The department of English at the College of Continuing Professional Studies offers a bachelors of science in English. The English major trains students in a canon of methods: close-reading, theory, and history. Students begin developing a systematic understanding of literature by learning techniques for literary analysis in “Literature Matters.” They then study a wide range of British and American literary texts, building a foundation for further study. “Theory and Practice” provides the gateway to the upper-division courses, asking students to study and apply a wide range of literary and cultural theories (deconstruction; reader-response; cultural criticism; postcolonialism; etc.).
With this knowledge of diverse approaches to literary texts, majors immerse themselves in advanced study of literature and culture at the 300 level. The program culminates with a senior seminar that asks students to reflect upon their progress to date; to demonstrate command of research skills; and to link the work within the major with the wider world. The student majoring in English should emerge from the program with the confidence to interpret texts, to place them in diverse historical and theoretical contexts, and to see, clearly, why literature matters.