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2020-2021 Handbook
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Dear Student,

We are pleased to present the sixteenth revised edition of the English Department Handbook. The Handbook will help you use the resources of our department in planning your course of study at Queens.  It introduces the department's curriculum and policies and describes the options available for majors and non-majors. You should use this handbook in conjunction with the Queens College Undergraduate Bulletin, which includes course listings and descriptions, and the English Department website at  We hope that the Handbook will help you develop a course of study that is both challenging and rewarding.




The Curriculum Committee











































TUTORIALS        17

























English at Queens College offers courses in which you can cultivate your own voice while interpreting cultural and literary texts from diverse periods, regions, genres, languages, and styles. We promote a spirit of inquisitiveness regarding the ideas, passions, and possibilities writing evokes, and the histories of struggle that produce it. Our nationally and internationally recognized faculty specialize in literatures of many times and places, the arts of rhetoric and persuasion, and the forms of creative writing. Although our work is eclectic and wide ranging, we share a commitment to the social, political, and emotional resonance of writing—and to developing your talents and abilities as a writer and communicator. You will have the opportunity to be mentored by these dedicated instructors.      


English majors practice critical acumen, empathic attunement to other people, and an ability to convey their ideas in writing. We ask that you read widely and with great subtlety, cultivating a close attention to language that reveals its beauty, nuance, power, and the knowledge it bears. We also foster an awareness of multilingual contexts and the many ways in which language and literacy have shaped our history and our present. Learning how cultural and literary texts represent the world as it has been—and as it might be—can teach you ways to act ethically within the world.


As you grow as a writer, interpreter and researcher, you will have the opportunity to cultivate your voice in a variety of genres: from academic essays to creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, and fiction. You will also practice writing beyond the borders of the college classroom and for the public. We view writing not only as self-expression, but as a craft and a discipline. In the English major you will hone your written and spoken expression in a variety of modes and cultural contexts, including the digital platforms and public forums that play such an important role in our contemporary cultural life.


The analytical and critical skills developed by your English major—including marshalling and evaluating evidence—will help you contribute to your local communities and to respond to the many challenges that face us globally. Learning to read and write confidently will help you flourish in your future career. Many of our students pursue post-graduate opportunities that require them to be excellent writers, including graduate school and careers in law, publishing, non-profit organizations, education, or politics. Queens College English majors have pursued careers in Education, Business and Finance, Theater, Film, Radio, and Television, Digital Production and Marketing, Museums and Galleries, Journalism, Publishing, Law, Politics, Government and Community Organization, Medical Administration, and Higher Education.





For students who matriculated at Queens College between Fall 2014 and Spring 2020.


You must have completed English 110 before beginning the major, but 110 does not count toward the major.  


1. Critical Reading and Writing (2 courses) 6 credits

        ENGL 130 Writing About Literature in English (3 credits/ Pre-Req ENGL 110) 

ENGL 170W Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits/ Pre-Req ENGL 130 or permission of the department)  


2. Literary Research Methods (4 courses) 16 credits

        ENGL 241 The Text In Its Historical Moment (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W)

        ENGL 242 Literary History (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W)

        ENGL 243 Genre (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W)

        ENGL 244 Theory (4 credits/ Pre-Req ENGL 170W)


3. Senior Seminar 3 credits

        ENGL 391W Topics in Literature (3 credits/ Senior status or consent of the Department)


4. Electives (7 courses) 21 credits

        Seven (7) additional English courses at the 200 or 300 level


        These courses must include:

        At least one (1) course in British literature before 1800:

        ENGL 251, 311, 312, 313, 320, 321, 322, 331, 332, 333, 334, 340, 341, 344

        At least one (1) course in American literature before 1900:

        ENGL 253, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 354

        At least one (1) course in global, ethnic, or post-colonial literature:

        ENGL 255, 354, 355, 356, 360, 363, 364, 366, 367, 368, 369, 377, 378, 379


Of the seven (7) electives, three (3) creative writing courses may be applied to the major. The remaining four (4) electives must be literature courses.        


You may meet the requirements for graduation as an English major by maintaining an index of 2.0 in the required and elective work in English.



For students who matriculated at Queens College Fall 2020 or after, or who elect to opt into the new major requirements.


You must have completed English 110 (College Writing 1) and English 130 (College Writing 2) before beginning the major.  


1. Critical Reading and Writing (1 courses) 4 credits

ENGL 170W Introduction to Literary Studies (4 credits/ Pre-Req ENGL 130 or permission of the department)


2. Literary Research Methods (3 courses) 12 credits

        ENGL 241 The Text In Its Historical Moment (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W)

        ENGL 244 Theory (4 credits/ Pre-Req ENGL 170W)

Either ENGL 242 Literary History (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W) or ENGL 243 Genre (4 credits/ Co-Req ENGL 170W)


3. Senior Seminar (1 course) 4 credits

        ENGL 391W Topics in Literature (4 credits/ Senior status or consent of the Department)


4. Electives (7 courses) 21 credits

        Seven (7) additional English courses at the 200 or 300 level


        These courses must include:

        At least one (1) course in literature before 1820:

ENGL 251, 253, 311, 312, 313, 320, 321, 322, 331, 332, 333, 334, 340, 341, 344, 348, 349, 365

        At least one (1) course in literature after 1820:

ENGL 252, 254, 318, 319, 324, 328, 329, 345, 346, 350, 351, 352, 353, 370, 371, 373, 374, 376

        At least one (1) course in global, ethnic, or post-colonial literature:

                ENGL 255, 354, 355, 356, 360, 363, 364, 366, 367, 368, 369, 372, 377, 378, 379


Of the seven (7) electives, three (3) creative writing courses may be applied to the major. The remaining four (4) electives must be literature courses.        


