(College of Letters & Science)
John Marx, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Department; term ends June 30, 2021
Department Office. 176 Voorhies Hall; 530-752-2257; http://english.ucdavis.edu
The Major Program
The study of English develops skills in reading analytically and perceptively and in writing clearly and effectively. Students major in English by taking courses in a wide variety of media, genres, topics, and historical periods. All students are introduced to the major by completing 20 units spread over courses in writing, any one of many topics courses, and the gateway series to the English major that covers “Literature in English” from the earliest medieval texts to the present. Students then build their own path through the major depending upon their particular interests, eventually completing 44 more units covering different historical periods, methods of theory and criticism, and thematic focuses. After a shared set of courses, students choose to specialize either in Literary Criticism and Theory or Creative Writing. All majors have the opportunity to work with distinguished writers, critics, scholars, and teachers.
English majors learn how to:
- Write clearly and effectively
- Think creatively and analytically
- Organize and communicate ideas creatively and efficiently
- Analyze and critically evaluate language and other forms of representation
- Understand texts within their historical, political, and cultural contexts
- Recognize and evaluate various perspectives, through creating or reading fiction, drama, and poetry
- Evaluate how fictional and non-fictional narratives structure thought and action
- Read long texts closely, analytically, and efficiently
- Respond spontaneously with organized, clear statements and ideas
Career Options. Graduates have found the major excellent pre-professional training for careers in teaching, writing, law, medicine, library work, journalism, and more. Many graduates are employed in publishing, marketing, advertising, or the tech sector. Others have worked in local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as in industry. Many have gone on to graduate study in a wide range of fields including English, education, counseling, and more.
Major Advisors. G. Bloom, S. Boluk, S. Chaganti, J. Clover, L. Corin, G. Dobbins, F. Dolan, K. Frederickson, E. Freeman, E. Gray, P. Houston, M. Jerng, D. Martín, J. Marx, T. Menely, C. Milburn, E. Miller, K. Peterson, M. Ronda, P. Roy, S. Shershow, M. Stratton, M. Vernon, C. Waters, J. Wenderoth, T. Werth, M. Ziser
Major Advising. All new and prospective English majors are encouraged to see an undergraduate staff advisor, individually, once per year, at minimum.
Foreign Languages. Students who contemplate advanced study in English should prepare for foreign language requirements for higher degrees and should consult with the graduate advisor.
Honors & Honors Program. A Senior Honors Program is available to an invited group of English majors, who prepare and write a Senior Thesis (either a research paper or creative writing) in their final year. The critical honors program consists of 4 units of 194H and 4 units of 195H, normally taken during winter and spring quarters of the senior year. The creative writing honors program consists of 4 units of 100FA or 100PA, normally taken during spring quarter of the junior year, and 4 units of 195H, normally taken winter quarter of the senior year. Completion of the program is a prerequisite for High or Highest Honors at graduation. Eligibility criteria and application materials may be obtained at the Undergraduate Advising office in 177 Voorhies Hall or by accessing the Department website at http://english.ucdavis.edu. For more details, see Graduation Honors.
Education Abroad Options. The department strongly encourages interested students to pursue their studies abroad. It is possible for students to complete significant portions of the English major provided that the course is evaluated as at least 4 UC Davis units; the course is considered upper division by the standards set forth by UC Davis Study Abroad; the student presents copies of the coursework, syllabus, and writing assignments to the department’s advising staff.
Teaching Credential Subject Representative. See the Teacher Education program.
Entry Level Writing. Students must have met the Entry Level Writing requirement before taking any course in English.
Prerequisites. ENL 003 or UWP 001 is required for admission into all preparatory courses (040, 041, 043, 044, 045, 010A, 010B, 010C), and all upper division courses, unless otherwise stated in the course listings. COM 001, 002, 003, or 004 or NAS 005 may normally be substituted for ENL 003 or UWP 001.
Coursework. Up to 4 upper division units in a national literature other than English or American, or in Comparative Literature, may count toward the requirements of the major.