Bachelor of Arts Program

Professor Paul Marchbanks in class

The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in English offers students both structure and freedom of choice. Students take a required course in world literature and one in linguistics, along with a six-course sequence of British and American literature. The other seven English courses are chosen by the student and can include creative writing, literature, film, linguistics, composition/rhetoric, and technical communications. A one-unit Senior Project in the student’s field of interest provides the capstone to the English major.

English majors must also demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a language other than English. Cal Poly offers intermediate-level instruction in Spanish, French, and German, but students may also take Chinese and Italian. We encourage majors to study abroad, and many students choose to complete their language requirement in another country.

Though the core of the major is literature, students may choose an emphasis in creative writing, either fiction- or poetry-writing. The emphasis consists of one introductory workshop, two advanced workshops, one upper-division course in modern or contemporary literature in the student's chosen genre, and the senior project in that genre.

For a full list of English major requirements, please see the course catalog.

You may find catalog course descriptions here.


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