You may meet the requirements for graduation as an English major by maintaining an index of 2.0 in the required and elective work in English.





To declare a major, you must fill out a declaration of major form through MyQC:  Please send the form to using your Qmail account. Please include your CUNYFirst ID number, your phone number, and your preferred email address in the body of the email.  The email must be sent from your Qmail account, for verification purposes.  We will then take care of your declaration for you, and you will receive a confirmation email from us once your declaration has been sent to Records Management.





It is important to take advantage of the department's opportunities for advisement.  Your first advisor is a member of the department’s administration (the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Chairperson, the Associate Chair, or the Program Coordinator) who signs the Declaration of Major form.  At this time you should ask any questions about courses and departmental policies and, in consultation with the advisor, fill out the Advisement Form with major courses taken previously or currently.  You should also plan your courses for the next semester.  This is also a good time to discuss career plans and to ask about such topics as summer session, preregistration, and whatever special interests and needs you may have.




We urge majors and minors to take advantage of the preregistration period offered by the English Department just before regular registration in early November and early April.  During these periods you can register for up to three English courses. If you preregister, you immeasurably improve your chances of getting into courses that during the regular registration period might close before your assigned registration time.  You can drop courses during the regular registration period if you change your mind. It is a good idea to declare the major even before you have taken a course in the major so that you can participate in preregistration and thus be guaranteed a place in the gateway course, English 170W.  Before preregistration, descriptions of courses are posted on the sixth floor of Klapper, as well as on the department website at These descriptions will help you determine which courses are of most interest to you.





If you have transferred to Queens from another college, any transfer credits not fully evaluated during the admissions process must be evaluated by a member of the Departmental Evaluation Committee.  You will find a list of evaluators in the department office. When you visit an English evaluator, bring a transcript from your previous college and a catalogue or other official description of the course(s) you wish to have evaluated.  If a course in the admissions process is transferred as English 499, take that course to the Department for re-evaluation.  English 499 cannot be applied to the major, but the Departmental evaluators may find that the course is the equivalent of one of our courses.


A minimum of 18 credits toward the major must be taken at Queens College.




Students majoring in a variety of fields often elect English as an additional major. Those who do so should declare their English major as described above. A double major must meet all the requirements listed by each of two departments.




English and Elementary/Early Childhood Education (EECE)

If you are interested in becoming an elementary school teacher, you should visit the Elementary Education Department in Powdermaker 054 for advisement during your first year at Queens. In order to be eligible for NYS Initial Certification in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6, you are required to major in Elementary Education and take at least thirty credits in one of the liberal arts and sciences programs, such as English. Students can either take the 41-credit major in English or the 20-credit minor plus 10 additional credits to meet the 30-credit state requirement.  Whichever course of study you choose, you should apply to the Professional Preparation Sequence of the Elementary Education program when you’ve taken 21 or more English credits, have completed the pre-professional education courses (EECE 201, 310, 340; Math 119; Music 261), and have a G.P.A. of at least 2.75.

English and Secondary Education

If you are interested in becoming a certified secondary school English teacher (grades 7-12), you must complete both the 27-credit Secondary English Education major (SEYS with minimum 3.0 GPA) and the English major (ENGL with minimum 3.0 GPA) from the English department. There are also some English electives that are particularly recommended for prospective English teachers; please check with the Department of Secondary Education and Youth Services (Powdermaker Hall 150).


There is a two-step process toward declaring the English Education 7-12 major. First, declare only the English major and complete at least 15 English credits toward your major at Queens College in which you achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA. (If you are a transfer student and have extensive English coursework at another college, please see an advisor to determine if you meet the requirement for admission to the English Education major.) Second, add the English Education major. During your second year at Queens College (or your second semester if you are a transfer student), file a secondDeclaration Form to add the Secondary English Education major once you have obtained the approval of an English Education (SEYS) program advisor. You should plan to complete this dual English Education major during the last 4 semesters of your degree (ending in a spring semester with student teaching).


Although your SEYS requirements will be completed in your third and fourth years at Queens College, it is strongly recommended that you seek advisement from an English Education (SEYS) program advisor as soon as you begin thinking about teaching English in order to learn more about the program and the requirements for teacher certification.




        The Honors Program offers a highly advantageous academic experience for English majors with a 3.3 G.P.A. in English and a 3.3 G.P.A. overall. During the entirety of their senior year, Honors students are given the rare undergraduate opportunity to work together intensively in a small group. Students who complete the program are awarded Honors in English, a decided asset in any future endeavor, whether graduate study or a professional career.

        There are two program requirements: a two-semester Honors Seminar in the senior year that includes a research project and participation in a student conference in May; and an Honors examination in March.

        Each year, the Honors Seminar, 399W, is organized around a broad theme, often interdisciplinary, such as “Dreams,” “Reading Minds, Touching Brains,” and “Bad Romance.” Students study the theme in a variety of texts and materials and from a variety of perspectives, often with the participation of guest lecturers, and then each student develops a research project, tailored to his or her interests, in close cooperation with the seminar instructor.  These projects form the basis of the student conference in the spring. Members of the seminar also work together in preparing for the annual Honors exam, as well as participate in special workshops and social events.

