Degree Requirements

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Admission to the program is contingent upon good academic standing and acceptance by the department.

The department will not accept D transfer credit in the major. Achievement of a C or better in all major courses at Chicago State University is required.

Completion of 120 semester hours of work is required to earn a bachelor's degree in any English option: Literature, Secondary Teaching, or Writing.  Requirements includes the following:

 

  • 36 hours of General Education for the University 
  • 6 credit hours of a single Foreign Language (3 hours for the department and 3 hours for the College of Arts and Sciences)
  • a specified number of credit hours for English Core Courses and English Electives (the number varies by option - Literature, Secondary Teaching, or Writing)
  • a specifed number of University Electives taken outside the department (the number varies by option).  See details below for specific General Education requirements, as well as requirements for each undergraduate option and graduate program.
  • 3 credit hours of Critical Thinking, 3 credit hours Diversity, and 3 credit hours Interdisciplinary courses embedded in the preceding courses and selected from a list of approved courses.

Before proceeding to any 4000-level course in literature, students must have passed English 2100* and 2260 with a grade of C or higher. Literature and Writing majors also must pass English 2280 with a grade of C or higher before proceeding to any 4000-level course in literature. English majors in the literature and secondary teaching options must complete at least five 4000-level English courses before graduating. *ENG 2100 is not required for English Secondary Teaching majors.

GENERAL EDUCATION (36 credit hours)

Core Requirements:

  • English Composition - 6 credit hours (ENG 1270 and 1280 or ENG 1230 and 1240 or their equivalents)
  • Oral Communication - 3 credit hours (ENG 2011 preferred)
  • Mathematics - 3 credit hours (per placement exam, MATH 1200 preferred


General Requirements

  • Natural Sciences - 6 credit hours
    (one physical science [chemistry, geography, physical science, or physics] and one biology; one must have a lab)
  • Social Sciences - 9 credit hours (at least two disciplines)
  • Humanities/Fine Arts - 9 credit hours
    (must include one Humanities course and one Fine Arts course)

Foreign Language (required by the department and the College of Arts and Sciences)

  • Same language - 6 credit hours (including 3 credit hours for the College of Arts and Sciences)

Literature Option:  (University General Education Courses, 36 credit hours; Foreign Language Courses, 6 credit hours; English Core Courses, 51 credit hours; English Electives, 15 credit hours; University Electives, 12 credit hours; Total credit hours, 120) 

English Core Courses:  ENG 1360*, 2100, 2160 or 2190, 2260, 2280, 2330 or 2340, 2370, 2910 or 2940, 4311, 4316, 4331, 4337, 4338, 4327 or 3870, and 4390; one 4000-level American Literature seminar course (such as ENG 4370); one 4000-level British Literature seminar course.  The University Senior Thesis requirement may be met by ENG 4327 or 3870.  English Electives (15 credit hours) must be selected with the prior approval of the departmental academic advisor.  Students should complete 12 credit hours of additional University Electives to reach 120 total credit hours.  Students also must pass the examination on the federal constitution.  *Students can test out of this course, which is a prerequisite for ENG 2100, by passing the department's Grammar Competency Examination (GCE).  Passing the GCE earns a student 3 credit hours of proficiency.

Secondary Teaching Option:  (University General Education Courses, 36 credit hours; English Core Courses, 54 credit hours; Required Professional Education Courses, 30 credit hours; Total, 120 credit hours)

English Core Courses:  ENG 1360*, 2160, 2190, 2260, 2330, 2340, 2410, 2910 or 2940, 4306, 4311, 4331, 4366, 4370, 4390, one 4000-level American Literature seminar course, one 4000-level English/British Literatue seminar, one 4000-level Ethnic Literature seminar, and one of the following - 4335, 4336, 4338, 4339, or 4361.  Required Professional Education Courses:  ED 2000, ED 4500, ED 4312, READ 4100, PSYC 2020, S ED 4301, S ED 4303, ENG 3630, ENG 3750, and one specialized teaching methods course: ENG 3030, 3780, 4377, 4347, or 4360.  Students also must pass the examination on the federal constitution.  The University Senior Thesis requirement may be met by ENG 3750 (6 credit hours).  *Students can test out of this course by passing the department's Grammar Competency Examination (GCE).  Passing the GCE earns a student 3 credit hours of proficiency.

