Language Emphasis

The Language Emphasis gives you a broad sense of the range and applicability of language study. It offers you the flexibility of taking a range of our Language courses or focusing on History of English, Structure of English, Rhetorical Theory, or Approaches to Discourse, as desired. You can declare the language emphasis once you have obtained second-year standing and have completed the first-year requirements: prospective English majors are encouraged to take ENGL 100. Students beginning the program take 3 credits of ENGL 229. As well, students in this stream take an additional 3 credits of one of our second-year courses, ENGL 220-228 and 231-249, covering such topics as Graphic Novels and Comics, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Film Adaptation, Contemporary media, indigenous literature, plus literatures of Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and around the world.

In third- and fourth-year, you embark on advanced studies into the English language, taking a suite of courses from our Language course groups in historical areas, structure and linguistics, plus rhetorical theory and practice. How you arrange these courses depends entirely on your interests and ambitions! You will complete the program with a seminar, working in a small course with a specialist instructor in a particular field or topic. To graduate with an English major, students must complete 30 upper-level credits from ENGL 304 and above. To see our current course-offerings click here.

  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, 324, 326*, 328, 489*
  3. Approaches to Discourse: ENGL 308, 312, 322, 326*, 327, 489*
  4. Rhetorical Theory: ENGL 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 489*

*Note: topics in ENGL 326 and 489 vary. Depending on the topic covered in any specific year, the course may satisfy groups 1, 2, 3; please see a Majors Advisor.

6 credits of 100-level English; OR Arts One; OR 6 credits of ASTU 100; OR 3 credits of ASTU 100 or 101 and 3 credits of 100-level English; OR WRDS 150 or 350 and 3 credits of 100-level English

3 credits of ENGL 229, and

3 additional credits selected from ENGL 220-249

Students must complete 27 upper-level credits comprising

12 credits of ENGL 318, 319, 330, 331; and,

9 credits of courses with each selected from 3 out of the 4 Language Course Groups, and

Up to 6 credits selected from:

  • English Literature or Composition: ENGL 304, 349-393
  • Pre-approved upper-level language courses from outside the Department, please see Majors Advisor
  • Remaining credits may be chosen from courses in the Language Course Groups


  • 3 credits of ENGL 489, the Language Majors Seminar

For information on becoming an English Major, click here.