        Students graduate with Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors (marked on student transcripts). The Honors designation is based on four criteria: the cumulative G.P.A., the G.P.A. in English, the research project, and the performance on the examination. Graduating with Honors is a sign to graduate schools and employers that a student has taken the most challenging program offered by the department and completed it successfully. More important, former Honors students have spoken with gratification of the unique undergraduate experience of working for an extended time on a single project and of working closely with other highly motivated students in a small group.

        Students must enroll in the first (Fall) half of the Honors Seminar during the Spring semester of their junior year.  Please email for a registration form and submit the form to Professor Annmarie Drury, Chair of the Department Honors Committee. It is not possible to join the seminar in mid-course. Each semester of the seminar receives a separate grade. The Fall grade for English 399W substitutes for English 391W; the Spring grade for English 399W counts as an elective English course. Each year there are two sections of the seminar, one in the day session and one in the evening.

        Both semesters of English 399W can count as two electives for the MA program for students who are accepted to the Accelerated BA/MA Degree Program (see more below).





With the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in English, up to nine (9) graduate. English credits may satisfy elective requirements in the English BA. These classes may then count towards completion of the MA in English:

 ​           ENGL 701. Graduate Methodologies

            ENGL 636. History of Literary Criticism

​            A 600- or 700-level English elective course (excluding the creative-writing workshops

and craft classes reserved for MFA students).


Applicants for the accelerated English MA option must have a minimum 3.5 GPA in English and are required to submit the following information as part of their online application:

(i) a writing sample of about 3–5 pages demonstrating their strongest work in an English course;

(ii) the name of one English Department faculty member who has agreed to serve as the student’s referral (no formal letters of recommendation required).

Note: For undergraduate students who are enrolled in the QC English Honors Program, ENGL 399 will count as 6 graduate credits toward the English MA degree. These students may take up to two (2) of the graduate English courses listed above, allowing them to transfer 12 graduate credits to the English MA program. (Twelve (12) is the maximum number of graduate transfer credits that is allowed by the College.)


If students have earned 9 or 12 graduate credits upon the completion of their BA degree in English through the accelerated English MA option, it is possible to complete the English MA program in one additional year.



The English minor is an attractive option for students interested in combining the study of English with a major in another field.


If you matriculated at Queens College between Fall 2014 and Spring 2020, you may meet the requirements for graduation as an English minor by maintaining a GPA of 2.0 in the required and elective work in English and by completing the following 30-credit course sequence: 170W, 241, 244, one course from 242, 243, and 4 other offerings of the English Department at the 200 or 300 level.  The prerequisite for 170W is English 130, which you must complete before beginning the minor. You must take at least 12 credits required for the minor at Queens College.


If you matriculated at Queens College Fall 2020 or after, or if you elect to opt into the new minor requirements, you may meet the requirements for graduation as an English minor by maintaining a GPA of 2.0 in the required and elective work in English and by completing the following 20-credit course sequence: 170W, one course from 241, 242, 243, or 244, and 4 other electives offerings of the English Department at the 200 or 300 level.  The prerequisite for 170W is English 130, which you must complete before beginning the minor. You must take at least 12 credits required for the minor at Queens College.




Many students pursue an English major or minor in the evening session.  The evening session is particularly suitable for people who are working or who have family responsibilities, and for students who are returning to school after an absence of several years. All courses for the major, including the senior seminar and a wide range of electives, are available in the evening. Many (but not all) evening classes in English meet once a week from 6:30 to 9:20 pm.  As an evening student, you may carry as few as six credits or as many as sixteen, depending on your class standing and obligations. Advisors are available in the English Department to help in the planning of programs. Advisement hours are posted on our website here:




The English Department offers a wide variety of courses during Summer Session 1 (usually four weeks in June) and Summer Session 2 (six weeks in July and August).  Most of the required courses for the major except the Senior Seminar are usually offered in one session or the other each summer.  The Senior Seminar must be taken in the Fall or Spring semester. A number of electives are also available in the summer.  The summer schedule will be available before Spring preregistration, when registration for summer courses also begins.  If you have questions about Summer Session, please see the English Department Summer Session Supervisor or the Chairperson.



You will find courses related to English and American literature in Africana Studies, American Studies, Business and the Liberal Arts (BALA), Film Studies, Honors in the Humanities, Irish Studies, Jewish Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies. See the Undergraduate Bulletin and the brochures issued by the various programs for details. In addition, the Comparative Literature department is filled with courses that give students a chance to read literary works in translation from around the world. In addition to relevant individual courses, all these programs offer minors that may be of interest to English majors.




Required Courses


For students who matriculated between Fall 2014 and Spring 2020, the English major requires the completion of 46 credits, or 14 courses as listed on page 4. Of these, 7 are required courses and 7 are electives.


For students who matriculated Fall 2020 or after, the English major requires the completion of 41 credits, or 12 courses as listed on pages 4-5. Of these, 5 are required courses and 7 are electives.


Your required courses will provide you with a basic structure for your studies in literature, as well as a shared frame of reference with other English majors.  The gateway course (170W) introduces you to the fundamentals of literary study, including close reading, an awareness of a variety of critical approaches, and instruction in writing a literary paper.  The three or four required courses in literary research methods (241, 242, 243, 244) introduce you to some of the methodologies and organizing concepts of literary studies and prepare you to do the more advanced and focused work required in the English electives. The Senior Seminar (391W) gathers together the elements of your literary education and applies them, in the setting of a small seminar of advanced majors, to the intensive study of a specific topic.  That topic varies from seminar to seminar, and the department offers several each semester to give you a choice of topic and time.  Recent Senior Seminars have focused on Toni Morrison, the Literature of New York City, Contemporary Native American Novels, Apocalyptic Literature, African American Literature and the Civil Rights Movement, the Medieval and Renaissance Literature of Travel, and the Literature of the English Civil War.



