The major consists of a minimum of 11 full courses (or the equivalent) and language competency.
Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.
View the catalog page for the English department.
The English major is designed to meet the needs of students with various goals, including those seeking a foundation for postgraduate work or study in fields related to English (e.g., education, communications, media, editing and publishing, law, theater, etc.); and those who want a humanistic base in reading, thinking, and writing for a liberal arts education without established career plans. The English major has proven to be valuable training - in attentiveness, complex thinking, interaction, communication - for virtually all professions. Many students realize that English is a complementary second major, given that it aims to educate a person broadly, rather than train for a specific path.
Students interested in graduate work in English should consult with their advisors about crafting a pathway to that goal.
Before declaring the major in English, students must complete the following, in consultation with an advisor (a faculty member in the Department): a one-page Plan for the Major, including a brief narrative explaining the student’s motivations and goals; and the Declaration of Major form (available from the AARC/Registrar’s Office). These Plans are important and will be revisited and revised across the student’s career at Oberlin. There is not a single English Major sequence. Instead, students, in consultation with their advisors and other faculty, are asked to co-create a customized track through the major. The Plan will be updated regularly, giving the student a chance to articulate choices, goals, and to refine both over time.
The Department offers a flexible major that can be customized to student interest, within certain limits of course type and level.