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School of Education

English Major and Minor Requirements

IMPORTANT: The School of Education is no longer accepting applications to this Secondary undergraduate program. The requirements listed below are provided for students admitted into the program fall 2013 or before.

The UW–Madison Secondary programs in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies have been restructured and are changing from undergraduate programs to the graduate level. This change means that students at UW–Madison will only become certified to teach these subjects through graduate-level course work in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. See this FAQ document for more details about these changes.

Advising staff in the School of Education's Academic Services Office, 139 Education Building, 608-262-1651, can answer questions and confer with students about this change and possible academic alternatives.

Major Requirements

Complete a minimum of 36 credits. The credits required for program admission must be from the major course work below. At least 15 credits of upper-level major course work (numbered 213–699) must be completed in residence on the UW–Madison campus to complete the major residency requirement. Students may also wish to consult with the English department undergraduate advisor, 7195E Helen C. White Hall, 608-263-3760.

At least 6 credits of introductory literature must be completed before enrolling in most English major course work. Introductory literature courses from many departments besides English may be selected to meet this requirement—e.g., African Languages and Literature, Comparative Literature, Classics, and Theatre. Since 6 credits of introductory literature are prerequisite to taking English courses in the major, students are advised to consider taking 6 literature credits (or two courses) in one semester. Consult your EAS advisor for help in course planning. A maximum of 6 credits (or two courses) of introductory literature may be applied toward the credits needed for admission eligibility. Courses are Department of English listings unless otherwise indicated.

It is recommended that students select the 4-credit option for one of English 215, 216, or 217.

  • 215 British Literature Before 1750, 3–4 (prereq: 6 crs of introductory literature)
  • Select one pair of courses, 6–8 credits; pairings do not require concurrent enrollment:
    • 216 British and Anglophone Literature from 1750 to the Present, 3–4, AND an elective course in American Literature, 3
    • 217 American Literature, 3–4, AND an elective course in British Literature, 3
    • 216 and 217 can also be combined to meet this requirement.
  • Shakespeare, one 3 credit course; options include 219, 220, 226, 417, and 418
  • Ethnic Literature, one 3 credit course; options include 248, 270, 275, 591, 593, 595, 662, 672, or any other intermediate or advanced ethnic literature course. Check the Schedule of Classes (Timetable) for I/A/D level courses which are designated as literature (L) AND are ethnic studies (e) courses.
  • Complete one Department of English elective course numbered 213 or above. Note: Students considering a Letters and Science English major may want to select a pre-1800, non-Shakespeare literature course (in addition to 215).
  • Curric 431 Young Adult Literature for Schools, 3. This course is offered during the professional sequence.
  • 324 Structure of English, 3 (students are encouraged to take this course as early as possible)
  • Applied English Linguistics (in order of preference): 325, 323, 331, 336, 332.
  • 309 Composition for English Teachers, 3. This course is offered during the professional sequence.
  • Elective courses (introductory and upper level) to bring total credits to 36.

Minor Requirements for Secondary and Elementary Education Students

The English minor may be completed by students in Secondary or Elementary Education licensing programs. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 is required, based on all UW–Madison course work included in the minor. The graduation grade point average may be modified by the last 60 credits rule. Elementary Education students do not need to complete either a methods course or student teaching requirement in the minor.

Secondary Education students wishing to be licensed to teach English must also complete a certification in a major subject area; it is not possible to be licensed only in a minor area. Resources limit the number of students who can be admitted to the English teacher certification program. Thus, students in Secondary Education seeking an English certification minor will be required to compete for admission to the program. Students wishing to complete a minor must discuss this interest with faculty advisors in both subject areas to determine if this licensing combination is possible.

All Secondary students, whether completing their first degree or adding on a teaching minor to a prior certification, should expect to complete a methods course, participate in practicum and student teaching experience, and earn passing scores on a content exam to be recommended for certification. Students wishing to complete a minor must consult with the faculty advisor/program coordinator to discuss its field experience component.

Must complete 24–30 credits to include course work below. Courses are Department of English listings unless otherwise indicated.

Note: Six credits of introductory literature must be completed prior to enrolling in course work required for the English minor. Courses from many departments—e.g., Comparative Literature, Classics, African Languages and Literature, or Theatre—may be selected to meet this requirement. Students are encouraged to explore these options, although introductory English course work may also be used in this capacity.

  • Complete 216 British and Anglophone Literature from 1750 to the Present, 3–4 AND 217 American Literature, 3–4. Take at least one of these courses for 4 credits.
  • Shakespeare, one 3-credit course: 219, 220, 226, 417, 418
  • One English Department elective numbered 213 or above. Note: Students considering a Letters and Science English major should select a pre-1800, non-Shakespeare literature course.
  • Ethnic Literature, one 3 credit course: 248, 270, 275, 591, 593, 595, 662, 672, any other intermediate or advanced ethnic literature course. Check the Schedule of Classes (Timetable) for I/A/D level courses that are designated as both literature (L) and ethnic studies (e) courses.
  • Curric 431 Young Adult Literature for Schools, 3
  • 324 Structure of English, 3 (students are encouraged to take this course as early as possible)
  • Applied English Linguistics (in order of preference): 325, 323, 331, 336, 332
  • 309 Composition for English Teachers, 3

Note: In some semesters English 309 and Curric 431 are held for Secondary English majors only. Consult advisors in EAS about access to these courses.

Additional credits, if necessary, to reach a minimum of 24 credits. Introductory literature may be used.