May 25, 2024  
Mercy College 2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, B.A.

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Christopher Loots, Ph.D., Program Director

Bachelor of Arts

General Education Requirements  60 credits
Major Concentration:  
English Literature  36 credits
Open Electives  24 credits
Total 120 credits



The English major provides students with one of the most personally-meaningful and professionally-viable degrees a college student can earn. Students of English explore a range of writings and cultural texts, ranging from ancient epics through contemporary digital media. English majors hone their skills of analyzing, interpreting, and researching; and develop a practice of process-based writing. Students learn about how language and human traditions have been shaped and reshaped over time by interactions among cultures, and how language and traditions continue to be transformed by such, and by digital technology, today. The study of diverse texts further instills an ability to perceive the patterns of social and cultural power affected through language, and to register nuances of human interactions so as to better intuit the motivations of others. Overall, the English major attunes students to the power and mystery of the written word, and teaches students to communicate effectively, responsibly, and creatively in a multicultural and multimodal world. This preparation historically and still today translates to potential success in a variety of careers, including but not limited to teaching, writing, publishing, editing, law, advertising, and marketing, to name a few.

English majors can earn the English B.A. by completing the requirements listed below. Or, English majors can elect to pursue one of four concentrations within the English major: English Creative Writing, English Cultural Studies, English Literature, or English Writing & Rhetoric. Details about these concentrations, including how to complete each concentration, are listed in the Catalog following this primary entry. Students who complete a concentration in English will have the English B.A. degree and also the concentration listed on their transcript. 

Students must complete the following two core courses (6 credits):

Students must complete one course (3 credits) from the following category:

Students must complete one course (3 credits) from the following category:

Students must complete one course (3 credits) from the following category:

And students must complete one course (3 credits) from the following category:

Additionally, students have 18 major-elective credits to complete. These credits can be drawn from any combination of the above categories and the two elective categories listed below:

Crossing Borders & Disciplines


ENGL 195 should be taken as soon as possible, preferably in the semester immediately following completion of ENGL 112 or ENGL/HONR 192. Transfer students should ideally take ENGL 195 in the first semester upon transferring in.

ENGL 400 is the capstone course, meaning the final course in the English major. It should be taken in the final semester of the program, or at least in the penultimate semester if a student foresees scheduling conflicts for the final semester.

ENGL 294 Major Authors and ENGL 295 Special Topics are generic course codes under which can run a number of new or experimental courses.  ENGL 397 Independent Study is a course code by which a student might, in rare and special circumstances, pursue a unique course of study. Courses running by these codes will default to working as major electives. If a course running by one of these codes makes sense as a substitution for a category requirement, though, students can request of the Program Director that a substitution be allowed to let the course count for the category requirement.

The English program highly recommends that English majors earn a minor to complement their English major. Students can earn a minor in another field such as Media Studies, History, Design & Animation, or Communication Studies (to name just a few) by completing 15 credits in that field. English majors have a total of 42 non-major elective credits to spend (24 Open Elective credits plus 18 General Education Liberal Arts & Sciences Elective credits) and so have ample opportunity to earn a minor. To learn more, speak with your PACT mentor or contact the English Program Director.

ENGL 380 Workplace Experience I, and ENGL 381 Workplace Experience II, are internship codes that allow students to complete internship experience. Such internship credits count as Open Elective credits. Students interested in seeking internship opportunities should speak with the Mercy College Office of Career & Professional Development, the Chair of the Department of Literature and Language, and/or the Director of Undergraduate English.

The English major has an 18 credit residency requirement.

The English Minor

15 Credits

Students of other majors can earn a minor in English by completing any five English courses ranging from ENGL 195 to ENGL 399. Speak with the Program Director of English to learn more.

The 4+1 Program (Undergrad English + Graduate Education)

English majors planning on pursuing a career in teaching English may apply to the Four-Plus-One Program, offered jointly by the School of Education and the School of Liberal Arts. The program is designed to allow English majors to begin their Graduate Education coursework during their junior year. These courses will count jointly towards their undergraduate and graduate degrees. For specific program eligibility and requirements, please refer to the School of Education section of the Catalog. 

Earn Graduate MA English Credits During Your Final Undergraduate Year

Qualified Mercy College undergraduates who are interested in pursuing a Master of Arts in English Literature through Mercy College’s esteemed graduate English program have the opportunity to take up to two graduate courses during the final year of undergraduate study, and have these graduate courses count both for the undergraduate degree and the MA English degree. If the student ends up completing such courses but not continuing into the graduate program, the courses still count as normal Open Electives for the undergrad degree.

To be eligible, students must not be registered for a multiple-degree program (such as the 4+1 program). And students must have completed at least 90 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Such students may petition to enroll in one graduate-level English course at Mercy College per semester of their final year of study, for a maximum possible total of six graduate credits. Students must receive written permission from the Program Director of Graduate English or the Department of Literature and Language Chairperson. Contact your PACT mentor or the Director of Graduate English for advisement and to start the process.

Full-time undergraduate students who receive permission to take graduate courses in this way will be charged the undergraduate tuition rate for the graduate courses. If the student is part-time, the graduate rate will be charged for graduate courses and the undergraduate rate for undergraduate courses. Students receiving financial aid in the form of grants and/or loans will continue to be eligible for said aid, as the courses are approved to count as Open Electives. If there are any questions regarding tuition, please speak with a representative from the Office of Enrollment Services.

Graduate courses will not count towards the residency requirement for the undergraduate degree, or for program honors.

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