English Program

Your professors in the Department of English, Drama & Creative Writing want you to earn a degree that will enable you to do whatever you want after graduation, whether it be preparation for a career such as teaching or law, or for some other career of your choice. To that end, the department has several degree requirements that aim to ensure the high quality of your degree.

Note that senior-level courses in English, Drama & Creative Writing are offered on a cycled basis, usually once every two or three years. So plan ahead, and don’t leave the fulfilling of all your degree requirements for the final year.  See the department chair to plan your degree program and to identify any conflicts that might prevent you from meeting degree requirements. Register early to avoid disappointment; senior-level courses often fill up quickly.


Chapbook published by Professor Di Brandt and the students in her 30.353 Creative Writing: Poetry class (Radish Press 2016)

Students Who Started Their Degree in the 2015/2016 Academic Year or later:

All English Majors and Minors are required to take a certain number of upper-level courses, and also courses from the Historical Breadth list. Such courses give you an awareness of and appreciation for literature written before the nineteenth-century. Please see the current General Calendar for more information about specific requirements for the English degree.

If you started your degree before the 2015/2016 Academic Year, you are encouraged to follow the new degree requirements, but you may follow the requirements listed in the year you declared your major. Please be sure to Consult the appropriate General Calendar, but pay special attention to the section entitled, “Choice of Calendar Year for Graduation Requirements,” in the most recent General Calendar.

Students and professors take part in a Flash Fiction event

Level Requirement:

The level of a course — 200, 300, 400 — indicates its difficulty, both the difficulty of the reading material and the work required. If your transcript has too many 200 level courses listed on it, then your degree lacks the necessary weight to be taken seriously by many prospective employers and graduate/professional schools. Take 200-level courses in your second year, and then move on to 300- and 400-level courses in your third and fourth years. A 4-Year Honours Major must have at least 30 credit hours in English at the 300/400 level (of which 12 must be at the 400 level), a 4-Year Major at least 27 credit hours at the 300/400 level (of which 12 must be at the 400 level), a 3-Year Major at least 18 credit hours at the 300/400 level, and a Minor at least 9 credit hours at the 300/400 level.  (In any discrepancies between this page and the BU General Calendar, the BU General Calendar shall take precedence.)

Restriction on 100 level credit hours:

100-level courses are meant for students in their first year. Majors and minors can only count 6 credit hours of English literature at the 100 level towards their majors. Once you have a “C” average in 6 credit hours of first-year literature, it’s time to move on to the more difficult and challenging courses.

Restriction on Creative Writing credit hours:

One way to learn about literature is to try to write some yourself, but the degree we offer is in English literature. You can, therefore, apply a limited number of creative writing credit hours toward your degree in English literature. Majors are restricted to 6 credit hours, minors to 3 credit hours. If you wish to focus on creative writing rather than literature, you should consider taking the Creative Arts degree or the minor in Creative Writing.