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 literature. 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 Center for Poetry and Poetics (formerly the National Poetry Foundation), an internationally recognized center for the study of modern poetry.


What can I do with a major in English?

Checklist for English majors

Capstone Approval Form

Minor Options

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Literary Magazine – The Open Field

Class Projects

Core Requirements for All Majors

Majors take a minimum of 36 credits in English beyond ENG 101. At least 18 of these credits must be University of Maine courses.  By the time of graduation, a student must also complete an additional field requirement, which may be satisfied in three ways: a minor, a second major, or intermediate proficiency in a language other than English (to the 204 level in college courses, or the equivalent by examination).

All majors must complete the following specific requirements:

Writing Requirements for All Majors

Majors are required to complete a minimum of three writing courses (9 credits) above the level of ENG 101. Two of those courses must be at the 300 or 400 level.

These three courses can be chosen from the analytical writing, creative writing, and/or professional and technical writing options listed under “Writing Concentration Options” below. Concentrations are strongly encouraged but not required for graduation.

200 level writing courses include: ENG 201,  ENG 205 , ENG 206

300 and 400 level writing courses include: ENG 301 ENG 307 ENG 308 ENG 309 ENG 315 ENG 317 ENG 395 ENG 402 ENG 407 ENG 408 ENG 415 ENG 416

Outside the Major Requirement

The requirements listed on this page are specific to the English major. Students are also responsible for meeting any graduation requirements set out by the college. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) should make sure to review those requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences page of the catalog.

For more information about our undergraduate and graduate programs, program learning outcomes, internships, special resources and programs, and career opportunities, see our web site at https://english.umaine.edu


Writing Concentrations offer students the option of a structured progression through the fields of Creative Writing, Analytical Writing, or Technical/Professional Writing. Each concentration provides both introductory and advanced instruction and prepares students for further education or for work in many professions. Each writing concentration requires a sequence of courses beginning at the 200 or 300 level and culminating in advanced coursework or pre-professional experiences in the senior year.

Creative Writing

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

Analytical Writing

This concentration is for students whose primary interest is in literature, literary theory, and in writing essays, literary criticism, and academic papers.  It provides excellent preparation for law school or for graduate study in language and literature.   It is also useful for students planning to teach at the secondary or college level. Course work includes:

Technical/Professional Writing (12 credits)

This concentration is useful for students planning careers in such diverse professions as law, public relations, management, arts administration, technical writing, and journalism. Course work includes:

Two of the following:


  • ENG 496 – English Career Internship Credits: 3
  • Students register for ENG 499, a non-credit Capstone designator, in the semester they plan to complete their Field Experience (ENG 496).

*Senior Capstone Requirement

The senior capstone requirement applies to all majors and 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:

Any ENG 400 level literature course in which the student writes a substantial research paper; ENG 490 is optimized for the Capstone experience but all 400 level literature courses can fulfill the requirement by arrangement with the instructor.


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.


The requirements for the minor in English are listed on the English Minor Requirement  Checklist.

For those declaring a Minor in Technical and Professional Communication:

Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) involves crafting complex information for specific audiences so that they can achieve a defined goal. UMaine’s TPC minor equips students with skills in document/information design, grant writing, usability/human-centered design, and composing for varied audiences. These skills prepare students to pursue careers in fields such as user experience, learning experience design, instructional design, fundraising, publishing, non-profit communication, scientific writing, and technical writing. 

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

For those declaring a Minor in Creative Writing:

The Creative Writing minor is designed for students interested in learning how to write or to improve their own original creative works. The focus of the minor is the workshop. The sequential requirements train minors in a progressive manner: from the basic skills of writing creatively, through the theoretical and aesthetic questions of narratology and poetics, and, finally, in the skill of completing a polished manuscript. The minor provides the opportunity for minors to study both poetry and prose, as well as some literature, creative non-fiction, and special topics in creative writing, such as translation, playwriting, or literary collage.

The minor can only be declared after the completion of ENG 205: Introduction to Creative Writing with a grade of B or better. Please note: Priority is given to English majors concentrating in creative writing and creative writing minors.

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