English Major Requirements

The program for English majors is designed to lay a foundation for careers in writing, teaching, scholarship, and research, as well as for many other types of position in the business and professional world where skills in communication, creative, critical, or analytical writing, public relations, editorial skills, advertising, or the like are required.

Students who ENTERED the university since summer 2010 are required to follow the 2010 undergraduate program shown here to meet the requirements for graduation. Students who entered the university when previous graduation requirements were in place (1997, 2003 or 2006) can continue to use those to meet the requirements for graduation unless they CHOOSE to switch to these new ones. Anyone considering switching to the new graduation requirements should first consult one of the two undergraduate advisors.

For an application to become an English Major please visit the A & S Advising Center or apply on-line.

Major: ENGL
Degree: BA
Unit: Arts and Sciences


  • Only 40 hours in the major department may be applied toward the Bachelor of Arts degree. Courses in freshman composition (English 101, 102, and 105) are not counted in computing the 40 hours for an English major.
  • At least 50 of the minimum hours required must be at the 300 level or higher.
  • Major must not include more than 9 hours of creative or expository writing or more than 6 hours of special topics courses.
  • Student Learning Outcomes:
    • Completion of the Bachelor of Arts in English requires the student to submit one paper written for an English course taken at the University of Louisville during the student’s last two semesters.
    • The paper should be critical or analytical in style, not creative, and be 4 to 10 pages long.
    • Papers utilizing primary or secondary sources are preferred over those that do not.
    • Further details are available from Sherry McCroskey, English Undergraduate Administrative Assistant. (502) 852-0506. Please submit SLO papers to Sherry.McCroskey@louisville.edu

Cardinal Core General Education Requirements (GERs)

Minimum Number of Credit Hours

SkillsWritten Communication (WC)6
Oral Communication (OC)3
Quantitative Communication (QC)3

Disciplinary Perspectives

Arts & Humanities (AH) 6

DiversitySocial & Behavioral Sciences (SB)6 (3 hrs. must be in Historical Perspective-SBH)
Natural Sciences (S, SL, and B)7 (including 1 hr. lab)
U.S. Diversity (D1)*3
Global Diversity (D2)*3




The Diversity requirements will be met by taking courses in other Cardinal Core categories that also carry the D1 or D2 designation. This requirement, therefore, does not add hours to the total Cardinal Core Program.


College of Arts and Sciences Program Requirements

  • Gen 101 (Arts & Sciences Orientation) = 1 hour
  • Electives outside your program (taken in addition to the courses used to meet General Education Requirements)
    One course at any level = 3 hours
    Two courses at 300 or above = 6 hours
  • Foreign Language = 12 hours (completion of the intermediate level of a single foreign language)
  • Writing [WR](For English majors, this requirement is already incorporated into the other degree requirements for the major)
  • Total Hours = 22

Supporting Courses in Humanities

  • Electives in Humanities (other than English)
    Four courses at 300 or above = 12 hours
    One course at 400 or above = 3 hours
  • Total Hours = 15

Department of English Requirements

Majors may not include more than 9 hours of creative or expository writing (not including ENGL 300 or 310), nor more than 6 hours of Special Topics courses.

  • English 300 (WR), Introduction to English Studies, is designed for English majors and intending majors. Students cannot receive credit for both ENGL 300 and ENGL 310 within the major. Students planning to major in English are strongly encouraged to take ENGL 300 in the first semester after completion of English 102 or 105 = 3 hours
  • English 491 = 3 hours
  • Historical distribution: One course in each of the following historical time periods is required for the major.
    • Pre-1700 literature
    • 1700-1900 literature
    • Post-1900 literature
  • The historical distribution courses may be any selection of electives from any level of the following:
    • English Electives at 300 level = 9 hours
    • English Electives at 400 level  = 9 hours
    • English Electives at the 500 level  = 12 hours
  • Total Hours = 36

Additional Electives

  • Additional electives to bring total hours to required minimum = 17 hours
  • Minimum Required Hours for Graduation = 121