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The English Major and Minor

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The English major offers students an opportunity to develop and enhance reading, writing, creative and critical abilities which prepare students for various career options, including  work and graduate or professional school. There are many good  reasons to be an English major

A minor in English provides students with a firm foundation in analytical and critical thinking, reading and researching as well as in argumentative, applied and creative writing. It is a nice complement to several major degrees, including business degrees, history, political science, world languages, art history and others.

The program offers a varied and comprehensive curriculum in literature, rhetoric, composition, language study, film, poetry, critical theory and creative writing. This curriculum structure requires students to enroll in courses that teach them how to analyze, interpret, research, argue and convey thoughts and feelings clearly and effectively in speech and writing.

Complete list of Major Requirements and Minor Requirements

Students graduating in English from USC Upstate should be able to demonstrate the following abilities and skills:

  • A knowledge of literary periods, movements, genres and authors that is informed by literary criticism, theory and linguistic analysis and allows students to situate and interpret texts in their historical and cultural contexts and to utilize appropriate literary and linguistic theory in discussing the assigned texts.
  • The ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate a variety of texts by interpreting meaning and significance based on close observations of details within and among texts.
  • The ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner for a variety of audiences by writing with clarity and precision as appropriate for the given audience.
  • The ability to incorporate, engage and utilize well-planned and executed research by critically engaging the ideas of other scholars and incorporating research in writing about the assigned texts.

Students in English courses share the same guidelines for conducting research, interpreting literature and writing about literature. These guidelines reflect the shared rules and values of the discipline or field of English Studies. The USC Upstate English faculty prepared the following documents to explain the guidelines all students in English courses are expected to follow. In English 300, students learn about these guidelines in depth. Students are expected to be able to follow these guidelines in 300 and 400-level English literature courses:

In the English Senior Seminar students demonstrate their achievement of the goals above through a Senior Seminar Portfolio (See Senior Seminar Portfolio Checklist for details). Students are strongly encouraged to maintain ongoing electronic and paper portfolios of work in the English major throughout their undergraduate careers.

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Dr. Peter Caster
Department Chair

USC Upstate
Department of Languages, Literature & Composition
HPAC 222
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5688
Fax: 864-503-5825
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