Bachelor of Arts in English

Note: The information here is for students in the current Major program (2017-2018 Catalog). Students graduating in the older program should see a pre-2017 course catalog and be sure to consult with an advisor.

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 24 units of core courses:

Major Core Requirements for English Majors in the Literature and Creative Writing Concentrations

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

An Introductory Course (4 Units)
Complete the following course: Units
ENGL 201: Literary Analysis: Seminar 4


Two Surveys of Literature (8 units)
Complete both of the following courses: Units
ENGL 235: Early American & British Literature 4
ENGL 236: Later American & British 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 Survey of Literature in a Distinct Ethnic/Cultural Tradition (4 units)
Complete the following course: Units
ENGL 350: Survey in a Distinct Ethnic/Cultural Tradition 4

A Theory Course (4 Units)
Complete one of the following courses: Units
ENGL 401: Introduction to Modern Critical Theory 4
ENGL 402: Introduction to Digital Humanities 4
ENGL 403: Contemporary World Literature: Form and Practice 4
ENGL 487: Studies in Rhetoric 4

Total units in the major core 24 units

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

Literature Concentration

Literature Faculty: 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:

  • 385 Junior Literature Seminar (4 units)
  • A senior-level course in British Literature (4 units)
  • A senior-level course in American Literature (4 units)
  • A Senior Capstone Course (485) (4 units)
  • An additional Introductory Course (English 160B, 273 SYRCE, and most English GE Courses count) (4 units)
  • An additional Advanced or Experiential course (4 Units)

See the worksheet below for details:

Literature Concentration Worksheet 2017-18 (pdf)

Creative Writing Concentration

Creative Writing Faculty: Gillian Conoley, 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:

  • An Introductory Course (English 160B, 273 SYRCE, 207, or 307, 318, 352 count) (4 units)
  • Three 300/400 Level Creative Writing Courses, must be in at least two genres (12 units total)
  • A Senior Capstone Course (English 435) (4 units)
  • An additional Advanced or Experiential Course (4 units)

See the worksheet below for details:

Creative Writing Concentration Worksheet 2017-18 (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)