Beyond the required courses, you have a wide variety of courses from which to choose your seven electives.  Keep in mind that the department does not offer all courses listed in the bulletin in every semester, and every semester we offer a number of courses that may not be given again or given with the same content during your time at Queens. If you see an elective that inspires you, take it now.


The following will give you some idea of the range of choices for your electives.  For conciseness, we have listed each elective under one category only, although some of the courses clearly fit into more than one. Fuller information on courses can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin, on the department website, and, especially, in the descriptions posted on the sixth floor of Klapper and on the web before each preregistration period. Course with VT in the title indicate that the course has a variable topic and can be taken more than once. However, the course can only be applied to the major once unless by permission of the department.


Courses in medieval literature:

311. Medieval Literature, pre 1100

312. Medieval Literature, 1100-1500

313. The Arthurian Tradition


Courses in periods of British literature:

320. Early Modern Literature

321. Seventeenth-Century Literature

322. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature

323. British Romanticism

324. Victorian Poetry and Prose


Courses in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century British literature are listed under various categories below.


Courses in a single author:

331. Chaucer

332. Shakespeare I

333. Shakespeare II

334. Milton


Courses in Irish literature:

365. Celtic Myth and Literature

366. Introduction to Irish Literature

367. Modern Irish Literature

368W. VT: Irish Literature


Courses in drama:

308. VT: Studies in Drama and Performance

340. Medieval and Early Modern Drama

341. Drama of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

370. Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Drama

371. Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Drama and Performance


Courses in poetry:

306. VT: Studies in Poetry

373. Early Twentieth-Century Poetry

374. Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Poetry


Courses in fiction:

307. VT: Studies in Fiction

344. The Eighteenth-Century Novel

345. The Nineteenth-Century Novel

346. Early Twentieth-Century Fiction

372. Anglophone African Fiction

376. Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Fiction


Courses in periods of literature in multiple genres

318. Modernisms

319. Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Literature


Courses in periods of American literature:

348. The Early Black Atlantic

349. Colonial American Literature

350. Early American Literature

351. Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature

352. Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century U.S. Literature

353. Mid Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century U.S. Literature


Courses in race, ethnicity, and cultural identity in American literature:

354. African American Literature I

355. African American Literature II

356. Literature of the American Indians

360. VT: Latino/Latina Literature in English

369. Asian American Literature


Courses in literature in English from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and elsewhere in the world:

363. VT: Global Literatures in English

364. VT: African Literature and Culture

377. VT: Modern South Asian Literature

378. VT: Caribbean Literature

379. VT: Transnational/Postcolonial/Global Literature


Courses in themes and perspectives:

305, 305W. VT: Studies in Literature and Culture

309. VT: Studies in Theory

310. VT: Studies in Non-Fiction Prose

314. VT: Studies in Popular Genres

315. Digital Literary Studies

316. VT: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature

317. Adaptation Studies

325. VT:  Gender and Sexualities

326. VT: Women’s Writing

327, 327W. Environmental Literature

328. VT: Topics in Children's Literature

329. Young Adult Literature

380. Classical Backgrounds of Literature in English

381. The Literature of the Bible

389. VT: Literature and Folklore

390. Comedy and Satire


Courses in the English language:

290. The English Language


Courses in pedagogy:

202W. Rhetoric and Writing in English Education

397W. VT: Seminar in Teaching Writing


Courses in writing and writing studies:

200W. Writing about Writing

201W. Essay Writing in Special Fields

210W. Introduction to Creative Writing (CW)

211W. Introduction to Writing Nonfiction (CW)

301W. Fiction Workshop (CW)

302.     Playwriting Workshop (CW)

303W. Nonfiction Workshop (CW)

304.     Poetry Workshop (CW)

394W. Writing Multilingualism

396W. VT: Writing Studies


Only THREE creating writing electives (CW) can be applied for elective credit to the major. For further information on the writing electives, see the Creative Writing section below.


Undergraduates may take graduate literature courses with the permission of the instructor of the course and the Director of Graduate Studies. Such courses may be counted toward the six electives. See information about the Accelerated BA/ MA on p. 8. Undergraduates may not take the graduate writing workshops.




The department offers many opportunities to students interested in creative writing.  We treat the study of creative writing not as an alternative to rigorous scholarly engagement in the reading of and writing about literary and critical texts nor as an exercise in easy self-expression. Rather, it is a discipline whose students practice the techniques and strategies of close reading and whatever writing is appropriate to a given genre: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and playwriting. The English Department offers electives in each of these genres, as well as one course that introduces students to the writing of nonfiction and another that introduces them to the writing of poetry, fiction, and plays.  Throughout the Creative Writing curriculum, students learn to see the crucial interrelationship of reading and writing practices, as they begin to note and to take part in the myriad choices a poet or essayist or novelist or playwright makes at the level of, for example, the word, the sentence, the poetic line, the line of dialogue, the scene, the stanza, the paragraph.


