English Undergraduate: Degrees and Details

  • The study of English is for anyone who wants to understand literature and all forms of texts and media. No discipline better prepares its students to understand diverse cultural forms, to craft persuasive arguments, and to write lucidly and beautifully. The range of electives and seminars that make up the bulk of the curriculum allows for flexibility in designing individualized paths through the major, while also giving students a comprehensive grasp of the varieties of literature and literary study.

    View Major Requirements

    Interested in declaring or hearing more about the English major? Contact your campus Associate Chair.

  • Premised on the belief that the study of literature and the practice of writing are mutually reinforcing, the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration emphasizes the inter-relations among creative writing, digital media, criticism, and scholarship. As a concentration with a dual focus on literature and creative work, fully integrated within the English department, this degree offering combines literature courses, small writing workshops, and practical industry training to prepare students for advanced study or careers in writing, media, and publishing. In addition, our concentrators benefit from the resources provided by a creatively accomplished faculty whose work is distinguished and whose practical knowledge of the institutions that support creative writing is extensive, and New York City itself, a worldwide center for literary publishing.

    Applicants must:

    • Be in their sophomore or junior year
    • Have and maintain a 3.0 overall G.P.A.
    • Submit an cover letter and writing sample by completing this Application form between October 1st and November 1st
      • Cover Letter (1,000 words maximum): Explain how your personal background and life experiences (social, cultural, familial, educational) or other opportunities or challenges have motivated your decision to pursue an English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration. In addition, tell us about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration will help you meet your educational objectives.
      • Writing Sample (1,500 words maximum): You may send prose, poetry or any mixture of genres. Please use 12 pt. font. Prose pieces must be double-spaced. Submissions that do not comply with these rules will not be considered.

    Notification on application status will go out by email to all applicants by December 15th.

    View Concentration Requirements

  • An English minor works well with many majors at Fordham and allows you to devote time to the study of literature and writing.

    Interested in declaring or hearing more about the English minor? Contact your campus Associate Chair.

    View Minor Requirements

  • The Creative Writing minor allows English majors to take additional creative writing courses as part of their course of study. Non-English majors can also declare the Creative Writing minor.

    View Minor Requirements

    To declare a Creative Writing Minor, complete the online Creative Writing Minor Declaration form.

    Applications for the Creative Writing Minor are accepted throughout the school year.

  • The Public & Professional Writing (PPW) minor is designed for students who write extensively in their public, civic, and professional lives. It  is designed for English majors who wish to hone their prose-writing skills, and for students from any major who foresee futures in communication-centric fields, including media, public policy, international relations, business, social work, law, medicine, and more. It also appeals to students with interests in nonprofit, advocacy, and activist work.

    Interested in declaring or hearing more about the PPW minor? Contact either co-director of the PPW program.

    View Minor Requirements

  • Departmental Honors in English

    The department offers an honors option for seniors with a GPA of 3.6 or higher in the English major who wish to do an ambitious piece of research and writing under the individual direction of faculty or in conjunction with a departmental seminar (suggested length is 30-40 pages double-spaced). Faculty Advisors can be any full-time faculty member. The thesis is to be written over the course of one semester while the student is enrolled in an individual tutorial with the faculty advisor (ENGL 4998).

    Preceding Semester

    • Student determines a potential topic and potential faculty advisor in consultation with one of the Associate Chairs.
    • Student meets with potential faculty advisor to discuss the topic and parameters of the thesis.
    • Student submits an application to write a thesis to the relevant Associate Chair. To write a thesis in the spring semester, student must submit the application by October 15 of the previous semester. To write a thesis in the fall semester, student must submit the application by March 1 of the previous semester. The application consists of a) a one-page proposal describing the thesis topic and b) a one-page bibliography listing relevant sources for the research and writing of the thesis. The application will be evaluated by the Associate Chair and the potential faculty advisor.
    • If approved to write a thesis, student registers for ENGL 4998, a four-credit “Honors Tutorial.” This course counts for credit toward the English major and the English major with a creative writing concentration.
    • Students writing a thesis in the fall also have the option of enrolling in ENGL 8996, the “MA Capstone” seminar, in place of ENGL 4998. The faculty member leading ENGL 8996 would serve as the student’s thesis advisor. This seminar is recommended for students interested in working on their theses in the structured environment of a course.

    Beginning of Semester

    • Early in semester, student meets with faculty advisor to begin work on the thesis.
    • With the help of the faculty advisor and Associate Chair, student finds a second reader for the thesis.


    • Deadline for the first completed draft of the thesis is mid-semester. Student should consult with the faculty advisor on the exact deadline.
    • Student determines date for thesis defense (which should take place at the latest within one week of the last day of classes) with faculty advisor and second reader and emails Rose Hill or Lincoln Center Department administrative assistants(copying faculty advisor and second reader) to reserve a classroom for the thesis defense.