Writing Option:  (University General Education Courses, 36 credit hours; Foreign Language Courses, 6 credit hours; English Core Courses, 51 credit hours; English Electives 15 credit hours; University Electives, 12 credit hours; Total credit hours, 120)

English Core Courses:  ENG 1360*, 2100, 2160 or 2190, 2260, 2280, 2330 or 2340, 2370, 2790, 2910 or 2940, 4327 or 3870, 4311, 4337, 4338, 4390, 4395, one 4000-level American Literature seminar course, one 4000-level English/British Literature seminar course.  Department Electives are to be selected with the approval of the departmental academic advisor and must include at least the following: 3 credit hours from 2000-level literature courses and 3 credit hours from 4000-level literature courses.  Students must complete 18 additional University Electives to reach 120 total credit hours.  Students also must pass the examination on the federal constitution.  The University Senior Thesis requirement may be met by ENG 4327 or 3870.  Note:  Students not meeting program standards also will be required to enroll in ENG 3920 Professional and Technical Writing Practicum prior to enrolling  in ENG 4395.  *Students can test out of this course, which is a prerequisite for ENG 2100, by passing the department's Grammar Competency Examination (GCE).  Passing the GCE earns a student 3 credit hours of proficiency.

Minor in English (18 credit hours)

Students wishing to earn a minor in English with a focus in literature must complete 18 credit hours, including a 3-credit-hour course in language (ENG 4335 or 4336).  Students also must complete elective courses in English totaling 15 credit hours.  Courses are to be selected with the approval of the departmental academic advisor.  At least 6 credit hours must be in American Literature, and 6 credit hours must in English/British Literature.  At least one course must be at the 4000 level.

Minor in Writing (18 credit hours)

Required Courses (6 credit hours) - ENG 1360 and ENG 2100

Elective Courses (12 credit hours )  Select 12 credit hours with the approval of the departmental academic advisor.  At least one course must be at the 4000 level.

Master of Arts in English

Option 1:  Complete at least 30 credit hours of approved graduate-level course work and take the English Comprehensive Examination.

Option 2:  Complete at least 33 credit hours of approved graduate-level course work, including a minimum of 3 credit hours of ENG 5498 Master's Thesis.

Required Courses (15 credit hours)  ENG 5411, 5331, 5436, 5427, 5415; Required Seminars (6 credit hours) ENG 5452 and 5453  Note:  A student who, as an undergraduate, took a 4000-level section of a 4000/5000 required course need not repeat it, but s/he will need to reach a total of at least 30 credit hours, in appropriate 5000-level courses, to graduate with the MA in English (or 33 hours if the thesis option has been selected).  Students must take additional electives to get up to the relevant total number of credit hours (30 or 33).  Up to 12 relevant graduate-level credit hours may be accepted if the courses were taken at CSU.  Up to 9 appropriate, transferred graduate credit hours may be accepted from other accredited institution(s).

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (36 credit hours)

Workshop and Writing Courses (15 Credit hours)  Select 6 credit hours from ENG 5461, 5463, and 5465; 3 credit hours from  ENG 5380, 5381, and 5383; 3 and 3 credit hours from  ENG 5337, 5367, or 5368; Acceptable substitutes in the category include but are not limited to CMAT 5373, CMAT 5399, and ENG 5395.

Publishing Courses (6 credit hours)  Select 6 credit hours from ENG 5456, 5379, and ENG 5395.

