Becoming a Major

As of 2016, there is no minimum average for admission and no formal application is necessary.

Students may declare the Major once they have met second-year English course requirements and have achieved third-year standing (that standing is typically conferred by the Faculty of Arts near the end of May).

At the time of becoming English Majors, students will need to have completed 6 credits of first-year English (see the first-year pre-requisite page for details) and 6 credits of second-year English (see the second-year pre-requisite page). For the Literature stream, second-year requirements include ENGL 220 and one of ENGL 221-224, 230, 231, 232. For the Language stream, second-year requirements include ENGL 229 and 3 credits of another second-year English course; students may, with advising fill second-year requirements by taking two sections of ENGL 229. For the combined Literature and Language Major, second-year requirements include ENGL 220 and ENGL 229.

Declaring the Major

You may declare the Major simply by sending an email, just stating your wish to Major, to the English Department Undergraduate Program Assistant, Ms. Donna Shanley.  Send your message to english.undergraduate@ubc.ca with the subject line: DECLARING THE ENGLISH MAJOR. Include your full name and student number in the message and specify which of the three Majors streams you wish to declare.


Any six credits of the first-year courses listed below provide pathways to the English Major.

Students who are considering a Major in English are encouraged to choose English 100, plus one 3-credit course from the list below. Completing the Arts One program or the Coordinated Arts Program will also meet the first-year English requirement for the English Major.

English 100 (3 credits) provides a writing-intensive introduction to the discipline of literary studies through the exploration of texts in their critical and theoretical contexts.

English 110 (3 credits) focusses on a selection of literary texts: poetry, fiction, and drama.

English 111 (3 credits) studies a number of non-fictional prose texts.

English 112 (3 credits) introduces students to university-level discourse through writing assignments and the study of prose texts.

English 120 (3 credits) offers enriched study of literary works for students who have excelled in high school English.

English 121 (3 credits) explores various theories of literature with students who have excelled in high school English.

English 140 (Linguistics 140) (3 credits)  is a critical consideration of a broad range of commonly held beliefs about language and its relation to the brain and cognition, learning, society, change and evolution.

Note that ENGL 140 is an elective course that does not count toward UBC Communications or Writing Requirements, or toward the Faculty of Arts Literature Requirement. However, students interested in Language theory, or who are thinking about the English Language Major are encouraged to take this course.

Please note that ASTU 150/ WRDS 150 is equivalent to ENGL 100, so students who take ASTU 150/ WRDS 150 plus one of ENGL 110, 111, 120 or 121 are welcome to apply to the English Major.

Students who receive UBC English credit for Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs may count those credits toward the first-year English requirement for the Major. Students with 6 AP or IB credits are eligible to take 200-level English courses; if you need help registering, contact Donna Shanley (English.undergraduate@ubc.ca).

Students who have received transfer credits for first-year English courses may count those credits toward the first-year English requirement for the Major.

Second-year requirements for all Majors streams include 6 credits from the 200 level series (each course is worth 3 credits).

For the Literature stream, second-year requirements include ENGL 220 and one of ENGL 221-224, 230, 231, 232

For the Language stream, second-year requirements include ENGL 229 and one of the following: ENGL 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 230, 231, 232. Language students may, with advising fill second-year requirements by taking two sections of ENGL 229.

For the combined Literature and Language Major, second-year requirements include ENGL 220 and 3 credits of ENGL 229.

Following are the 200-level offerings. Course descriptions under general titles change from year to year. Be sure to check out current descriptions.

ENGL 220 - Literature in English to the 18th Century

ENGL 221 - Literature in Britain: the 18th Century to the Present

ENGL 222 - Literature in Canada

ENGL 223 - Literature in the United States

ENGL 224 - World Literature in English

ENGL 225 - Poetry

ENGL 226 - Drama

ENGL 227 - Prose Fiction

ENGL 228 - Topics in Literary and/ or Cultural Studies

ENGL 229 - Topics in the Study of Language and/ or Rhetoric

ENGL 230 - Biblical and Classical Backgrounds in English literature

ENGL 231 - Introduction to Indigenous Literatures

ENGL 232 - Approaches to Media Studies