2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

English - Bachelor of Arts (30 credits)

(30 credits plus 10-12 credits of experiential learning)

The English major introduces the student to the most significant writers and works of English and American literatures from the Anglo-Saxon period to the contemporary age, and offers exposure as well to the master writers and masterworks of European and world literatures. Survey courses offer broader overviews, while upper-level courses allow for more focused study of different themes, literary periods, genres, and authors, allowing students to pursue questions that interest them in more depth.

The study of literature is valuable not only as a way of learning more about human cultures and societies of the past, but also as a way of better understanding the present world and oneself through engaging with the ideas about the world and self held by some of the most interesting thinkers of human history.

The English major develops this broader literary, cultural, and personal knowledge but also cultivates those capacities and skills so important to any future profession. The close analysis of texts develops the ability to respond critically to the written word and the ideas it conveys; the attention given to writing different kinds and lengths of papers (culminating in a piece of original research in the senior year) develops the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in written form; the emphasis on discussion and oral presentations helps develop the ability to speak cogently and with ease within and before groups.

Outcomes of the English Major:

  • Students will demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge in English and American literatures
  • Students will demonstrate research skills appropriate to the discipline, including the following:
  • ability to posit a succinct and arguable thesis
  • ability to organize and analyze evidence from multiple sources
  • ability to adhere to genre and disciplinary conventions
  • Students will demonstrate conversancy with different schools and methods of literary interpretation
  • Students will develop the ability to communicate effectively and clearly in written and oral assignments
  • Students will apply their skills in an appropriate internship setting
  • Students will explore opportunities for graduate study as indicated by number of students applying to graduate programs

Degree Requirements

I. Required Core (12 Credits):

CLITR 2400Power and Identity: Literature in English


CLITR 2500Constructing the Self: Literature in Translation


CLITR 3900Junior Writing Seminar on a Major Author


CLITR 4340Senior Seminar in Literary Criticism


II. Additional CLITR and CHUMS courses (18 Credits):

At least 12 credits must be at 3000-level or above. Students may take up to 4 credits of studio courses (CCRWT, CDRAM 2042 or CDRAM 2050). *EXCEPT CHUMS 2100, 2200 and 3400.

III. Professional/Experiential Component (10 Credits):

If the student declares an Education major or minor, the internship requirement is satisfied with student teaching in the major or minor.
CHUMS 2200Internship Planning and Preparation


CHUMS 3100Field Work and Seminar in the Humanities I


CHUMS 4100Humanities Field Work and Seminar II


CHUMS 2200 or any other 1000-level field-based course (e.g. CEDUC 1352, CHMSR 1551, CMGMT 1451, CMGMT 1701)
CHUMS 4100 must be taken at 6 credits
If the student declares any other double major, the internship requirement must be satisfied in the major with the greater number of credits in its experiential component. If they are the same, the student may choose one. Every effort will be made to have one of the internships encompass the objectives of the other major.
Students may choose to do an additional internship in their other major.

Other Requirements: Foreign Language Competency

Competencies in foreign language for the English Major are fulfilled by

  1. taking two semesters of American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish at the university level.

  2. If students enter Lesley with the proficiency to take American Sign Language II, Chinese II, French II, German II, Italian II, Portuguese II, or Spanish II, and they pass that course, this will also satisfy the foreign language competency.

  3. Students who have already achieved a proficiency equal to two full semesters of college language instruction before entering Lesley have the following options for satisfying this requirement:

    • Before entering Lesley, students may take an AP language exam or CLEP exam and satisfy the language requirement if they score a grade of four or higher (AP) or 50 or above (CLEP).

    • After entering Lesley, students who wish to demonstrate language competency will be referred to the Foreign Language Coordinator.

    • Students may take a competency exam in any of the languages offered at Lesley under the supervision of the Foreign Language Coordinator. This exam will be equivalent to a final exam given to students in American Sign Language II, Chinese II, French II, German II, Italian II, Portuguese II, or Spanish II. A grade of B or higher in this test will waive the language requirement; a grade ranging from C to B- will place student at the second semester level.

    • Students who wish to demonstrate language competency in any other foreign language must take the CLEP or an equivalent exam as approved by the Foreign Language Coordinator.