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Degrees and Details

The English Major

The major in English is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, and Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Rose Hill, Lincoln Center and Westchester.

The goals of the English major are to develop:

  • an ability to write clear, coherent, organized, and persuasive prose;
  • an ability to read closely and interpret literary and other cultural texts (including poetry, fiction, and drama);
  • an ability to connect the analysis of texts to appropriate historical and other contexts;
  • a knowledge of literary genres and appropriate use of critical terminology;
  • a knowledge of literary theory and its relevance to literary analysis;
  • an awareness of different periods of literary history, from the medieval period to the contemporary.
  • an awareness that there are a variety of critical approaches to literary and cultural texts.

The major emphasizes the historical reach of literary study through its historical distribution requirement. The theory requirement introduces influential concepts and debates underlying the study of language, literature, and their cultural impact. The range of electives and seminars that make up the bulk of the curriculum allows for flexibility in designing individual majors while ensuring a comprehensive grasp of the varieties of literary study.

The English major consists of a total of 10 required courses. Courses in which a student receives a grade of D or F will not count toward the major or minor.

How to Declare an English Major:

View Major Requirements

Recommendations for English Major
1. "Theory for English Majors" should ordinarily be taken during the junior year, but sophomores may also enroll.

2. English majors are permitted to take one or two courses with an interdisciplinary or comparative literature focus, including cross-listed courses offered by other programs or departments. These are “Cognate Courses" and can include:

AFAM 3632 or 3637 or 3662 or 3688 or 3689 or 3693 or COMM 3082 or 3405 or 3409 or 3420 or COLI 3000: 4999 (Credits > or = 3) or MVST 2005 or WMST 3010 or 3020

If you wish to take a non-English course for credit that is not on this cognate list please contact your Associate Chair.

3. The department seeks to accommodate students who study abroad. Up to two courses taken abroad with content clearly related to literary study may be considered for credit toward the major.

Advanced Placement Credits
AP Credits in English Literature and in English Language count toward a student’s total number of credits in the college but not within the major. A score of 4 or 5 in AP English Literature will count towards elective credits. All students are required to take Texts and Contexts / Eloquentia Perfecta 2.

Creative Writing Concentration

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.

Admission to the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration is competitive and is based on the strength of the cover letter and writing sample. Fifteen students will be admitted each year.

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 (2,500 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

The English Minor

View Minor Requirements

How to Declare an English Minor:

Creative Writing Minor

View Minor Requirements

For Non-English Majors
The minor in Creative Writing, available to students in majors other than English, will consist of:

  • Four (4) four-credit courses which must be drawn from 3000-level and above English Creative Writing courses.
    • One of these Creative Writing courses may be a cross-listed course. (The exception to this rule is COMM 2211: Journalism Workshop.)
    • Independent studies, approved by the Director of Creative Writing, are also accepted.
  • Two (2) advanced courses (3000-level and above) in Literature offered through the English department. Cognate Courses (3000-level and above)and courses meeting literature requirements in the Classics department, the Literary Studies program, or the Modern Languages department may be utilized to fulfill this requirement.

Please note: Students minoring in Creative Writing may count no more than 2 courses [or 8 credits] applicable to the Creative Writing minor for their major.

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

Honors Thesis

The department offers an honors thesis option in English for seniors with a 3.6 GPA or higher in English who wish to complete an ambitious project under the individual direction of a faculty member. If you are interested, prior to the semester in which the thesis will be completed you should discuss this option with the Associate Chair and then choose a member of the faculty as an advisor for the thesis. The Associate Chair will then authorize you to register for ENGL 4998, a four-credit “Honors Tutorial.” This course does not count for credit toward the English major or the English major with a creative writing concentration, though it does count as an elective toward graduation. The professor sponsoring the project will set up parameters and deadlines at his/her discretion. You will write your thesis over the course of one semester, at the end of which there will be an honors defense with the advisor and one departmental reader. That committee then evaluates whether the thesis defense qualifies you to graduate with departmental honors.


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.

Transfer Credit

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.

Study Abroad

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.

Cross-listed Writing Courses

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