English, B.A.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program Overview

If you love reading and writing, if you are imaginative but also practical, consider majoring in English. There is no major as versatile, that prepares you for as many career paths, as English. Whether you’d like to be a published writer, an acclaimed poet, or a hard-hitting journalist, an English degree will help you achieve your goals. Or, maybe you’re interested in comparative literature, linguistics, or teaching; majoring in English supports these dreams, too. By majoring in English, you will study the work of critically acclaimed authors, and develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills prized in fields from public relations to law.

English, B.A.

Where You'll Go

Our graduates find success in a wide range of careers and in the nation’s top graduate programs. The skills you will learn as an English major—how to read and think critically, how to write with precision, how to do research—will prepare you to be a high school teacher, college professor, doctor, lawyer, social worker, community organizer, social justice worker, comic strip continuity writer, grants writer, content strategist, editor, publicist, literary agent, producer, copywriter, journalist, and more.

Major Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023–24 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Major Requirements (38–47 Credits)

Students may concentrate in the standard English program or in the History and Literature concentration (see “III. Electives” below).

I. English 2120 and 2121 (8 credits)

English 2120 and 2121 are both required. English majors should complete either English 2120 or 2121 or be enrolled in one or the other, before continuing in other electives. No ENGL course numbered lower than 2115 may count toward the major.

II. Period Courses (11-12 credits)

One course from each of three of the following six historical periods; two of the courses must be chosen from periods 1 through 3 and one must be chosen from periods 4 through 6:

  1. 900–1500: English 3111311235204101; Comparative Literature 3614.
  2. 1500–1660: English 3120312131223123312431254102; Comparative Literature 3615.
  3. 1660–1800: English 31313132313332344103; Comparative Literature 3616.
  4. 1800–1900: English 3140314131423143314531513160324041044107; Comparative Literature 36063617.
  5. 1900–1950: English 3152315331603161316231643165317031713172317331934108; Comparative Literature 3607361036183622362336243625.
  6. 1950–present: English 2402315431613162316631673174318031873193319432554109411241134114; Comparative Literature 360936113619362136223623362546014602.

III. Electives (19-27 credits). Standard English concentration (six additional courses)

  1. Breadth and Depth Area Studies (one course each from areas A and B):
  2. One seminar in English or Comparative Literature numbered in the 4000s;
  3. Three additional courses, including any course numbered English 2115 or higher, or a Comparative Literature course. One course may be in an allied discipline (Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Classics, History, Linguistics, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Speech Communication Arts and Sciences, or any other with permission of the chair).

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Department Goal 1:read and think critically

Program Objective 1. Learn to read literature in its historical context; identify characteristic styles and subject matter of different periods.

Program Objective 2. Learn to read through a variety of critical lenses.

Program Objective 3. Be able to carry out close readings of literary texts.

2. Department Goal 2: Understand how language operates

Program Objective 1: Be able to identify and demonstrate knowledge of literary terminology.

3. Department Goal 3: Express ideas–both orally and in writing–correctly, cogently, persuasively, and in conformity with the conventions of the discipline

Program Objective 1: Identify, write, and edit for currently accepted conventions of standard English mechanics, grammar, and style (including proper punctuation, subject-verb and noun-pronoun agreement, parallel construction, appropriate tense sequences and moods, etc.).

Program Objective 2: Learn and follow the conventions of literary argumentation, including formulating thesis statement, and conventions of quoting and citing textual evidence.

Program Objective 3: Learn how to rethink and revise essays.

4. Department Goal 4: conduct research

Program Objective 1: Learn to develop viable research questions and identify appropriate sources.

Program Objective 2: Learn to use library resources, including collections, databases, and archives.

Program Objective 3: Learn how to summarize and cite both primary and secondary sources in support of the argument.

Program Objective 4: Learn appropriate scholarly conventions, such as MLA Style or Chicago Manual of Style.

Program Objective 5: Learn how to avoid plagiarism by citing sources properly.

Degree Maps

View all past degree maps.


Ellen Tremper

2308 Boylan Hall
E: etremper@brooklyn.cuny.edu
P: 718.951.5194

Or contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
E: adminqry@brooklyn.cuny.edu

To make an appointment with an undergraduate admissions counselor, visit:

Virtual Admissions Counselor Appointments


History and Literature

Seven additional courses:

  1. English 4113;
  2. From Breadth and Depth Area A, a course that addresses race/ethnicity or empire/post-colonialism (e.g., English 315831603161316231663169318031943234324032823526, Comparative Literature 3620362336253632, or another course with permission of the chair);
  3. A second course in a student’s chosen historical period (from periods 1–6);
  4. A course from the History Department or an American studies course, cross-listed with History, complementing the two literature courses in the chosen period;
  5. English 4114;
  6. Either:
    • the one-semester senior thesis (English 5103) and one elective (any period or genre in English or Comparative Literature or a course from an allied department); or
    • the two-semester senior thesis (English 5104 and 5105).

To qualify for this concentration, students must have a B+ or higher average and obtain permission from the chair or major’s counselor. They should seek guidance in choosing their period of study and consult with the counselor on a suitable thesis adviser.

Internships and Employers

Through job fairs, the internship database, and internship panels, the Magner Career Center gives students in the English B.A. program access to career opportunities at a wide variety of employers, including:

  • Citi
  • HBO
  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York Times
  • New York University

Learn More

Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.