Bachelor of Arts in English

Please Note:

The English Department course requirements are changing in the 17-18 Academic Year. The information below applies only to students graduating in the old program. Updated information will be added to this page soon. For the most up-to-date information about the program, please consult the SSU 17-18 Catalog.

All undergraduate English majors in the Literature and Creative Writing concentrations are required to take a core set of courses that offer experience in literary analysis, literary theory, and a variety of literary traditions. Students who choose the English Education concentration have a distinctive set of core requirements and should see the subsection below. Students who choose the Literature or Creative Writing concentrations will be required to take the following 20 units of core courses:

Major Core Requirements for All English Majors

(Except secondary teaching concentration students; please see Secondary Teaching Preparation, below.)

An Introductory Course - 4 Units
Complete the following course: Units
ENGL 301 Literary Analysis: Seminar 4


A Survey Course - 4 Units
Complete one of the following courses: Units
ENGL 235 Survey: Early British & American Literature 4
ENGL 236 Survey: Later British & American Literature 4
ENGL 237 Survey: Early American Literature 4
ENGL 238 Survey: Later American Literature 4
ENGL 239 Survey: Early English Literature 4
ENGL 240 Survey: Later English Literature 4


A Shakespeare Course - 4 Units
Complete one of the following courses: Units
ENGL 339 Introduction to Shakespeare 4
ENGL 439 Studies in Shakespeare 4


A Theory Course - 4 Units
Complete one of the following courses: Units
ENGL 401 Introduction to Modern Critical Theory 4
ENGL 487 Studies in Rhetoric 4


A Senior Level Literature Course - 4 Units
Complete one of the following courses: Units
ENGL 436 Studies in Postcolonial Literature 4
ENGL 439 Studies in Shakespeare 4
ENGL 447 Studies in Comparative Literature 4
ENGL 448 Periods in British Literature 4
ENGL 450 Periods in American Literature 4
ENGL 451 Feminist Perspectives in Literature 4
ENGL 470 Studies in Poetry 4
ENGL 472 Studies in the Novel 4
ENGL 474 Studies in Drama 4
ENGL 480 Studies in California Literature 4
ENGL 481 Studies in British Literature 4
ENGL 482 Studies in American Literature 4
ENGL 483 Individual Authors: American 4
ENGL 484 Individual Authors: English 4
ENGL 485 California Authors 3

Total units in the major core 20 units

Note: English majors must choose one of three concentrations: literature, creative writing or secondary teaching.

Literature Concentration


Literature Faculty: William Babula, Brantley L. Bryant, Anne Goldman, Kim Hester-Williams, John Kunat, Thaine Stearns, Timothy Wandling, Chingling Wo.

English Majors concentrating in English and American Literature will focus on literary analysis and literary criticism, becoming familiar with traditional and emerging texts from a variety of literatures. The Literature concentration emphasizes rigorous analysis and interpretation, wide-ranging reading, and enjoyable encounters with a variety of challenging novels, plays, essays, and poems.

Literature Concentration Requirements:

Three general literature courses: 12
Two of these courses (8 units) must be at the 400 level, and two of these courses (8 units) must be in literatures before 1850 (or before 1914 if in American literature).
Electives 8
Total units in the literature concentration: 20 units

Literature Concentration Worksheet 2013-15 (pdf)

Creative Writing Concentration


Creative Writing Faculty: Gillian Conoley, Sherril Jaffe, Noelle Oxenhandler, Stefan Kiesbye.

English Majors concentrating in Creative Writing will focus on creating, revising, and evaluating original works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The Creative Writing concentration emphasizes attention to craft and process, workshop-style classes, and constructive peer and instructor review. Creative Writing concentrators hone their skills as literary artists.

Creative Writing Concentration Requirements:

Four courses in writing: 16 units

Three of these courses (12 units) must be at the 300/400 levels*, and course selections must include two different writing genres (poetry, fiction, scriptwriting, essay).

Elective: 4 units

*Upper-Division (300/400)Writing Courses:

  • ENGL 303 Special Studies in Composition (4)
  • ENGL 307 Introduction to Fiction Writing (4)
  • ENGL 318 Introduction to Poetry Writing (4)
  • ENGL 352 Personal Essay (4)
  • ENGL 407 Advanced Fiction Writing (4)
  • ENGL 418 Advanced Poetry Writing (4)
  • ENGL 430 Creative Writing: Selected Genres (1-4)
  • ENGL 435 Directed Writing (4-8)
  • ENGL 475 Advanced Class in Non-fiction (4)

Total units in the writing concentration: 20 units

Creative Writing Concentration Worksheet 2011-2012 (pdf)

Secondary Teaching Preparation


English Education Faculty: Catherine Kroll and Josefa Pace

The English department offers a program of study that satisfies the English single subject matter preparation requirement for entry into an English secondary teaching credential program and exempts the student from taking the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) in English. This concentration prepares students who intend to enter a Teaching Credential Program after completing a B.A. in English. If you are considering becoming an English teacher at the secondary (middle or high school) level, this concentration starts you on that path.

General Information

This concentration follows a specific outline of courses, one that has been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), the credentialing agency of the state government. It is known as a “waiver program” because it waives the requirement to take the subject matter examination known as the CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers.

If you do not follow an approved waiver program, you will be required to pass the subject matter examination to be credentialed in any subject. For more information on the content of the examinations and a list of study resources, consult the CSET Website.

The preparation for secondary school teaching is quite different from preparation for teaching at the community college or university level. Public school teaching requires a credential, which is obtained in a year of study and practice teaching in a credential program after the completion of a B.A. Teaching at the community college requires an M.A. in your subject matter, while teaching at the college level typically requires a Ph.D. in English. The literature concentration is the best preparation for this type of study.

If you are not sure whether you will enter a credential program or go to another type of postgraduate program, don’t panic. You can take courses that fulfill requirements in both concentrations until you are sure.

If you plan to apply to SSU’s credential program, you should be aware that there are two Education courses (ED 417 and EDSS 418), which are pre-requisites. They must be completed before you begin Phase I of the credential program. If you plan on entering credential programs at other institutions, please check their pre-requisites, which may differ.

Transfer Students

You may wonder which courses taken elsewhere will fulfill the SSU English Single Subject Program requirements. For an equivalency check, you can submit your request through the English Department office. Official transcripts are necessary, and any syllabi, course descriptions or work you completed can also help us evaluate the courses in question. A single subject advisor will contact you with the evaluation report (allow one week). As of spring 2004, there will be a waiver transcript evaluation fee of $60.00 charged for this service for all non-matriculating SSU students.

Please click on links below for additional information.

English Education Concentration Worksheet (pdf)

English Education Pathways (pdf)

What is Early Field Experience? (pdf)

Early Field Experience Hours Verification form (pdf)

Transcript Evaluation (pdf)

CSET Waiver Letter Instructions for SSU Graduates (pdf)