Over the past several years, undergraduate English majors have been admitted into seven of the top ten MFA Creative Writing programs in the U.S.; they have published novels and volumes of poetry; and their nonfiction has appeared in publications ranging from Rolling Stone to The New York Times. These students attended equally to creative and scholarly studies, following the English Department’s curricular emphasis on the critical intersection of these disciplines. Even majors primarily interested not in creative writing but in literary criticism find that creative writing courses add a valuable dimension to their experience of and knowledge about literature, and many non-majors also take creative writing courses.


As an English major, you may take as many as three creative writing courses among the seven electives for the major. You may take more, and you may take any of the 300-level workshops more than once, but only three creative writing courses (and three different ones) may be applied to the major. Additional credits may be applied to the 120 needed for graduation. The courses, all of which feature reading and writing assignments in the strategies and techniques of a specific genre and the extensive use of peer review, are as follows:


English 210W: Introduction to Creative Writing

An introduction to the writing of poetry, fiction, and plays, with related readings.  This course is the prerequisite for English 301W, 302, and 304.


English 211W. Introduction to Writing Nonfiction

An introduction to the writing of nonfiction as an art form, in such modes as the personal essay, the review, new journalism, the memoir, and the postmodernist pastiche, with related readings.  This course is the prerequisite for English 303W.


English 301W: Fiction Workshop

Intensive practice in the writing of fiction, with related readings.


English 302: Playwriting Workshop

Intensive practice in the writing of plays, with related readings.


English 303W: Nonfiction Workshop

Intensive practice in the writing of nonfiction as an art form, with related readings.  In some semesters, the course focuses on one mode of nonfiction, such as the memoir or environmental writing.


English 304: Poetry Workshop

Intensive practice in the writing of poems, with related readings.


Note that the prerequisite for 301W, 302, and 304 is a grade of B in 210W or permission of the instructor and that the prerequisite for 303W is a grade of B in 211W or permission of the instructor.




Tutorial work offers students the opportunity to coordinate semester-long independent study projects with individual instructors, in order to explore an area of specific intellectual or creative interest in greater depth than is allowed in a classroom setting.  A tutorial is an extension and amplification of regular course work, not a substitute for that work, and a tutorial cannot be used as a substitute for any requirement.  Rather, tutorials allow highly motivated students to engage in intensive creative, intellectual, and interdisciplinary approaches to writers, themes, genres, periods, and literary movements and styles that have not been fully explored in the students’ course work and are not available elsewhere in the department's curriculum.


To apply for a tutorial, you must identify a full-time instructor whose area of specialization is appropriate to the independent study project; you must demonstrate to the instructor that your interest in the project goes beyond what you have already been able to pursue in regular course work; and you must present a rationale that explains the nature of the project and how it might best be undertaken in an independent study.  Approval of the tutorial is contingent on an instructor’s agreement to act as advisor.


In a tutorial you will work independently on the curriculum that you have drafted with the advisor, and you will meet with the advisor on a schedule to be worked out, perhaps once a week or once every two weeks. In addition to conferences, communication via email, and oral reports, tutorials require students to produce an agreed-upon volume of written work. You will receive one, two, or three credits depending on the amount of reading and writing undertaken for the semester. It is possible for a group of from two to five students to arrange a joint tutorial with an instructor and to meet with that instructor together.


Tutorial work is administered by the Office of Interdisciplinary and Special Studies.  Arrangements for a tutorial must be completed by the end of the registration period in the preceding semester.  Although credits for tutorials will be counted toward the total required for graduation, only one tutorial may count towards the English major. Tutorials appear on the transcript as Special Studies courses.  It is the student's responsibility to inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who must approve transcripts for graduation, that a particular Special Studies course is an English tutorial.




In conjunction with the Center for Career Engagement and Internships, the English Department sponsors internships for students who arrange to work up to twelve hours a week at a company or firm whose business is related in some way to the discipline of English Studies.  Students have interned, for instance, at cable news stations, educational publishers and trade publishers, and area newspapers.  The Center for Career Engagement and Internships provides a list of companies that are affiliated with the Queens College internship program, or students can ask interested employers to register with Queens College. Professor Jason Tougaw is the advisor and will design an independent study with each student intern, negotiating a workload that typically requires the student both to keep a journal reflecting on the day-to-day progress of the internship, and to write a 15-page paper on a topic that is pertinent to the intern’s duties and experience.  Internships can be taken for one, two, or three credits, and only one internship may be applied toward the English major. English minors who wish to undertake an internship should consult Professor Tougaw.  The internship appears on the transcript as English 299.




Although you are not required to take courses outside the department for the major, you may plan with your advisor a pattern of these electives helpful to your major and your career objectives. However, you may apply courses in other departments to the major only when they are cross-listed with an English course (that is, listed under the offerings of the English Department in a particular semester), or when, in rare cases, they are approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Courses in Comparative Literature or History may add a particular richness to a student's sense of English and American literature, as do literature courses in the foreign language departments. But courses in any of the other departments in the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences will add to the breadth of intellectual experience that you bring to the reading of literature.




You may take English courses at other institutions and get credit in the major with the permission of the department.  The permit form, together with general information, is available on the QC website at:


There are separate permit forms for courses at CUNY and non-CUNY colleges.  To take courses on permit, you must have a G.P.A of at least 2.0, be in at least your second semester in residence at Queens College (not including Summer Session), and have completed at least 6 QC credits. Remember that you must take at least 18 credits in the major here at Queens College. To request English Department permission, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies.




