Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins

Department of English

Field Description

Language is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of educated men and women. English is the discipline where students encounter works of fiction, poetry, and drama that unlock the richest potentialities of language. Students are also afforded a range of opportunities for developing their own writing to the fullest: critical essays on literature in a variety of courses, workshops in creative writing (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction), and the art of the essay. Language is also approached through linguistics, the history of English, and global English.With advanced training in English increasingly necessary for business and professional careers, this course of study is universally recognized as an ideal "preprofessional major"—one that opens career possibilities in such fields as law, publishing, teaching, and community service.

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The Major

The English major offers a rich variety of courses for students interested in literature, creative writing, and language and society. Among the interdisciplinary offerings are courses in film, linguistics, and global studies.

Students may prepare for the study of literature on the graduate level. Concentrated work in English will be of great value to students preparing for such business and professional careers as editing, publishing, science and technical writing, advertising, public relations, and communications. The literature courses are designed to help students sharpen their reading and writing skills, gain new insights into human nature and cultural diversity, and achieve increased flexibility in their own approach to life.

Students preparing for graduate study in literature should have some knowledge of the range of English, American, and non-Western literature and should be acquainted with such major figures as Chaucer and Shakespeare. Because most graduate schools have foreign language requirements and candidates must sometimes demonstrate competence in several languages, prospective graduate students are urged to undertake their study of foreign languages as early as possible.

Students in English are encouraged to broaden their base of knowledge in as many fields as possible, many of which will resonate with interdisciplinary approaches in their English courses. Courses in comparative literature, foreign languages, communication studies, history, art, music, religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and education are especially recommended.

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Base Curriculum Courses    
No credit toward the major/specialization

ENG 2100 Writing I (or its equivalent) 3 credits
ENG 2150 Writing II 3 credits
ENG 2800
CMP 2800
Great Works of Literature I 3 credits
ENG 2850
CMP 2850
Great Works of Literature II 3 credits

Major/Specialization:    30 credits

Required Courses      15 credits
ENG 3010 Survey of English Literature I 3 credits
ENG 3015 Survey of English Literature II 3 credits
ENG 3020 Survey of American Literature I 3 credits
ENG 3025 Survey of American Literature II 3 credits
ENG 3030 Contemporary Literature from Asia, Africa, and Latin America 3 credits
ENG 3032 Ethnic Literature 3 credits
ENG 3034 A Survey of African American Literaturee 3 credits
ENG 3036 English Voices from Afar: Post-Colonial Literature 3 credits
ENG 3038 A Survey of Caribbean Literature in English 3 credits
ENG 4120 Chaucer 3 credits
ENG 4140 Shakespeare 3 credits

Electives    15 credits

Choose five additional courses for 15 credits. Electives must be selected from Department of English offerings numbered at the 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 levels. Courses offered by the Harman Writer-in-Residence are also included.

Note: Interdisciplinary courses, such as Feit Seminars (IDC 4050), and appropriate film studies courses may be included with prior permission of the department.

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The Minor

Advanced training in English language and literature is increasingly necessary for business and professional careers. Students who choose to develop their intellectual abilities in these areas may select two courses numbered 3000 or above from the offerings of the Department of English. To complete their minors, they enroll in an appropriate capstone course. All 4000-level offerings in the Department of English or an Independent Studies course in English may serve as the capstone course.

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Special Program

The Sidney Harman Writer-In-Residence Program

The Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program, an endowed residency in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, offers gifted undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in writing workshops taught by distinguished visiting professors. Since its inception in the fall of 1998, Harman Writers-in-Residence have included poets Yehuda Amichai, Agha Shahid Ali, April Bernard, Carol Muske-Dukes,  Charles Simic, and Major Jackson; playwrights Edward Albee and Tony Kushner; authors William Finnegan, Philip Gourevitch, Jane Kramer, Mark Kurlansky, and George Packer; fiction writers Paul Auster, Susan Choi, Anita Desai, Francisco Goldman, Colum McCann, Lorrie Moore, Sigrid Nunez, Francine Prose, Joseph O'Connor, and John Edgar Wideman; and graphic novelist, Ben Katchor.

Harman courses vary in numbering and in subject, depending on the choice of the visiting writer. Interested students of all majors are encouraged to submit transcripts and writing portfolios for review to Professor Roslyn Bernstein, 646-312-3930; e-mail: roslyn.bernstein@baruch.cuny.edu.

Harman classes can be taken for honors credit and students can use the Harman courses to fulfill their honors course requirements. The courses also can be used in the Journalism major and minor and in the English major and minor.

Additional information on the Harman Residency is available at www.baruch.cuny.edu/wsas/harman.

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Advice For Students Registering For English Composition Courses

All students are required to take ENG 2100 (3 credits) and ENG 2150 (3 credits).

Entering Students
Students are eligible to take ENG 2100 if they have earned a verbal SAT score of 480 or above or a score of 75 percent or higher on the New York State Regents English examination. Entering students in neither of these categories will be tested for reading and writing proficiency. The results of these exams will determine a students placement.

Special requirements for second-degree transfer students from universities in which English is not the language of instruction: Prior to their first semester at Baruch, all such transfer students must take a writing placement test administered by the Department of English. Students who pass the test will be awarded any and all composition credits to which they are entitled. Students who do not pass the writing placement test or who have earned fewer than 6 credits in composition will be placed in an appropriate English course.

Exemption Criteria
Students who enter Baruch College with any of the following sets of qualifications are exempt from ENG 2100 Writing I (without credit): an Advanced Placement (AP) English exam score of 4 or 5, an SAT verbal score of at least 680, and a writing section score of 12 or an SAT verbal score of at least 700 and a writing section score of 11 or 12. Note: Students who are exempt from this requirement may not enroll in ENG 2100.

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