Arts & Sciences English

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Arts & Sciences
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
Hours Required: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available: Yes
Advisor: Kelly Payne
  1. Intro


COLLEGE: Arts & Sciences

MAJOR: English

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation


ADVISOR: Kelly Payne


Chair: Marco Abel

Vice Chair: Roland Végső

Professors: Abel, Agee, Bauer, Behrendt, Brooke, Buhler, Castro, Dawes, Dixon, Foster, Garelick, Goodburn, Homestead, Honey, Kaye, Kooser, Lynch, Price, Reynolds, Stenberg, White

Associate Professors: Dreher, Gannon, Jockers, Minter, Montes, Ramsay, Rutledge, Schaffert, Schleck, Végső

Assistant Professors: Capuano, Crucet, Gailey, Stage, Waite, Wendler, Wisnicki

Research Associate Professor: Ronning

Research Assistant Professor: Rilett

Associate Professor of Practice: Griffin

Assistant Professors of Practice: Azima, Vespa

The Department of English seeks to help students develop their critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. In addition, we hope to foster imaginative reasoning, which we define as the ability to use the imagination to think hypothetically about the world in all its diversity—the past, present, and future, the local and the global. Such an ability, learned through the study of diverse literature and film, the critical analysis of language, and the generation of creative work, enables students to thoughtfully engage with social, cultural, and political phenomena. It allows students to re-envision what is possible and to dream audacious solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. Imaginative reasoning, both as a value and as a skill, connects us to one another and leads us to look beyond boundaries, including the boundary of our own selves and our most immediate communities.

As the Department of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, we are especially committed to teaching students to pose questions that cut to the core of ongoing conversations about the importance of the Humanities in the twenty-first century. We are keenly aware of our specific place within a university on the Great Plains with a historic land grant mission. We seek to serve the long-term interests of our students and of the various kinds of communities they live in. The courses we offer, our teaching methods, and our departmental culture further several core goals: the pursuit of social justice; the celebration of diversity; the creation of a broad array of communities based on empathetic understanding; the fostering of a sense of belonging in all of our students; and the development of a desire for civic engagement and responsibility.

A student declaring an English major will meet with the advisor to discuss these goals, the learning outcomes of our English Studies program and to establish an individual plan for the major. Thereafter the student should meet with the advisor at least once a year to update the major plan, review progress toward the degree, plan a concentration, and consult about course selection, scholarships, and careers or post-graduate plans. The department Advising Center (201 Andrews Hall) will offer written information about these matters and others of interest to majors.

Special Programs. The Department of English houses the major in Film Studies and participates in the majors in Ethnic Studies, Environmental Studies, and in Womens and Gender Studies; in the minors in African American Studies, U.S. Latina/Latino Studies, Ethnic Studies, Native American Studies, Jewish Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Environmental Studies, Religious Studies, and Digital Humanities.

The Curriculum

Course Offerings. English courses are regularly offered in drama, poetry, and fiction; periods and authors in British and American literature; women's and minority literatures; creative and expository writing; literary and rhetorical theory and criticism; digital humanities; and film. For the precise courses offered or to be offered in any particular semester, see the Office of the University Registrar's website at for that semester. A course description booklet is also available online before each priority registration period.

Credit Hours. Undergraduate English courses will usually yield 3 semester hours of credit. Graduate-level seminars are usually offered for variable credit (normally 3 or 4 credit hours). The letter suffix H indicates an honors course.

Independent Study. Students must secure permission from a professorial faculty member willing to direct their study and must file an Independent Directed Reading Contract (available in the Advising Center, 201 Andrews Hall) with the undergraduate advisor. This course of study is a provision for students wishing to study in the areas listed above that are insufficiently covered in regularly scheduled classes.

NOTE: Neither ENGL 495 Internship nor ENGL 497 Independent Study count towards fulfilling 400-level requirements for majors and minors. A maximum of 6 credit hours of ENGL 399 Independent Study and/or ENGL 497 may count towards the 300-level requirement for the major.

Prerequisites. The first course in English is ordinarily chosen from courses numbered 100-151. However, international students who are not native speakers of English normally take English courses such as ENGL 140, ENGL 141, ENGL 142, ENGL 186, ENGL 187, and ENGL 188.

Course Levels

100 Level. Introductory courses are open only to freshman and sophomore students. Transfer students and others who have not met the communication requirement and are juniors or seniors must choose ENGL 254 or ENGL 354 to complete this requirement. (In unusual cases, exceptions to this rule may be granted by the advisor, English department.) Writing is emphasized in courses numbered 100-199, and all such courses except ENGL 140, ENGL 141, ENGL 142, ENGL 180, ENGL 189H, ENGL 186, and ENGL 187, are designed to fulfill ACE Outcome 1. Newly admitted students who are not native speakers of English must take an English placement examination to determine their appropriate course requirement.

200 Level. Courses designed for the intermediate student who has completed or is concurrently taking one or two courses in English.

