introduction to Literature (3 credits)
    • ENGL 261: Survey of British Literature (3 credits)
    • ENGL 262: Survey of American Literature (3 credits)
  • One 300-level course in British Literature (3 credits)
  • One 300-level course in American Literature (3 credits)
  • ENMO 300 Modernity in Literature (also a Core requirement) (3 credits)
  • ENGE 3XX: Global Encounters in English (also a Core requirement) (3 credits)
  • 3 Additional upper-level English courses of the student's choice (12 credits)
  • ENGL 498: Senior Seminar (3 credits)

The Major with Optional Emphasis (12 additional credits):

  • Emphasis in Writing
  • Emphasis in Editing and Publishing
  • Emphasis in Cultural Studies

The Minor in English: (18 credits, including 3 courses at the 300 level)

The Minor in Creative Writing

Four-Year Course Sequence

Fall Spring
ENGL 1XX Elective ENGL 160 Introduction to Literature
ENGL 261 Survey of British Literature ENGL 262 Survey of American Literature

Chaucer: Journey Through the Author Bank with Mount St. Mary's University

Watch Sean Lewis, Ph.D., as he introduces Geoffrey Chaucer.

Jack Dudley teaching a class

Dudley Delivers Dynamic Ducharme Lecture

The Spring Ducharme Lecture, "Are We Living in a Horror Movie," was presented by Associate Professor of English Dr. Jack Dudley. With such an evocative title, it was sure to bring crowds, and certainly did with nearly 200 seats filled as the talk began. Read more about Dr. Dudley's lecture.

Rita Marcotte

Seniors View English Major as a Great Launching Pad

Seniors Rita Marcotte and Eleanor Fisher are tired of people asking them: “What are you going to do with an English degree?” Their response, “We are just getting started.” They take their talents all over campus from the radio station to the famous open mic nights in the Mount Café. Read the thoughts of Rita and Eleanor here.

Claire Doll

Claire Doll Uses “Words to Paint” How She Sees the World

Just before Thanksgiving, Claire Doll, C’24, woke to the news that one of her short stories, “The Stillness and the Change,” had been accepted for publication in Capsule Stories. Doll has received at least 12 such notifications in the past two years, but she is always excited to get this news regarding her submission of poems, short stories or works of creative nonfiction. She’s always had a creative drive and a talent for expressing herself in writing, and the relationships she’s made with professors at the Mount have helped her to hone her craft.

MSMU Senior Rachel Wheeler

Senior Rachel Wheeler Is Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Rachel Wheeler, C’22, is following many of her passions this summer—and gaining communication, research and service skills in the pursuit. She is a Maguire Scholar, an Honors student and a Mount Fellow. Thanks to an award from the Office of Competitive Fellowships, made possible by generous support from the Delaplaine Foundation, she is spending her time wisely. Read more about Rachel.