English Language and Literature

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of English

Department Chair: Laura Smith, Ph.D.


Dedicated to the belief that language and literature form the foundations of our community and culture, the Stevenson University Department of English fulfills its responsibilities to its majors and to the general student population through course offerings that prepare students to read closely, to think critically, to write clearly, and to understand literature as art and as a record of their cultural heritage.

The English language and literature program allows students considerable flexibility in planning their course work and pursuing their career goals. The program possesses four sequences of courses: career development, literature, creative writing, and professional writing and digital studies.

Career Development: The four courses in the career development sequence are required of all English language and literature majors. These classes gradually develop the knowledge and skills essential to integrating academic experience with career preparation. Students learn how to become self-improving and self-assessing learners capable of creating career goals and making informed academic and career choices based upon those goals.

Literature: The seven courses required in the literature sequence offer far more choice. To learn the critical thinking skills associated with the study and creation of literature, all students must take two specific courses:Critical Approaches to Literature I and Critical Approaches to Literature II. The refinement of these skills takes place in the five literature electives that each major chooses based upon his or her career goals and personal preferences.

Creative Writing: Participation in the creative writing sequence is purely voluntary. The eight courses in the sequence offer students the opportunity to develop the critical and creative skills essential to writing poetry, fiction, and/or nonfiction. The sequence begins with an introductory course that exposes students to all three genres. Then, students choose how, or if, they will progress through the study of writing in these three genres. Some may stop after the introductory course; others may focus on a specific genre such as poetry, and others may work in multiple genres.

Professional Writing and Digital Studies: Participation in the professional writing and digital studies sequence is also voluntary. The eight courses in this sequence offer students the opportunity to develop the critical and creative skills essential to a wide range of professional and digital writing industries, including journalism, public relations, and content production. This sequence begins with an introductory course in  journalism, ENG 253, or digital publishing, ENG 256. Students then choose how, or if, they will progress through the study of specific print and digital professional writing genre.

The English language and literature program includes four English electives that majors may use to maximize their ability to achieve their career goals. Each student must decide whether the electives will be used for more literature courses, for creative writing courses, for professional writing or digital studies courses, or for a combination of any of these types of courses.


Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, graduates will be able to

  1. Solve problems by thinking creatively and critically.
  2. Read and interpret texts using critical theory and language arts.
  3. Use research resources.
  4. Write academic, professional, and/or creative texts.
  5. Communicate orally and nonverbally.
  6. Negotiate personal values in relation to the values of others.
  7. Apply academic preparation to professional and cultural experiences beyond the classroom.
  8. Make informed academic and career choices based on self-determined goals.


Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the major, and the lowest acceptable grade is a "C" in all major and Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE) courses. No student, regardless of major, will be permitted to advance to the next course without earning a grade of "C" or better in the prerequisite course(s). When a grade below "C" is earned in a major course, the student must repeat that course.

Once students have declared their intention to major in English language and literature, they are required to take all major courses at Stevenson University. Students must complete two semesters in a foreign language at the intermediate level or above. Full-time students interested in languages other than French and Spanish are eligible to participate in the Baltimore Student Exchange Program (BSEP) with area colleges and universities. Contact the Registrar's Office for information on this program. 


The courses listed below are required for completion of the bachelor's degree in English language and literature. Students must also complete the requirements for the Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE).

Specific pre- and co-requisites for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

(Note: Some courses may be repeated for credit when focus or topic changes. Check the course descriptions following this section to identify these courses.)

Required Courses

EDCP 100First Year Seminar


ENG 230Critical Approaches to Literature I

3 credits

ENG 231English: Forms and Functions

3 credits

ENG 331Design Your Career

3 credits

ENG 332Critical Approaches to Literature II

3 credits

ENG 420English Capstone: Internship

3 credits

Five Literature Electives

Two courses at the 200-level

Two courses at the 300-level

One course at the 400-level

Foreign Language

Two semesters of a foreign language at the 200-level or above

Four English Electives

One course at the 200-level

One course at the 300-level

One course at the 400-level

One course at the 200-level or above

Suggested Course Sequence

Suggested Course Sequence

Minor in English Language and Literature

A minor in English is available, requiring six courses at the 200-level or beyond. At least three courses for the minor must be taken at Stevenson. Students minoring in English are eligible to take courses restricted to the English major if the prerequisites are met. Please see an academic advisor for more information. Specific information regarding minor requirements may be found in the Academic Information section of the catalog.

Course Descriptions

See English Course Descriptions

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