Literature Courses (9 credit hours)  Select any three 5000-level ENG literature courses.  There is no need to repeat a required course taken as a CSU undergraduate (such as ENG 4311/5411 Shakespeare), but graduate credit hours in the program must total 36.

Thesis Development (6 credit hours)   Take at least two semesters of ENG 5498 Master's Thesis.

Students also must pass an MFA Comprehensive Examination and upload the approved thesis and related forms to to the ProQuest database of theses and dissertations.

For successful completion of an English degree, at the minimum, students must be

  • able to write coherent, well-organized exposition in several rhetorical modes using edited American English competently.
  • able to use effectively a variety of rhetorical forms and strategies of informative writing and write for a variety of  audiences.
  • familiar with the literature and major developments and writers of Great Britain and America.
  • familiar with a significant body of literature by American writers of color.
  • able to analyze works of literature, understand a variety of critical approaches, and demonstrate an awareness of the characteristic elements and techniques of the various genres.
  • able to understand basic elements of language and of language development, history, dialects, and language acquisition.
  • able to think critically about issues and articulate varying points of view.
  • adept in solving problems involved in research and communication.
  • competent in operating word processing programs.
  • familiar with professional journals in the discipline.
  • familiar with professional organizations and become a participating member of at least one.
  • willing and able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and outline a plan of self-improvement.

1360 ESSENTIALS OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR (3)  

2100 WRITING & EDITING NONFICTION (3) : Prerequisite: Successful completion of Composition I and II (or their equivalents), with a grade of C or higher

2160 SURVEY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE I (3)

2190 SURVEY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE II (3)

2260 ELEMENTS OF LITERARY STUDY AND RESEARCH WRITING (3): Prerequisite: Successful completion of Composition I and II (or their equivalents), with a grade of C or higher

2280 CRITICAL STRATEGIES OF WRITING AND RESEARCH (3): Prerequisite: Successful completion of Composition I and II (or their equivalents), with a grade of C or higher

2330 READINGS IN BRITISH LITERATURE I (3)

2340 READINGS IN BRITISH LITERATURE II (3)

2910 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE I (3) or 2940 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE II (3):  Prerequisite for all 4000-level courses in English: Successful Completion of Composition I and II (or their equivalents), with a grade of C or higher 

3870 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS AND PROGRAM OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT (3)  Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Composition I and II (or their equivalents), with grades of C or higher, and ENG 1360, 2100, 2160 or 2190, 2260, 2280, 2330 or 2340, 2910 or 2940, or consent of the departmentNoteThe prerequistes for all 4000-level literature seminars are ENG 2100, 2260, and 2280, with grades of C or higher.

4311 SHAKESPEARE (3)

4316 WORLD MASTERPIECES (3)

4327 METHODS & MATERIALS FOR LITERARY RESEARCH (3)

4331 LITERARY CRITICISM (3)

4338 LANGUAGE (3)

4390 WOMEN’S VOICES (3)

4314 VICTORIAN LITERATURE (3)  or 4326 Studies in Romantic Literature (3) or 4342 English Literature since 1918 (3) or  4349 The English Novel (3)  or 4350 Restoration & Early 18th Centrury British (3)  or 4351 Later 18th Century British Literature (3)  or 4357 The English Renaissance (3) or 4358 English Literature of the 17th Century (3)

2410 THIRD WORLD LITERATURE (3)   or  4321 Black Women Writers (3) or  4322 Black American Poetry (3) or 4323 Wright, Ellison, and Baldwin (3) or 4324 Gwendolyn Brooks Seminar (3) or 4332 Black American Fiction (3) or 4334 The Image of Blacks in American Prose Fiction (3) or 4370 The American Ethnic Experience in Literature (3)

4341 AMERICAN LITERATURE SINCE 1918 (3) or 4345 American Literature 1820 - 1865 (3) or 4346 American Literature, 1865 - 1918 (3)

4395 INTERNSHIP IN WRITING (3-12)  Consent of the department