Language Specialization

The Major in Language requires 30 credits from English courses numbered 304 and above. Note that there is no difference in level between 300- and 400-numbered English courses. Within this major, students have the flexibility of sampling widely among the Language courses or focusing on History of English, Structure of English, Rhetorical Theory, or Approaches to Discourse, as desired. Students may include up to 6 credits of literature or advanced composition in the Language Major or up to 6 credits of language courses outside the Department.

In addition to the four required courses in Category 1 (ENGL 318: History of the English Language: Earlier Period, ENGL 319 History of the English Language: Later Period, ENGL 330: The Structure of Modern English – Sounds and Words, and ENGL 331: The Structure of Modern English – Sentences and Their Uses) totalling 12 credits, students complete 9 – 15 credits from Category 2 and 3 credits from Category 3 below. Students may optionally take up to 6 credits from category 4.

  1. ENGL 318, 319, 330, and 331

  1. History of the English Language (ENGL 326*, 340, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 352, 489*)
  2. Structure of the English Language (ENGL 321, 323, 326*, 328, 489*)
  3. Approaches to Discourse (ENGL 308, 312, 322, 324, 326*, 489*)
  4. Rhetorical Theory (ENGL 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 489*)


  • Majors Seminar: Language (ENGL 489)**

    ** Students may take only one Majors Seminar

  • English literature or composition (ENGL 304, 349, 354, 357-364, 369-480)
  • Selected courses outside the Department of English (ANTH 417, AUDI 400, LING 300, 311, 319, 327, 445, LLED 478, PHIL 425, PSYC 336).

*The topics for ENGL 326 and 489 change, depending on year and instructor. An advisor will determine which category a particular offering satisfies.

Note 1: ENGL 318/319 has replaced ENGL 320 and cannot be taken for credit by students who have completed ENGL 320. Students who have taken ENGL 320 prior to September 2015 can count this course towards their English Language Major or Minor. It can also be counted towards the English Literature Major and the English Honours program.

Note 2: ENGL 330/331 has replaced ENGL 329 and cannot be taken for credit by students who have completed ENGL 329. Students who have taken ENGL 329 prior to May 2011 can count this course towards their English Language Major or Minor. It can also be counted towards the English Literature Major and the English Honours program.

Note 3: ENGL 321, 322, and 330A are offered through UBC Distance Learning, though not every term or every year. See the website: http://ctlt.ubc.ca/distance-learning/courses/engl/. While these courses offer flexibility in completing degree programs, students are strongly advised, because of the technical content of these courses, to take the on-campus sections, if at all possible. Students enrolled in the distance courses should seek help from their distance instructor. They should not expect help from instructors of on-campus sections of the same classes as the course content may vary.

For information about application procedures and deadlines, click here.