The information listed below is a direct excerpt from the 2016-17 Course Catalog.
Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.
The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.
The English Department offers a wide range of courses in British, American, and Anglophone literatures, from medieval romance to contemporary novels and film. Students develop their own paths through the major, experimenting with historical periods, genres, and forms while also developing expertise in specific areas.
The department stresses critical thinking, incisive writing and speaking, and a sense of initiative and responsibility for the enterprise of interpretation. With their advisers, English majors design a program of study that deepens their understanding of diverse genres, textual traditions, and periods. We encourage students to explore the history of cultural production and reception and also to question the presuppositions of literary study. The major culminates in an independently written essay of 30-40 pages, developed during a senior research seminar in the fall semester and individually mentored by a faculty member in the spring. Students are expected to take at least two English courses at Bryn Mawr before signing up for the major or minor.
There is no limit to the number of courses in film studies that may count toward the English major, except for a student majoring in English who is also seeking to declare a minor in film studies. In that case two (and only two) of the courses that comprise the six-course film studies minor may also count towards the 11-course English major. The minimum number of courses required to complete an English major and a minor in film studies is thus 15 courses.
Students may elect a concentration in creative writing. (In addition to the eight English courses, students must take English 250, English 398, and English 399, as described above) One of the creative writing units at the 300 level may count as one of the three required 300-level courses for the major. Students enrolling in this concentration must seek the approval of their major adviser in English and of the director of the Creative Writing Program; they must enroll in the concentration before the end of their sophomore year.
The Department of English contributes courses toward minors in Africana Studies, in Environmental Studies, and in the Program in Gender and Sexuality.
Students should complete both English 250 and one 300-level course before leaving for a semester or year abroad.
English majors planning to complete an education certification in their senior year should file a work plan with the chairs of the Education and English Departments no later than December 1 of their junior year. English majors on this path will follow an accelerated writing schedule in their senior year.
Some students seek a longer horizon and a chance to dig deeper into their research interests. Rising juniors and seniors in English frequently apply for fellowship support from the Hanna Holborn Gray program, to pursue original research over the summer or through the year. The projects may be stand-alone or may lead to a senior essay. In either case, students work closely with faculty advisers to define the goals, methods, and potential outcomes of their research
Students who have done distinguished work in their courses in the major and who write outstanding senior essays will be considered for departmental honors.