In addition to being grouped by distribution areas (i.e., British literature, American literature, world literature, and so forth), English Department courses are arranged in tiers that assume different levels of preparation, background, and experience.
100-level courses are foundation courses in literature and composition. They assume little or no previous experience in the subject and include ENGL 110 Expository Writing, a college-wide requirement. 100-level courses are offered each semester.
200-level courses examine a broad range of material and various literary traditions, periods, and genres. These include historical overviews in British, American, and world literatures; genre studies; writing and journalism courses; women’s studies; language studies; minority literature; film studies; and ENGL 204 Literary Study, a required seminar for English majors that should be taken in the first year or as early in the student’s career as possible. Literature courses at this level include a research component. Most of these courses are offered each semester or once a year; a few are normally offered every other year.
300-level courses are increasingly specialized courses that provide breadth of coverage with a more detailed and rigorous study of the material. These courses presuppose some background and experience in literature, as well as proficiency in close reading, analytical thinking, and expository writing. Writing assignments include essays that integrate research and close readings of texts. A few of these courses are offered once a year, but most are offered only every other year.
400-level courses are advanced courses primarily intended for juniors and seniors. Most classes are conducted as a workshop or seminar in which students are responsible for oral reports and in-class presentations. Student papers are required to demonstrate mastery in research techniques, familiarity with various critical methodologies, and ability to synthesize disparate materials. Independent studies, practica, and Seminar in Literature are offered each semester; writing courses are offered every year or every other year; language and literature courses vary from once a year to once every three years.
800-level courses are designed for graduate credit only