300 Level. Courses designed for the intermediate student who ordinarily will have had two courses at the 200 level. These students should normally take the remainder of their courses at the 300 level or 400 level. English majors and minors should advance to the 300 level as soon as possible.

400 Level. Courses designed for the advanced student or the student with a special interest. English majors must take at least 6 credit hours at the 400 level.

800/900 Level. Graduate courses. Graduate standing and at least 18 hours of undergraduate course work in English are prerequisite to courses at the 800 and 900 level. Advanced undergraduates may register in 800- and 900-level courses with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies, provided that these hours do not count towards their baccalaureate requirements.

Graduate Work. The advanced degrees of master of arts and doctor of philosophy are offered. For details see the Graduate Studies Bulletin.


Specific Major Requirements

39 hours with a minimum of 18 credit hours at the 300 level and above, 6 hours of which must be at the 400 level.

The major also requires a minimum number of these 39 hours in different areas or courses:

ENGL 2003


Select one of the following: ENGL 251, ENGL 252, ENGL 253, ENGL 254, ENGL 354, ENGL 454


Select one of the following: ENGL 270, ENGL 275, ENGL 373, ENGL 375, ENGL 376, ENGL 457A, ENGL 475, ENGL 475A, ENGL 478, ENGL 480

Historical Contexts9

At least 3 credits must be in a pre-1800 literature, noted with an asterisk.

Historical Surveys3

Select one of the following: *ENGL 230, ENGL 231, *ENGL 260, ENGL 261

Historical Focus6

Select one course from each of the following categories:

Early Literatures: *ENGL 244E, ENGL 305A, ENGL 311, *ENGL 330, *ENGL 330E, ENGL 332, *ENGL 362, *ENGL 363, *ENGL 364

Recent Literatures: ENGL 205, ENGL 244, ENGL 301B, ENGL 302, ENGL 302A, ENGL 331, ENGL 333, ENGL 365, ENGL 405E

E. Diversity and Global Awareness6

At least 3 credits must be in an Ethnic Studies course, noted with asterisk.

Select two of the following: ENGL 212, ENGL 215, ENGL 242, ENGL 243, *ENGL 244, *ENGL 244A, *ENGL 244E, *ENGL 245A, ENGL 245J, *ENGL 245N, ENGL 315A, ENGL 315B, ENGL 317, *ENGL 344, *ENGL 344B, *ENGL 344D, *ENGL 345D, *ENGL 345N, ENGL 346, ENGL 349

F. Capstone Course3

ENGL 487

G. Concentration or electives12

(12 hours at the 300 or 400 level)


NOTE: A single course may only be applied to one category.

Program Assessment. In order to assist the department in evaluating the effectiveness of its programs, majors will be required from time to time to complete written exit surveys and to compile portfolios of selected written work in major courses. All such work will be assessed in ways that assure student anonymity.

Tracks/Options/Concentrations/Emphases Requirements

Concentrations or electives. Students interested in particular areas of study, with particular career goals, or who desire to attend graduate school, should consider developing a concentration to support those interests or aspirations. Students select four courses at the 300 or 400 level that concentrate on a particular area of study. Students may choose one of the department's recommended areas of concentration, or they may design their own concentration in consultation with the advisor and appropriate faculty members. Recommended areas of concentration include:

Creative Writing

Composition and Rhetoric

Digital Humanities

Environmental and Place Studies

Ethnic Studies

Editing and Publishing

Film Studies

Literary and Critical Theory

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Women's and Gender Studies

19th Century Studies

In some cases, an interdisciplinary concentration may include a course from another department. Students wishing to develop a concentration are encouraged to consult with the English Undergraduate Advising Office (201 Andrews) early in their program.

Students who do not wish to pursue a concentration may choose any four 300- or 400-level courses as electives.

Career Preparation

The English department is committed to preparing majors for the job market. We strongly encourage all majors to enroll in ENGL 300 Professional Practices for English Majors during their sophomore or junior year, and to consider taking advantage of UCARE, internships, educational abroad, volunteering and other career development opportunities.


Grade Rules

Pass/No Pass Limits

A student may apply up to 6 hours of Pass/No Pass credit toward a major in English without securing permission; and a student may apply up to 3 hours of Pass/No Pass credit toward a minor in English.

No more than 6 Pass/No Pass hours can count for the English major. No course can count for more than one requirement.

Course Level Requirement

No more than 6 hours of Independent Directed Reading (including internships) will count for the major. Neither independent study taken at the 400 level (ENGL 497) nor an internship (ENGL 495) will count for the 400-level requirement for the major. Students taking 6 hours of ENGL 399H may count for the major no more than 3 additional hours of Independent Directed Reading. No more than 3 hours of internship (ENGL 495) will count for the English major.


Minor Requirements

English majors are required to complete one Plan A minor or two Plan B minors or a second major.

Plan A
  • 18 hrs of English at the 200 level and above; 9 hrs must be above 299; of these 9 hrs, 3 hrs must be above 399
Plan B
  • 12 hrs of English at the 200 level and above; 6 hrs above 299

No more than 3 hours of Pass/No Pass may count for a minor in English.