Nicolas S. Witschi, Chair
Main Office: 600 Sprau
Telephone: (269) 387-2572
Fax: (269) 387-2562
The Department of English serves students in two principal ways: in developing their power to communicate and express themselves and in enhancing their ability to participate in and understand the experiences of other people, real and imaginary, past and present.
Courses and programs offered by our department - in writing, English language, and literature (including film) - enable students to concentrate in English, complement their other studies, or simply explore and sample the disciplines of language and literature. As a department we are traditionally engaged in training teachers and preparing students for graduate study. We are equally concerned with serving those students preparing for the many professions in which humane perceptions and the skills of communication, especially writing, are important.
Special Note to Non-Majors
The Department of English offers many courses, including a variety of writing courses, suitable for students not majoring in English: 1050 Thought and Writing, 1070: Good Books, 1100: Literary Interpretation, 1120: Literary Classics, 1500: Literature and Other Arts, 2080: Literatures in Our Lives, 2100: Film Interpretation, 2110: Myth and Folk Literature, 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States, 2230: African American Literature, 2520: Shakespeare, 2660: Writing Fiction and Poetry, 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader, 3080: Quest for Self, 3110: Our Place In Nature, 3120: Western World Literature, 3130: Asian Literature, 3140: African Literature, 3150: The English Bible as Literature, and certain advanced courses that may be appropriate to the interests and background of the student. Many of these English courses may be used to satisfy WMU Essential Studies requirements.
Advisors in the English department or the College of Arts and Sciences will help any student select courses in writing, English language, or literature which will be useful in WMU Essential Studies or as background for a career.
Major and Minor Requirements
- The requirements for the English majors (listed below) allow students some choices in their courses of study. As soon as students decide to major in English they should confer with an advisor, who can help plan the major. Students minoring in English should see the advisor as soon as possible after they begin work on the minor.
- A minimum of 33-36 hours is required for a major in English, 20 hours are required for a minor. Students are urged, however, to take as many additional hours as they can. In particular, students planning to teach or attend graduate school should consider taking additional work in preparation.
- Only courses in which a grade of “C” or better is earned may be applied to an English major or minor. Moreover, all majors and minors in the Department of English need to earn at least a 2.5 grade point average in the major or minor to graduate.
- Foreign Language Requirement: Eight semesters hours of a foreign language with a grade of “C” or better, or appropriate score on a placement exam. The department recommends as much additional work in the language as students can manage. Students planning to do graduate work beyond the M.A. ought to develop competence in at least one foreign language.
- Special Note to Transfer Students. All transfer students majoring or minoring in English should consult undergraduate advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences about transferring credit in English courses from other colleges. An early conference will enable students to avoid duplication of courses and possible loss of transfer credit and may enable them to bypass some of the department’s basic requirements as listed below. It is departmental policy to accept no more than 20 hours of transferred credit toward a major and no more than 12 hours of transferred credit toward a minor.
- Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement:
Students who have chosen an English major will satisfy the Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement by successfully completing one of the following courses:
- ENGL 3050 - Professional Writing: Audience, Genre, and Workplace Cultures
- ENGL 3620 - Readings in Creative Non-Fiction
- ENGL 4150 - Literary Theory and Criticism
- ENGL 4400 - Studies in Verse
- ENGL 4420 - Studies in Drama
- ENGL 4440 - Studies in the Novel
- ENGL 4520 - Shakespeare Seminar
The prerequisites to 5000-level courses are: 18 hours of English courses, including eight or more hours at the 3000-4000-level, and second semester junior status; exemption only by approval of an advisor.