Literature Emphasis

The Literature Emphasis allows you to custom-tailor a program that, to a large extent, reflects your own interests. You can declare the literature 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 200, our brand-new, seminar-based introduction to literature studies, team-taught by some of the best faculty in the business. As well, students in these two emphases take 3 credits of one of our second-year courses, ENGL 220-249, 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 literatures of the English-speaking world (and beyond), taking a suite of courses from our Literature course groups in historical and contemporary areas, plus theory, media studies, or genre. 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.


A.  Medieval and Renaissance Literatures:  ENGL 343 to ENGL 350
B.  18th- and 19th-Century Literatures:  ENGL 351 to ENGL 364
C.  Modern, Contemporary, Transnational, and Indigenous Literatures:  ENGL 365 to ENGL 379
D.  Media, Theory, Genre, and Special Topic:  ENGL 332 to ENGL 339; ENGL 380 to ENGL 397

  • 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 200
  • 3 credits of ENGL 220-249

Students must complete 27 upper-level credits comprising:

  • 3 credits selected from each of group A, B, C, or D above; and,
  • 3 additional credits from either group A or group B; and,
  • 3 additional credits from either group C or group D; and
  • 3 credits of Canadian Literature selected from ENGL 222, 360, 371, 372, 373, 394; or any other pre-approved course in which there is a large selection of Canadian Literature; this course may also fulfill 3 credits of the 200-level or the group B or C requirement; and
  • 6-9 additional credits of upper-level ENGL (excluding ENGL 301)

A minimum of 3 credits of ENGL 490, the Literature Majors Seminar

Still have questions? See Frequently Asked Questions: Literature Emphasis

For information on becoming an English Major, click here.