The English Department’s First Year Writing Program serves as a foundation for all academic writing at Queens College. It offers the only course required college-wide, English 110, which provides students, whatever their future major, with essential tools for academic success.


In 110 you will learn through the discipline of frequent practice the elements of effective writing: analytical and creative thinking, pertinent research, the development of theses, the marshaling of support, careful editing, and rigorous and imaginative revision. You will increase your awareness of your responsibility to the reader not only through your attentiveness to grammar, syntax, and mechanics, but also through your usage of the conventions of genre, voice, structure, style, and diction.


These goals and practices are subsequently reinforced throughout your college career in Writing-Intensive classes. These classes, designated with a W, may be taken in any department, though you are urged to take at least one in your major. As a Queens College student, you must take two W classes, after English 110, during your undergraduate career, and each, in no matter what department, will build on the foundation of 110 to help you develop a writing competence that is essential to a liberal arts education and that will be valuable to you after college.


If you are an English major, you will fulfill the W requirements by taking English 170W and 391W, both of which are required for the major.  If you are an English minor, you will fulfill one of the W credits through taking 170W.


English 110 is important not only as the beginning of the writing sequence; the 110 classroom also serves as an intellectual common space in which students from widely varying cultures and academic backgrounds become part of a community of interpreters and thinkers, responding to a wide range of texts, to their own writing, and to the writing of their peers, learning to integrate their colleagues' queries and suggestions into their revised essays, as well as learning to incorporate outside sources into their work, according to the accepted academic conventions of citation and documentation. Ultimately the goal of the First Year Writing Program is to facilitate your entry into the cross-curricular discourse of the College through an understanding of the practices of reading and writing, thinking and revision, and an understanding of these practices as central to the making and representation of knowledge.


Following are descriptions of the composition courses offered by the department:


English 110. College Writing (4 hrs. 3 cr.)

110 is the only required composition course. Students must fulfill this requirement before they have taken 60 credits, preferably in their freshman year. This course instills the practice of effective writing and reading in college, with an emphasis upon the art of using language to discover ideas. It also teaches methods of research and documentation, as well as the use of rhetorical modes and strategies. Students spend at least one hour a week conferring with one another or with their instructor about their writing.


ENG 130: Writing about Literature in English (3 hrs. 3 cr.)

A methods course in the discipline. Students learn how to engage in scholarly conversations about Anglophile literature: by using close reading of primary and secondary sources; conducting original research; and developing analytical arguments about literary texts in different genres. Prerequisite: ENGL 110.


College Writing 1 (ENGL 110) and College Writing 2 (ENGL 130) are the prerequisites for English 170W, the 200-level surveys, and most 300-level English courses.





Many non-majors take English courses even beyond their college requirements.  They do so for a variety of reasons: for more specialized training in writing, for enhanced background to their studies in other areas, for cultural enrichment, or simply for interest. Business, industry, and government service, as well as graduate and professional schools (business, law, medicine, social work, for example), now place emphasis on a student's ability to write well and on the breadth of his or her educational background. In an age of technology and specialization, background in the humanities is often regarded as a distinctive value.


If students majoring in such disciplines as history, art history, music, political science, and foreign languages intend to specialize in a particular historical era, they should consider taking English or American literature courses devoted to that period. Students with an interest in global studies should consider such courses as Studies in Global Literatures in English and Transnational/Postcolonial Literature.


Students who do not have the stated prerequisite for courses in the major but feel that they have its equivalent should see the Chair, Associate Chair, or the Director of Undergraduate Studies for permission to register.




Students matriculating in Fall 2009 or later must fulfill the General Education requirement. If you matriculated after Fall 2013, you must fulfill the Pathways requirements.  If you matriculated between Fall 2009 and Fall 2013, you must fulfill the Perspectives (PLAS) General Education requirements.  



All students who matriculated after Fall 2013 are required to take two College Writing courses (EC1 and EC2).  In English, EC2 is fulfilled by ENG 130.  Additionally, students must take 18 credits in the Flexible Core and 6-12 additional credits in the College Core.  


The English department offers the following courses that fulfill Pathways requirements:


151, 151W. Readings in British Literature.  

An introduction to the development of English literature from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century through a study of selected poetry, drama, fiction, and/or nonfictional prose. Authors include Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, Keats, Dickens, and Joyce. Fulfills College Option Literature


152, 152W. Readings in American Literature.

An introduction to the development of American literature from its beginnings to the twentieth century through a study of selected poetry, drama, fiction, and/or nonfictional prose. Authors studied may include Thoreau, Hawthorne, Whitman, Dickinson, O’Neill, Hemingway, and Wright. Fulfills Flexible Core U.S. Experience in its Diversity and College Option Literature


153, 153W. Introduction to the Bible.  

Selected books of the Old and New Testaments in English translation. Cannot be taken for credit if student has taken ENGL 381. Designed for nonmajors. Fulfills Flexible Core Creative Expression


157, 157W. Readings in Global Literatures in English.

An introduction to the diversity of modern and contemporary Anglophone literatures and related literatures translated into English. Students will explore representative selections of works encompassing the complex transnational and postcolonial nature of much writing in English from the pre-modern to the post-modern. Fulfills College Option Literature and Fulfills Flexible Core World Cultures, Global Ideas


161, 161W. Introduction to Narrative.

This course studies, either through narrative in general or through some specific topic in narrative, why human beings produce and consume stories as prolifically as they do, and what role stories play in culture. Fulfills College Option Literature


162, 162W. Literature and Place.

