Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Undergraduate Minor

The English Minor

Who Should Minor?

The English Minor is an especially attractive option either for students who reside in other schools in the university, or for students whose majors will not allow them to take the requisite number of courses for the English Major.

How to Go about It?

As English offers several interdisciplinary courses each semester -- from courses in Literature and Science, Literature and Law, and Literature and Medicine, to seminars in African-American, Asian-American, Latina/o, and South African literary culture -- students will often find the English Minor a meaningful way of supplementing their chosen majors in other departments. Before deciding against the English Major, however, we strongly urge students to explore whether our generous policy of allowing up to two courses outside the department might not make majoring in English possible.

What Are the Requirements?

Minoring in English is simple. Of your six total courses, we ask only that you take at least one upper-level seminar (any course numbered 200 or above) and either English 20 or English 40. Otherwise, we strongly encourage you to use your minor to pursue an individualized course of study based in your own interests -- either by exploring in depth a special area of focus or by conducting a broad survey of literary history and theory. Students interested in Creative Writing, for example, can take up to four creative writing seminars -- and will find a number of 200-level seminars with creative components as well. With prior approval of the Undergraduate Chair or the Associate Undergraduate Chair,  you may count one literature course from another department. Courses in the Critical Writing Program (those coded as WRIT) do not count in the minor.

How do I Declare?

To declare a minor in English, you can meet with the Undergraduate Chair or the Associate Undergraduate Chair during their walk-in office hours; they can also answer any questions you might have. You can also declare simply by calling Loretta Williams at 898-7343, or stop by her office in Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 127. We recommend a meeting first but it is not absolutely required.