Juneteenth Day Observance

English

Major

Unlock the power of words with a major in English. Learn the writing and analytical skills you need to thrive in your future career.

Why Study English?

A major in English gives you the tools and skills necessary for your future education or career. In your courses, you'll develop your writing and analytical skills. You'll become an effective and persuasive communicator, which will help you in many professional contexts.

You will also learn how language changes and shapes the world. You'll see how ideas change and evolve through your readings. You'll also learn empathy by reading from different perspectives and understanding their contexts.

Your English degree will help you pursue a career in education, writing, media and more. It is also a great major for a future in law, medicine, business and federal service.

Why Study English at CSUN?

Passionate Faculty

Work with nationally recognized scholars and writers in small classroom settings. Our faculty have published reviews, essays, poems, short stories and novels. They will help nurture your craft and give you insights into great works of poetry and literature. Be encouraged and inspired in the Department of English.

Choose Your Option

Pursue your area of interest under the broader category of English. We have six options for English major students:

  • Literature: Learn to analyze and critique British and American literature.
  • Creative Writing: Refine your narrative, verse or playwriting skills. You'll also build a solid background of study in British and American literature.
  • Honors: Develop a strong academic background with advanced seminars in close relationship with faculty. Be prepared for postgraduate study in English or other postgraduate disciplines.
  • Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential : In this option, you will complete a variety of English courses to prepare you to teach. You will have great flexibility in choosing your classes, and you will be able to focus on an area of your choosing. You will graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and a lifelong competency verification in English. You will need to complete additional requirements to enter CSUN's credential program. See English for Teaching (Major).
  • Four-Year Integrated (FYI) English Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential: The FYI English program integrates Englishand education courses into a four-year plan. You will study with fellow FYI English students with a pre-designed curriculum. You will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English and a preliminary single subject teaching credential in English. This option is only available for incoming freshmen. See English for Teaching (Major).
  • Junior-Year Integrated (JYI) English Subject Matter Program for theSingle Subject Credential: The JYI English program integrates Englishand education courses into a two-year plan. You will study with fellow JYI English students with a pre-designed curriculum. You will graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and a preliminary single subject teaching credential in English. This option is available for students with junior standing. See English for Teaching (Major).

Internship Opportunities

Through our internship program, you'll gain professional experience while receiving college credit. Your duties will include technical and professional writing, which you will compile into a portfolio. Previous internship fields include:

  • Publishing
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Human resources
  • Grant writing
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Entertainment

What You'll Learn

As an English major, you will analyze novels, poems and other texts. You will study British, American, and other diverse works. You'll study creative, linguistic, and rhetorical theories. You'll learn writing skills and develop critical reading skills. You'll be prepared to apply your analytical mind in a variety of fields.

The Department of English offers six options for students. Each has a different set of course requirements and will prepare you for your future career.

The literature option focuses on the analytical reading of British and American literature.

In your lower-division core courses, you broadly study the works of English and American writers from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The rest of your classes will be upper-division courses that will delve more deeply into the study of specific authors, time periods and genres. You'll choose from classes covering topics such as:

  • Literary genres
  • Literary criticism
  • Shakespeare and Milton
  • Major British novelists
  • Major American novelists
  • Modern poetry
  • Plays and dramas
  • Contemporary American literature

You'll also choose at least one class to study more diverse literature. You can learn about:

  • American Indian literature
  • African American literature
  • Gay and lesbian writers
  • 19th century women novelists

For your electives, you will select three upper-division English courses.

Curriculum

In this option, you'll develop narrative, verse or playwriting skills. You'll also build a solid background of study in British and American literature.

In your lower-division courses, you'll take an introductory workshop course in creative writing. You'll focus on prose fiction, poetry or drama. You'll also take one class to study major English or American writers.