This course studies the relationship between the sense of place and the literary imagination.  Particular sections will focus on a particular place or kind of place. Fulfills College Option Literature (Pathways)


165W, 165H. Introduction to Poetry.

This course gives students practice in the reading and analysis of a wide variety of poetry, combining the study of literature with continued training in clear and effective written expression.  It is a course that students contemplating a major or minor in English should take, but it is open to all students, and over the years non-majors have found it accessible and interesting and have made it one of the most popular courses in the department. Fulfills College Option Literature and Flexible Core Creative Expression (Pathways)


A number of additional 300-level electives fulfill the College Option Literature (Pathways) requirement. A student majoring or minoring in English will automatically fulfill the Pathways Literature requirement by taking courses in the three area requirements of the major. Students should familiarize themselves with the full list of General Education requirements. See for further information.


Students who entered the College between September 1981 and Spring 2009 have a choice of fulfilling the General Education requirements or the LASAR requirements that were in effect when they matriculated. Such students may not mix the two systems but must fulfill either one completely. For information on and help with LASAR requirements, students should consult the College's Advisement Office.


PLEASE NOTE: Majors and minors should understand that such courses as 161, 162, 165, and 151-156 may under no circumstances be applied to the major, although they may be applied toward the 120 credits needed for graduation.  Majors and minors do have to fulfill all General Education requirements, but they should not take these courses to fulfill the College Option Literature requirement.




You will be approved by the Registrar for graduation only after the English Department affirms that you have fulfilled all requirements for the major. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is the administrator to whom you may address any questions or problems concerning graduation approval.




Students often wonder whether they should apply for an MA (Master of Arts), an MFA (Master of Fine Arts), or a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in English. The MA is a credential that offers you advanced academic training, although it doesn’t lead directly to an academic career. It may, however, make you more competitive in the non-academic job market by enabling you to develop stronger communication, analytic, interpersonal, and critical skills. The MA degree is also typically required for high school teachers. The MFA is a professional degree that involves intensive workshop work, total dedication to one’s writing, and a desire to advance one's original work in poetry, prose, drama, or literary translation. The MA and MFA usually take between 2 and 3 years to complete. If you enroll in the Accelerated BA/MA you can complete the MA in one year. The Ph.D. includes professional training to become a professor of English in an institution of higher education. If you think that you may wish to pursue a doctoral degree, you should talk with faculty who are familiar with you and your work. They will be in the best position to help you decide whether a doctoral degree is a good fit for you.


Graduate Study in English at Queens College


The English Department at Queens College offers the Accelerated BA/MA, MA and MFA degrees. Applications for the MFA program are due on February 15 for students planning to start the following Fall term. Applications for the MA program are due November 1 for starting in the Spring term; April 1 (with rolling admissions from February 15) for starting in the Fall term.


The department also participates in the Master of Science in Education/English program (MSEd), administered by the Department of Secondary Education.


The MA in English Literature is a 30-credit program that offers a diverse curriculum across British, American, and other Anglophone literatures, and critical and cultural theory. Course requirements include seminars in graduate methodology and the history of literary criticism, as well as 7 elective courses that enable students to pursue a wide variety of research interests. Elective courses are offered in a range of traditional fields and emerging areas of study, including but not limited to Gender and Sexuality Studies, Postcolonial and Global Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Latina/o Studies, Cultural Studies, Rhetoric and Composition Theory, and Digital Humanities. In their final semester, MA students work on a culminating thesis essay of publishable article length, with the guidance of a faculty advisor.  For further information please consult the director of the MA program, Dr. Caroline Hong (, or the assistant director, Dr. Hillary Miller (


For information about applying for the MA, visit:


The MFA program is a highly selective, 36-credit program in creative writing and literary translation, designed to foster the artistic and professional development of writers.  The program consists of genre-specific workshops in poetry, prose, drama, and literary translation; craft courses (genre and cross-genre); and elective courses in literature and literary theory.  Extra academic opportunities are offered such as adjunct teaching and writer residencies. MFA candidates complete the program with a supervised thesis consisting of a novel, a full-length play, a collection of poetry, or a quality translation of equal length and complexity.


For further information please consult the director of the MFA program ( or the department website at:


The MSEd consists of five courses in Education and five in English, and is primarily a credential for teaching English in the public middle and secondary schools.  Further information is at the SEYS website:


Queens College does not award a doctoral degree in English on site; but many of our teachers also teach in the CUNY doctoral program in English, located at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center at 365 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  For further information, visit:


Applying to Doctoral Programs


For more information about applying to doctoral programs, consult the following:


The Modern Language Association (MLA) – Advice to Graduate Students

Stephen Karian, English Department, University of Missouri – A Guide to Graduate Study                 in English

English Department, UC Santa Barbara – “So you want to go to graduate school . . .”

English Department, Duke University, Graduate Admissions - FAQs

Survey on Doctoral Education and Career Preparation, Pew Charitable Trust – Advice for                 Selecting a Doctoral Program

Survey on Doctoral Education and Career Preparation, Pew Charitable Trust – English



The Writing Center is an open and inclusive space whose objective is to support student writers. It provides one-to-one and group tutoring, in addition to writing workshops covering a wide range of writing skills, strategies, and assignments. The Writing Center provides guidance throughout all stages of the writing process—from the earliest prewriting stages to the final revision stages. Its trained writing consultants help students make sense of assignments, interpret guidelines and rubrics, brainstorm topics, craft effective thesis statements, and plan, develop, and write research essays.

