Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Arts in English

Coursework for a Bachelor of Arts in English provides comprehensive instruction in the resources of English, its language and literatures. This instruction is central to a liberal education and fundamental preparation for graduate liberal arts and professional programs. Courses in English teach critical and original thinking and communication. Knowledge gained from majoring in English provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers that depend on critical and creative thinking and the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.

The literature curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad-based foundation in English and American literature as well as in-depth inquiry into focused areas of literary study. Within this curriculum students are encouraged to read creatively and to discover what others have not seen. Students are asked to present these discoveries in writing in a persuasive way that allows others to see their importance. The literature program is enhanced and supported by links to the National Poetry Foundation, an internationally recognized center for the study of modern poetry.

All students must choose a writing concentration in Creative Writing, Analytical Writing (Literary/Critical Writing) or Professional & Technical Writing. Each provides students with both introductory and advanced instruction in the field and prepares students for further education or for work in a large number of professional fields.

What can I do with a major in English?

Checklist for English majors

Minor Options

Undergraduate Courses

Core Requirements for all Majors

Students must take a minimum of thirty-six (36) credit hours beyond ENG 101: College Composition. At least eighteen (18) of these credits must be University of Maine courses. A grade of C minus or higher is required in all courses applied to the major.

The 36 credit hours must include:

  • ENG 170 and ENG 222 and ENG 271.
  • Five literature courses in the 300 to 400 level, including at least one British literature course and one course focused on literature from before 1800.
  • One elective literature course at the 200 level or higher.
  • Three courses in the chosen writing concentration.
  • Completion of the Senior Capstone Requirement.*

English Major Requirements Checklist as of Spring 2016

Outside the Major Requirement

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires students to complete at least sixty (60) credit hours outside the English department. Any course that does not have the ENG designator will satisfy this requirement. ENG 101 counts as “outside the major.” For General Education Requirements, please visit the Office of Student Records.

Additional Field Requirement

By the time of graduation, students must fulfill one of three choices:

1. Complete an approved minor or the equivalent, as approved by your advisor

— or —

2. Complete a second major

— or —

3. For students matriculating before Fall 2011, demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a language other than English. (To meet this requirement, students may pass an examination or pass courses at the 204 level in a selected language.)


Three writing concentrations are available. These concentrations consist of 9- or 12-credit hour sequences, beginning at the 200 or 300 level and culminating in an advanced workshop or pre-professional writing experience.

Creative Writing

The creative writing concentration allows students to explore their worlds with carefully crafted language and to make the writing of imaginative literature a way of life. Coursework usually includes:

This concentration is completed by the submission and approval of the finished manuscript.

Analytical Writing [Literary Critical Writing]

The analytical writing concentration is for students  interested in the crafting of essays, academic papers, feature pieces, and other forms of creative nonfiction; it is also useful for students planning to teach at the secondary or college level, or to pursue advanced study in the field. Coursework usually includes:

  •  ENG 201ENG 206, or ENG 315
  • ENG 499: Capstone with an elective 400 level literature course in which a seminar-level research paper is crafted OR an analytical Honors thesis related to English studies, OR tutoring for a semester in the Writing Center after completion of ENG 395 OR ENG 402 and the approval of a final research/editing project

This concentration is completed by the submission and approval of the finished seminar-level research paper.

Professional/Technical Writing

The Professional & Technical Writing concentration is for students who want to work for research and development companies, in publishing, for small businesses, in marketing and public relations, as arts management personnel, in social media marketing, and in other areas. Coursework includes the following:

This concentration is complete after submission and approval of the fieldwork portfolio.

*Senior Capstone Requirement

The senior capstone requirement applies to all students in all concentrations. It may be satisfied in a number of ways appropriate to a student’s interests and plans, and is normally a natural culmination to previous choices within the major. Most of the capstone options also satisfy other major requirements. Any one of the following courses or experiences may be used:

  • ENG 395 and one semester of tutoring in the Writing Center.
  • 400 level literature course in which a student writes a seminar-level research paper.
  • ENG 402 and the approval of a final research/editing project
  • ENG 405 or ENG 407 or ENG 408 and the approval of a finished manuscript.
  • ENG 496 (at least 3 credit hours of field experience).
  • Approval of an Honors thesis with a topic in an area of English studies.

** Students must also register for the zero (0) credit hour ENG 499. This is an accounting mechanism for Student Records to track the completion of the Senior Capstone Requirement.

5-Year MBA Option

A new program is being offered that makes it possible for an English major to complete an MBA (Master of Business Administration) in one year and two summers after completing the English B.A. To do this, you would simply complete six economics and business courses as part of your undergraduate work. A number of these courses could also count toward general education requirements.

To learn more about the program or opportunities for people holding the MBA, please visit the Master’s of Business Administration website.


Students can minor in English, Professional Writing, or Creative Writing. 18 credits of work in English are required for each minor.

The minor in English has recently undergone some changes, so please pay close attention to these requirements:

For those declaring a Minor in English:

18 credits of English courses are required, excluding ENG 101 and ENG 100/106, and twelve of these credits must be University of Maine courses.


English Minor Checklist (minors declaring after June 15, 2017)

For those declaring a Minor in Professional Writing:

The requirements for the minor in professional writing are listed on the Professional Writing Minor Requirement Checklist.

For those declaring a Minor in Creative Writing:

The requirements for the minor in creative writing are listed on the Creative Writing Minor Requirement Checklist.