Student with book
Department of English Language and Literature

MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
Second Floor

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021

Undergraduate Study

An undergraduate degree in English is one of the most versatile degrees in the Humanities. English students graduate with advanced skills in research, rhetoric, persuasive writing, critical reading and more. Our graduates go on to careers in law, business and academics among others. Our students enjoy a large range of opportunities to enhance their studies including lectures, reading series, and a robust internship program (learn more)

Honors in English

Students are encouraged to participate in the Departmental Honors Program in English. Eligibility requirements are a 3.2 cumulative GPA based on at least 75 hours of college credit (including a minimum of 9 hours in English courses numbered 200 and above), a 3.5 GPA in English courses at UNM (based on at least 9 hours in English courses taken at UNM numbered 200 and above), and a letter of recommendation from a regular faculty member from the Department of English. In the Honors Program, you will work closely with a faculty sponsor in order to write an Honors Thesis—a serious critical research, professional, or creative project. Thus, the Departmental Honors program asks you to challenge yourself at the highest academic level. Successful completion demonstrates that you are not only an exceptional student with a strong commitment to excellence, but that you can take initiative on a focused project, meet needed deadlines, and work cooperatively.

The distinction of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude in English is awarded to successful candidates. To help ensure that you receive distinction for your work, it is important that you take the required coursework in a timely fashion, work steadily on your project, and consult frequently with your faculty advisor. Honors brochures, application forms, and guidelines are available outside the Undergraduate Office, Humanities Building Room 223. Sample materials are available upon consultation with the Department of English Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies: Professor Carolyn Woodward in Humanities 223.

Undergraduate Curriculum (34 Hours)

Students who declare a major in English as of fall 2013 will follow the "new curriculum," a detailed description of which is posted immediately below this message. Students who were majors before fall 2013 and are already pursuing the former curriculum, which features six "concentrations," need to scroll down to find a roadmap for their particular concentration.

STEP 1: Core Classes (10 Hours):

  • English 249: Introduction to Studies in English (1 Credit)
  • English 250: Literary Textual Analysis (3 Credits)
  • Survey of Pre-1830 Literatures
  • Survey of Post-1830 Literatures

STEP 2: Declaration of Major

STEP 3: Student-Directed Course of Study (24 hours)

Details and Options

STEP 1: Core Classes (10 hours)

  1. The first core course, English 249 (“Introduction to Studies in English”), is a 1-credit advisement course as the committee has conceived of it, providing students with a broad overview of all aspects of the English major. The course is designed to inform student about the different specializations within the major while guiding students in their initial preparations for a career or graduate study. The course will address the questions: “What can I do as an English major while I am at UNM?” and “What can I do with my B.A. in English once I graduate from UNM?” During this course, students will be introduced to the undergraduate English curriculum itself, including Steps 1, 2, and 3, as well the letter of application and intent they will write when ready to declare their English major (see attached template for the course).

  2. The department believes that the current version of English 250 is the best course for all prospective English majors to take as they begin their studies in the discipline. No matter what specialization a student pursues within the major, literary/textual analysis is an essential skill.

  3. All English majors should take two courses in literary history and geography, one surveying Post-1830 Literatures and on surveying Pre-1830 Literatures. Major Authors courses may not substitute for either of the two surveys.

  4. The four core courses are pre-requisites that students must complete before they may declare a major in English. Students could take core courses concurrently.

STEP 2: Declaration of Major

  1. Students must submit a letter of intent and application for approval by the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. Though the letter need’t consist of more than a paragraph, students must convey in their letters a prospective course of study as well as a sense of what they wish to do with their degrees after they have graduated. Students will not, however, be held to their prospective courses of study and will have the option of “BEST,” or Bachelors in English Studies option, a. k. a. the smorgasbord approach.

  2. In order to assist students in the composition of their letter, each of the field groups will prepare suggested courses of study within their areas of expertise. These suggested courses of study are designed, as well, to address concerns about prerequisites and advisement for different possible post-graduate careers/study.

  3. This step requires students to self-identify their interests, to take possession of their education, and to be proactive in planning their course of studies, even if that course is wide-ranging and free-spirited.

  4. Although students will not be required to list, let alone to adhere to, a specific set of courses, this step will also allow the department to schedule courses in response to students’ expressed needs and interests. Rather than admitting English majors into the department with a minimum G.P.A., students wishing to declare their majors in English will demonstrate success in the courses required in Step 1

STEP 3: Student-Directed Course of Study (24 hours)

  1. Students must take eight (8) classes in the English department.

  2. No more than two (2) of these classes may be 200-level classes, thus allowing, for example, students who are interested in more than one area of study (e.g., CW and PW) to take a second introductory course for credit, or students who wish to delve deeply into a particular field (e.g., American minority literatures) to take a third survey course for credit.

  3. At least three (3) of these classes must be 400-level classes and may include the Honors Capstone Course (English 412) but not the independent studies associated with honors (English 497 and 490). Neither English 497 nor English 490 may count toward the 24 student-directed course of study credit hours, but may be taken as additional credit hours.

  4. During Step 3 students are required to take one 3-hour 300-level course that is writing intensive. Students may choose from the following courses to fulfill this requirement: English 320 (no pre-requisites) or any course approved by the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies as writing intensive.

Roadmaps for Old Major