Becoming a Major

As part of a pilot program, beginning in 2016, students will not need to complete formal applications for the Major and will not need a minimum average for admission. Students will typically declare the Major at the end of second year, once course and credit requirements are met. But the Department enthusiastically invites students at the end of their first year to declare their intention to major in English. Both declaring the Major and declaring the intention to major require only that students send an email, with their wishes, to the English Department Undergraduate Program Assistant, Ms. Donna Shanley.

Declaring the Major:

If you have completed the first- and second-year prerequisites and have third-year standing, please send an email to english.undergraduate@ubc.ca with the Subject line:  DECLARING THE ENGLISH MAJOR. Include your full name and student number in your message and specify which stream of the Major you wish to declare.

Declaring the Intention to Major:

Please send an email to english.undergraduate@ubc.ca with the Subject line:  INTENTION TO DECLARE ENGLISH MAJOR. Include your full name and student number in your message.

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 Major, second-year requirements include ENGL 220 and 3 credits of ENGL 229.

Admissions to the program may be processed throughout the year, but students wishing to be declared for the fall term should be in touch with Ms. Shanley by June 15; students wishing to be declared in time for winter or summer courses should be in touch by October 31.

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