The Writing Center believes that all students have the ability to express themselves in thoughtful, creative, and intellectually rigorous ways. Its mission is to help students develop and hone their writing by challenging students to use their own unique languages and voices in their writing. By acknowledging and using students’ own unique histories, fluencies, and languages, it subscribes to the idea that there are a multitude of ways to write effectively, creatively, and academically.

The following are a few core ideas behind the work of the Writing Center.

Students should see the work they do in the Writing Center as building on the work they do in their classes and in their lives. Even the most accomplished writers sometimes experience challenges when writing about complex or unfamiliar subjects. The Writing Center is here to provide guidance that is caring, professional, and challenging, and meant to help students develop the skills necessary to tackle more complex writing assignments.

The QC Writing Center is currently located in Kiely Hall 229, but they will have online appointments during the 2020-2021 academic year. For more information about the Center, to schedule an online appointment, to see a schedule of writing workshops, or to learn more about the services the Center provides, visit:


A note about the Center’s writing consultants:

Writing consultants are peer writing consultants. That is, they are undergraduate and graduate students at the college with intimate knowledge concerning what it means to write at the college. They are also immensely inquisitive about the writing process and are accomplished writers themselves. If you are interested in applying to work in the Writing Center as a writing consultant, see their website for more information.




In the Spring semester of each year, the English Department sponsors the Queens College Writing Prizes for all matriculated and regularly enrolled undergraduate students. These monetary awards honor their donors, which include active and retired English Department faculty members, former students of the English Department, as well as prizes named in memory of friends, colleagues, and family members of benefactors. Faculty members serving on the English Department’s Prizes Committee recognize outstanding undergraduate writing in the categories of poetry, fiction, literary translation, playwriting, nonfiction, and academic writing.  In late April or early May, the Committee presides over the Writing Prizes Ceremony, where faculty members read excerpts of prize-winning student work.  Rules for submitting work to the Queens College Writing Prizes are available in the English Department office, near the beginning of the Spring semester.


Following is a list of prizes, subject to update and revision:



Silverstein-Peiser Award

Zolot Prize

Eichler Memorial Scholarship



Silverstein-Peiser Award

Harry Glick Prize

Zolot Prize

Neal Feld Memorial Award



Silverstein-Peiser Award for Playwriting



Gregory Rabassa Prize



Silverstein-Peiser Award


Academic Writing

Composition Prizes for Work Done in SEEK 110, English 110, and English 130

The James E. Tobin Prize for an Essay on Poetry

The Leo Statsky Prize for Autobiographical Work on Encounters with American Life

The Faculty Prize for an Essay on Medieval or Early Modern Literature

The Cathy Davidson Prize for Scholarship on American Literature Pre-1865

The Kay Kier Memorial Prize for an Essay on Late Nineteenth- (Post-1865) or                         Twentieth-Century American Literature

The Edmund L. Epstein Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Essay on Twentieth-Century                 British Literature

The Maureen Waters Prize for an Essay on Irish Studies

The Clinton Oliver Prize for Scholarship in Black American Studies

The English Alumni Prize for an Essay on Asian American Literature

The English Alumni Prize for an Essay on Latinx Studies

The David B. Feinberg Prize for an Essay on Gender and Sexuality

The Faculty Prize for an Essay on Science Fiction, Fantasy or Children’s Literature

The Faculty Prize for an Essay on the Graphic Novel


Additionally, the Writing Prizes Ceremony includes awards for outstanding scholarship, including the following:


The Robert Greenberg Prize for Outstanding Work Done in English Honors




Every semester, the English Department offers a variety of readings, lectures, and talks by visiting writers and by student and faculty members of the Queens College community.  Many of these events are coordinated either with the graduate MFA Program in Creative Writing and Translation, or the undergraduate literary journal, Utopia PKWY.  Information about specific events is posted on bulletin boards on the 6th floor of Klapper Hall, the MFA program’s 7th  floor bulletin board, as well as the MFA’s Bulletin Blog,  and on the English Department website under the Events sidebar. During the 2020-2021 academic year many of these events will move online. Please check our website for more information.


Utopia PKWY, our school’s journal of student writing, is not only an outlet for students to publish each other’s work, it also represents a unique opportunity for English majors and students from other disciplines to work together toward a community project. Online and print versions of the journal are published once a year, usually in the Spring semester, and while Utopia PKWY takes submissions from all Queens College undergraduates, it is selective in what work to publish.  Many students whose work was included recent editions of the journal were accepted into nationally known MFA Creative Writing programs, including the Queens College MFA.  Active engagement in the production of our literary journal, including staff meetings, public readings, editorial work, and interaction with faculty advisors provides students with the opportunity both to socialize with their classmates, and to gain insight into the editorial processes and business concerns involved in publishing an annual literary journal. For more information, please visit


Over the years interested students have from time to time initiated and revived an English Club.  Students who wish to organize such a forum, with its potential for varying types of events such as student readings and visiting speakers, should consult the Associate Chair.


Queens College also sponsors the Queens Evening Reading Series of readings and interviews with famous literary figures.  The series, one of the longest-standing and best-known in the New York area, is organized by a member of the English Department, Joe Cuomo. In recent years, such writers as Salman Rushdie, Oliver Sacks, Tom Stoppard, Jamaica Kincaid, Doris Lessing, Derek Walcott, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, and Edward Albee have participated in the series.  The particular events are well publicized throughout the campus, with schedules for the year posted on our website.