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Undergraduate Programs

Major in English

English majors may specialize in the following:


While the Department of English continues to offer an assortment of courses in literary periods and major authors leading to graduate study in British and American Literature, it conceives the world of texts as broader than the traditional Western literary canon. The department has developed strong concentrations in African-American Literature, Women's Literature, Comparative Literature, and Literary Theory.

Creative Writing

The teaching of creative writing at the College began in 1919, and the Department's graduates include some of the most eminent authors of this century. Workshops in fiction writing, poetry, playwriting, and film and TV writing are regularly offered by professors who are themselves accomplished authors.

Secondary English Education

A specific regimen of courses is required for students planning to teach English in secondary school in the State of New York.

Minor in English

The Department offers a minor as well as a major in English. Students wishing to pursue a specialized minor--such as "Literature and Law" or "Literature and History"--will develop a program in consultation with their English Department advisor and advisors from other relevant departments or programs.

CCNY English Honors

All qualified students, and especially those who plan to attend graduate school, are urged to apply for admission to the English Honors Program. Candidates are expected to seek written recommendations from at least two English professors. On the basis of these recommendations, the candidate's grades in English courses, and an interview, the Honors Committee decides whether a candidate is qualified for honors work. Applications should be made to the Director of the Program, Professor Mikhal Dekel. More information is available on the English Honors Program site.

Major and Minor Requirements


36 total credits are required of the English Major. Majors must complete the introductory Gateway classes (6 credits) and take 30 additional credits in one of three areas of concentration. No more than 12 transfer credits may be used to fulfill major requirements.  Publishing courses do not meet the requirements for either the English major or minor. 
Effective Fall 2013, the minimum major GPA requirement for new majors is 2.5.

The following are required for all English majors:

Gateway classes (6 credits)

(1) The Gateway classes must be fulfilled through the one-semester Introduction to Literary Studies (ENGL 25000*) and an additional 300-level elective course (an Historical Survey course or a Representative Writers course). These Gateway classes must be taken at the beginning of your work for the major.

Electives (30 credits in one of the following areas of Concentration)

(2a) Literature Concentration:
30 credits of literature courses (30000 level or above). It is recommended that all students, especially those considering graduate school, study a variety of literary genres and periods. One elective creative writing course may be taken in place of a literature course.

(2b) Creative Writing Concentration:
18 credits of creative writing courses (22000 or above) and 12 credits of literature (30000 level or above). Creative writing workshops may be taken repeatedly for credit.

(2c) Secondary English Education Concentration:
30 credits in specific course areas required by the state. This specialization is for students planning to teach at the junior-high or high-school levels, and is usually taken in conjunction with English Education courses toward a teaching certificate. See Prof. Andrew Ratner in NA 5/208C for English Education advising (X5323).


The English Department offers a minor of 15 credits. The following are required for all English minors.

(1) 3 credits of the Gateway course: ENGL 25000*.

(2) 12 credits of elective courses in English (22000 or above, excluding publishing courses).

Additional Information

Each semester the English Department prepares an undergraduate course description booklet providing detailed information on all 22000-and-higher-level courses to be offered the following semester. Booklets are available in the main office, NA 6/219.

For more information, advising, walk-in registration, or to sign up as a major or minor, please meet with an undergraduate English advisor in NA 6/219 or call (212) 650-5407.


*The previous Gateway classes, ENGL 33000, ENGL 33100, and ENGL 31132, will also fulfill the Gateway requirement.