Major in English

Students pursuing the BA with a major in English must take ten courses offered by the Department. These courses must be numbered 3000 or above, of no fewer than three credits each, and completed with grades of “C” or better. (Note: the requirement is ten courses, not 30 hours.) Prerequisite to all 3000- and 4000-level courses are six hours of English or instructor permission. The three-hour general education requirement in English does not count toward the major. Students must take at least five of their English courses numbered 3000 or above at UF. The student is responsible for consulting an advisor and preparing a plan of study.

Tracking for the English Major

During their first 5 tracking (fall/spring) semesters, English majors who enter UF as freshmen will be tracked by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for meeting the following requirements:

  • Semester 1: 2.0 UF GPA
  • Semester 2: 2.1 UF GPA
  • Semester 3: 1 English Department course at the 2000 level OR higher
    • 2.3 UF GPA
  • Semester 4: 1 English Department course at the 2000 level OR higher
    • 2.5 GPA in English Department tracking courses
    • 2.5 UF GPA
  • Semester 5: 1 English Department course at 3000 level OR higher
    • 2.5 GPA in English Department tracking courses
    • 2.5 UF GPA

Those students who enter UF as junior transfers will be tracked for meeting the semester 5 requirements at the end of their first semester.

If students fail to meet these tracking requirements, holds will be placed on their records, and they will need to speak with advisors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Center.

Models of Study

The Department has developed, and encourages students to follow, models of study that can help them to create coherent patterns of focus and breadth in their coursework for the major. The models of study (listed below) range from traditional courses of study such as the British and American Literature models, through Film and Media Studies, Creative Writing and Studies in Theory, to Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Studies in Feminisms, Genders and Sexualities. They are called models of study because they do not have tracking status. Students will never be monitored, electronically or otherwise, for completion of models of study. The models, much rather, have the status of enthusiastic recommendations that the faculty members of the Department make to undergraduates about the kinds of distributions of coursework that would make sense given the various interests that students might want to pursue as English majors. Majors can choose models of study to structure their coursework, or, because the models do not have tracking status, majors may modify or combine models of study. Certainly, departmental undergraduate advisors can make recommendations about which models of study seem most appropriate for particular post-undergraduate career and educational goals.

Model descriptions will open in a new browser window

Because the models of study do not have tracking status, students do not need to declare their intention to follow models of study with the Department, and it will never be the case that they must take specific courses to complete their degree requirements for the major. While the Department understands that students may be disappointed if they are unable to take specific courses relevant to their models of study, the demand for seats in courses is very high, and we are not able to accommodate all students who want to take specific courses.

Planning Your Coursework for the English Major

Given that majors will not be monitored for taking a specific set of upper-division English courses for the major, but for meeting the ten-course requirement described above, there are no particular English courses that they must take on a semester-by-semester basis. Moreover, since the only prerequisite for most 3/4000-level English courses is that students have earned six hours of lower-division English course credit either by coursework or by placement, students need not worry in most cases about prerequisites when making upper-division course selections. The exceptions to this general minimal prerequisite are upper-division creative-writing (CRW) workshops, 4000-level film and video production workshops (ENG 4136 and ENG 4146), upper-division advanced writing (ENC) courses, department seminars (ENG 4953), honors seminars (ENG 4936), and the department’s internship course (ENG 4940). See the undergraduate catalog descriptions of these courses for the prerequisites for these courses.

If a student enters UF without any placement credit for English courses, then a plausible plan for completing coursework for the English major would be:

  • Semester 1: ENC 1101
  • Semester 2: 1 2000-level English course
  • Semester 3: 1 3/4000-level English course
  • Semester 4: 1 3/4000-level English course
  • Semester 5: 2 3/4000-level English courses
  • Semester 6: 2 3/4000-level English courses
  • Semester 7: 2 3/4000-level English courses
  • Semester 8: 2 3/4000-level English courses

If a student has entered UF with placement credit for any 1000- or 2000-level English courses, then this plan can be adjusted to account for that placement credit. However, the Department recommends that all students who enter UF as freshmen take one 2000-level English department course (without duplicating any course for which they have received placement credit) before moving on to 3/4000-level coursework as courses taught at the university level are bound to differ from those taught at the high school level, no matter how enriched the high school curriculum may be.

Students should keep in mind that this plan is simply a suggestion, and that they are free to take more or fewer upper-division English courses in any given semester. As long as students both meet the tracking requirements for the first five semesters as outlined above, and complete the required ten courses by the time of graduation, they will be in good standing with the Department.

Selecting Upper-Division Courses for the Major

As students try to decide which 3/4000-level courses they want to take, they should not be concerned about the difference between 3000- and 4000-level courses. The fact that some courses are numbered at the 4000 level and others at the 3000 level does not mean that the former courses will be more difficult than the latter, except in the rare cases where the 4000-level courses have 3000-level prerequisites. Course numbers are not created by the English Department but by a statewide course numbering system. So the department has little control over the numbers assigned to the courses it creates. Students will be able to get a good idea of the level of difficulty of a course by looking at our detailed course descriptions of 3000- and 4000- level courses at courses.

These course descriptions are an invaluable resource. The majority of upper-division English Department courses are variable or rotating topics courses, many of which can be repeated for credit given a change in topic. This means that the course descriptions in the undergraduate catalog have to be brief and general in order to accommodate a range of possible topics. The only way to discover what the actual topic of a course will be in any given semester is to consult our detailed course descriptions at course page. These descriptions will explain the topics and approaches, and generally give some idea of the texts to be assigned and the work students will be expected to do. These descriptions are usually posted at the Department’s website approximately 3–4 weeks before advance registration for the next semester’s courses is scheduled to begin so that students have ample time to consult them before registering for courses.

For further information about the BA program,

Dr. John Murchek
Academic Advisor II
Department of English
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville FL 32611-7310
(352) 394-2877
email: <>