English Major Tracks

English majors choose a particular areas of English Studies on which to focus in order to add depth to the breadth of Elements 1 and 2. Students must select a track from among those listed below, and take 12 credits in that track. Theses courses must be taken at the 200,300, and/or 400 levels. 

Literary and Cultural Studies: Studying literature requires detailed attention to the ways of expression as well as to what is being expressed; it also requires attention to how literature, as a cultural force, is caught up in national and global conflicts, networks, and imaginings. Students in this track must thus take 1 course in each of following topics, leaving the remaining credits open for any literature course:

  • Form, Genres, and Poetics
  • National, Transnational, and/or Global Literatures

Language, Writing, and Rhetoric: Studying the essential tools of writing, communication, presentation, and persuasion involves working with rhetorical and linguistic principles as well as local discourse conventions and audience beliefs, both past and present. Students in this track must thus take 1 course in each of following topics, leaving the remaining credits open for any language, writing, or rhetoric course:

  • History, Analysis, and Theory
  • Practice, Performance, and Pedagogy

Media Studies: Studying media requires close attention to the materials, technologies, and cultural practices of transmission. It also requires a sustained comparison of diverse types of media to understand how they shape meaning individually and in combination. Students in this track must thus take a course in at least 2 of the following categories (2 courses total) and are encouraged to cover more, though the remaining credits are open for any media course:

  • Print and Script
  • Music and Sound
  • Image and Moving Image
  • Digital Cultures

Creative Writing: Developing as a creative writer requires sustained engagement with one’s own work, that of one’s peers, and that of established writers. To that end, students in this track take writing workshops and also study creative concepts, principles, and methods. They have the flexibility to pursue breadth across multiple genres or depth in one particular genre of writing.
Students must take 1 of each of the following course types, leaving the remaining credits open for any creative writing workshop course:
  • 200-level Creative Writing Workshop
  • 300-level Creative Writing Workshop
  • Creative Form and Theory

​Creative Writing Track Restrictions: 

  • Students cannot pursue the Creative Writing track and also be a Creative Writing Minor.
  • To enroll in a 300-level workshop, students must receive an A or A- in a 200-level workshop or must submit an acceptable portfolio of work to the Creative Writing faculty.
  • Students may substitute 1 approved UMD workshop course taught outside of the English department for their 300-level creative writing workshop, but may not take a 400-level workshop in the English department without taking a 300-level workshop in the department.
  • Students may only count a Creative Form and Theory course once toward their 4 required courses for the track.