    End of Semester

    • Deadline for completed thesis is three weeks before the end of classes.
    • The completed thesis will include a cover sheet, which the faculty advisor and second reader must sign and indicate if further revision is required (each must check off either "OK as is" or "OK with revisions"; any necessary changes will be discussed at length). Cover sheets are located here. If additional revision is required, the final deadline for the completed thesis is the last day of classes for that semester.
    • Following the thesis defense (which consists of a short presentation or reading of the thesis—whichever is more appropriate—and a question and answer session), the faculty advisor and second reader determine whether the thesis qualifies the student for departmental honors.
    • Faculty advisor gives grade for ENGL 4998 on my.fordham.edu (or ENGL 8996 when appropriate).
  • Don’t let lack of experience hold you back after graduation. 20% of graduating seniors with jobs received these jobs through internships. Internships provide hands-on experience and can help to steer you on the path to a successful career choice.

    Receiving Academic Credit for Internships

    The University has two requirements for receiving academic credit for internships:

    1. You must have a minimum of 60 completed academic credits
    2. You must have a minimum 3.0 GPA

    English Department Stipulations on Internships

    In order to receive academic credit for an internship, you must register for a tutorial with a faculty member who agrees to serve as academic advisor. That tutorial will combine the internship with additional academic work. Depending on the amount of academic work involved in the tutorial, your faculty mentor will suggest that you register for a one- or two- credit internship. Internship tutorials do not count for credit toward the English major, the English major with a creative writing concentration, the English minor, or the Creative Writing minor, though they do count as general credits toward graduation. They are graded on a pass/fail basis.

    We expect employers to abide by the standards for “Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Please familiarize yourself with these standards and regulations.

    How to Apply

    1st Step
    Go to Career Services and look through the internship binders.
    Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Lincoln Center: Lowenstein 8th Floor, Room, 212-636-6280
    Rose Hill: McGinley Center, Room 224, 718-817-4350

    2nd Step
    Speak with a Career Services staff member. They have personal contacts at many companies. Ask them to look over your resume and cover letter. They are experts in successful internship applications.

    3rd Step
    Register and post your resume on job sites; view and respond to postings.
    Participate in the On-Campus Internship Interviewing Program.
    Submit an Internship Placement Form to your campus Career Services center.

    Tips for Success

    Conduct your own research and networking. Whom do you know? What connections do you have? Fall and Spring semester internships are less competitive than summer internships. Big magazines like Cosmopolitan don't always fill all their slots for the Spring. Browse through sites and respond to jobs for which you qualify and apply for some that might be a stretch.

    [for media--look under jobs]

    [great for editors--under Ed On Campus]

    [just what it sounds like]

    [film and TV production resources]

    [journalism, media, and publishing]

    Sample Internships

    English majors have interned at:

    • Time Warner
    • MTV
    • Comedy Central
    • The Book Group
    • Prada
    • Missbehave
    • Sports Illustrated
    • Rolling Stone
    • Art + Auction
    • AOL
    • Cherry Lane Theatre
    • CO-ED Magazine
    • Fox News Channel
    • Harper Collins
    • J. Walter Thompson
    • Maxim Magazine
    • MovieMaker Magazine
    • National Football League
    • O, The Oprah Magazine
    • The New York Times
    • Simon & Schuster
    • Time Warner Book Group
    • Waxman Literary Agency
    • The Wendy Weil Agency, Inc.
    • Ziff Davis Media Inc.
  • How do I get credit for courses I took elsewhere?

    The official transcript from the other institution needs to be sent to your class dean. Once the course shows up on your MyFordham transcript, you can take or send the catalogue description (syllabus is better) to the Associate Chair who can tell your class dean whether or not it can count toward the major (you can go first to the Associate Chair with a description to find out if the course will count before you sign up for it). Bring a copy of the Cognate course form for the Associate Chair to sign. You can access this form here. You are restricted to two cognate courses during your course of study in English.

    Can I take a course elsewhere in the summer and have it count for my major?

    Take the catalogue description of the course to the Associate Chair at your campus for approval before enrolling in the course. You must make sure that the course applies to the major and does not duplicate work you have already completed. Bring a copy of the Cognate course form for the Associate Chair to sign. You can access this form here. You are restricted to two cognate courses during your course of study in English.

  • Before you go on Study Abroad, meet with your Associate Chair to discuss the classes you are planning to take when you are abroad. If these classes change once you arrive you can inform him or her through email. For an English major you can get two approved for credit toward the major and one towards the minor.

    After you return, make sure your transcripts are sent to the ISAP office. The registrar posts these grades as transfer credit. Make sure that your courses are placed in the proper allotment for Degree Works. If they are not, please contact your Associate Chair. Notify us which courses should be allotted to the major and the semester in which you took them. We will report this information to the registrar and make sure that they are properly credited.

  • Creative Writing Requirements

    Students may only count one of the following courses toward the requirements for the English major, the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration and the Creative Writing minor.

    • COMM 3081: Interviews and Profiles
    • COMM 3084: Writing for Magazines
    • COMM 3405: Screenwriting I
    • THEA 3700: Playwriting

    Students may count the following class up to 4 times toward the requirements for the English major, The English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration and the Creative Writing minor.

    • COMM 2211: Journalism Workshop

    English Writing Courses Cross-Listed with Communications

    • ENGL 3086: The Comic Voice
    • ENGL 3097: Arts and Entertainment Journalism