In your upper-division courses, you'll continue to focus on your creative writing. You'll take courses such as:

  • Narrative writing
  • Verse writing
  • Playwriting
  • Theories of poetry
  • Theories of fiction

You'll also study great past and contemporary works. This includes courses on topics such as:

  • Shakespeare and Milton
  • Major American novelists
  • Drama from Ibsen to the present
  • Contemporary poetry

You'll also take a senior seminar to write, revise and complete a finished work.

Curriculum

Prepare for postgraduate study with advanced seminars and conduct independent research. Admission to the program begins in the first semester of your junior year. You will need a GPA of 3.5 or better in upper division English courses to graduate from the honors program.

In your lower-division core courses, you broadly study the works of English and American writers from the Middle Ages to the present day.

In your honors courses, you will take seminars to give you research opportunities and in-depth studies into a period of literature or major work.

You will also complete an honors revision seminar. In this class, you will develop an existing research paper into an article-length manuscript. You will even present your findings as a scholarly paper at an academic conference or similar setting.

The rest of your classes will be upper-division courses that will delve more deeply into literary history. You'll choose from classes covering topics such as:

  • Literary criticism
  • Major British novelists
  • Major American novelists

You'll also choose at least one class to study more diverse literature. You can learn about:

  • American Indian literature
  • African American literature
  • Gay and lesbian writers
  • 19th century women novelists

For your electives, you will select additional upper-division English courses.

Curriculum

Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential

In your lower-division core courses, you broadly study the works of English and American writers from the Middle Ages to the present day.

In your core upper-division courses, you will study courses including:

  • Advanced public speaking
  • Writing about literature
  • Literature for adolescents
  • Major critical theories
  • Multigenre literacy in a global context
  • Dramatic performance in the secondary language arts curriculum
  • Language and linguistics

You will also choose an Extended Study emphasis from the following:

  • Literature
  • Creative writing
  • Linguistics and diversity
  • Literatures of diversity
  • Communication studies
  • Theatre
  • Rhetoric and composition
  • Popular culture

Curriculum

 

Four-Year Integrated (FYI) English Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential

The FYI English program follows a set curriculum to ensure you graduate on schedule. This program is only available to CSUN freshmen.

You will take a variety of English courses, such as:

  • Major American writers
  • Writing about literature
  • Contemporary poetry
  • Language and linguistics

You will also take secondary education courses that will count towards your credential units. They include:

  • Methods of teaching English
  • Teaching English learners in multiethnic secondary schools
  • Computers in instruction
  • Supervised practicum

Curriculum

 

Junior-Year Integrated (JYI) English Subject Matter Program for the Single Subject Credential

The JYI English program follows a set curriculum to ensure you graduate on schedule. This program is available to students with junior standing.

You will take a variety of English courses, including:

  • Educational psychology of adolescence
  • Writing about literature
  • Contemporary poetry
  • Language and linguistics

You will also take secondary education courses that will count towards your credential units. They include:

  • Methods of teaching English
  • Teaching English learners in multiethnic secondary schools
  • Computers in instruction
  • Supervised practicum

Curriculum

Careers & Outcomes

The English major will prepare you for a wide range of career options. Your research and communication skills will prepare you for further educational studies. Your writing and critical thinking skills are crucial in a variety of fields.

Northridge Review cover art

Get published on campus.

Submit your original work to the Northridge Review, a literary and arts journal curated and produced by CSUN students. Every year, the NR publishes two volumes containing the best in art, poetry, fiction and drama from the CSUN and neighboring community.

Want to Teach?

Take advantage of our credentialing program to earn a degree in English and your teaching credential at the same time. Learn about our three English for Teaching options.

English Department Awards

The department offers a number of prizes for students who have excelled in their academic work. Some of our awards celebrate overall academic achievement, while others recognize the best pieces of prose or poetry. Read about our awards.

Study Abroad

The Department of English believes you should study overseas to gain new academic and cultural experiences. Certain courses taken at CSU International Program Study Centers in foreign countries are equivalent to courses in the Department of English and will fulfill your major requirements. For more information, consult the International and Exchange Student Center, the English department associate chair, or the campus International Programs advisor.

Explore Related Programs

Scroll back to the top of the page