Loyola University Chicago

Department of English


The undergraduate major program equips students with the skills and concepts that make the English major an asset in the modern world. In addition to literary analysis in both traditional and contemporary forms, the major helps students explore historical and cultural developments and invites them into the worlds of textual studies and digital humanities. All courses at all levels of the program encourage students to become clear and effective writers.

The traditional strengths of the Department include a strong writing program; both survey and specialized courses ranging from Old English to contemporary writing; and a vital and growing creative writing concentration. Required courses in literary theory and multiculturalism ensure that all majors become aware of the most recent developments in our discipline. In addition to required courses, the major includes five electives. Students are encouraged to use those electives to focus on such areas as world literature in English and cultural studies. Students may also take courses in advanced writing or creative writing and pursue internship opportunities.

The English Major: Courses and Requirements

Twelve courses (36 hours), nine of which (27 hours) must be at the 300-level. Up to three elective courses (9 hours) may be drawn from UCLR-E 100 and advanced 200-level (ENGL 270 and above) courses. At least one course must be among those designated by the department as "multicultural." The Advanced Seminar (390) is considered the capstone of the major. These courses must also meet the following criteria:

  • Literary Theory (to be fulfilled by English 354 or English 355)
  • Shakespeare (to be fulfilled by English 326 or English 327; note that English 274 will not fulfill this requirement for English majors. If both 326 and 327 are taken, one may be used to satisfy the literature prior to 1700 requirement, below)
  • Capstone: Advanced Seminar (English 390, which is open to students with junior or senior standing; students may take an additional 390 if they wish)
  • Three courses in literature in English before 1900, including:
    • At least one course prior to 1700 to be selected from English 306A, 312A, 313A, 320, 321, 322, 323, 325, 328, 329, 359A, 362A, 363A, 368A, 369A, 372A, 379A, 381A, 382A. If a student takes both 326 and 327, one of these may be used to satisfy this requirement; the other will satisfy the Shakespeare requirement, above.
    • At least one course from 1700 to 1900, 306B, 312B, 313B, 335, 338, 340, 343, 359B, 362B, 363B, 368B, 369B, 372B, 375, 376, 379B, 381B, 382B, 384B
    • One additional course chosen from either of the previous categories
  • One course in literature in English since 1900,to be selected from English 306C, 311, 312C, 313C, 315C, 316C, 344, 345, 348, 351, 359C, 361, 362C, 363C, 367, 368C, 369C, 371, 372C, 377, 379C, 381C, 382C, 384C
  • Five elective courses

The English Minor

The English minor consists of six courses (18 hours), four of which (12 hours) should be 300-level. Up to two courses may be drawn from UCLR-E and advanced 200-level (ENGL 270 and above) courses.

Five-Year BA/MA Degree

Beginning fall 2010 the English Department offers a five-year combined BA/MA degree (which, in some circumstances, can be completed in 4 ½ years). Graduates of this program will be well prepared to pursue a PhD in English, to apply to a professional school, or to seek a teaching position at the post-secondary level. The combined degree will allow promising and talented undergraduates to move quickly through the MA degree.

The new program offers our best undergraduates access to the considerable strengths of our strong and highly-regarded graduate programs. It will give these English majors a significant opportunity to test their skills and develop professional insights, leading to stronger applications when it is time for them to be considered by PhD programs elsewhere or for post-secondary teaching positions. While completing the equivalent of the requirements for the BA in English, students in the five-year program will receive significantly more training in research skills and methods than their counterparts who complete only the BA, by virtue of their graduate courses in general and of the Introduction to Graduate Studies (ENGL 400) in particular. They may also fulfill the requirement for the undergraduate capstone course (ENGL 390) with a graduate seminar.

Students in the BA/MA program have two electives at the graduate level, which may be used to take courses in another department or an interdisciplinary program that offers a graduate degree, such as History, Philosophy, or Women’s Studies and Gender Studies. The new MA in Digital Humanities also provides opportunities for students in the BA/MA program to take courses in textual scholarship.

Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

To apply to the BA/MA program, a student must be (1) a declared undergraduate English major; (2) be a junior at Loyola University Chicago based on credit hours earned; (3) have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 for course work at Loyola; and (4) have earned a 3.7 GPA in at least five completed English courses at Loyola, three of which must be at the 300 level.

A student should apply for admission to this program by March 15th of her/his junior year through Loyola’s online graduate application. Transfer students may apply at the end of their second semester as a junior, or once they have met criterion #4 above. The application requires a writing sample, a one-page statement of purpose, and the names of three Loyola English faculty members who can provide a recommendation via e-mail to the directors of the Graduate and Undergraduate Programs in English. (Transcripts will already be available through LOCUS, so applicants do not need to provide those. Nor do applicants need to take the GRE exams.)

Students accepted into the five-year program will remain undergraduate students through their senior year, even though they will be taking graduate-level courses. They will be officially admitted to the graduate program in the summer following receipt of their BA degree, or the next fall if they do not enroll in summer courses. As undergraduates, students may take up to 9 credit hours of graduate work, which will count toward their undergraduate degree as well.

Admission to the program is highly competitive and will depend upon a positive review of credentials by the department's Graduate Program Committee. The Graduate Program Director will coordinate this program, working with the Director of Undergraduate Programs to advise students on their applications and to assure there is no significant overlap between courses completed at the undergraduate and those at the graduate levels.