Texas A&M English Requirements – Texas A&M University, located in College Station, Texas, is home to one of the largest English departments in the country. With over 600 English majors and 70 faculty members, the department offers a comprehensive selection of literature, writing, and rhetoric courses. In this article, we will explore the various degree options within the English department at Texas A&M and the specific requirements students must fulfil to earn their degree. Whether you are interested in becoming a writer, teacher, researcher, or professional communicator, Texas A&M has an English program to launch your career.Texas A&M English Requirements
Texas A&M English Requirements
Texas A&M’s English department grants four major degrees:
– Bachelor of Arts in English schoolnewsportal
– Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing Track)
– Bachelor of Arts in English (Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track)
– Bachelor of Arts in English (Literature Track)
In addition to deciding between the general English degree and the three specialized tracks, students also have the choice to pursue a minor in English, Professional Writing, or Creative Writing. There are also opportunities for interdisciplinary studies, allowing English majors to double major or minor in other subjects.
General English Degree Requirements
The general Bachelor of Arts in English is the most flexible option, allowing students to explore literature, rhetoric, and creative writing before deciding on a specialization. This program requires a total of 120 credit hours, with 36 of those credits coming from English courses.
To fulfill the 36 English credit requirements, students must complete:
– 6 hours of introductory English courses
– 3 hours in linguistics
– 3 hours in rhetoric
– 6 hours in British literature pre-1800
– 6 hours in British literature post-1800
– 3 hours in American literature pre-1865
– 3 hours in American literature post-1865
– 6 hours in comparative literature
Additionally, they must take 12 hours of upper level English electives. Some students choose to shape these electives into a focused track in creative writing, literature, or rhetoric and writing. However, they are not bound to a particular specialization. This flexibility makes the general English degree a great choice for those who want to explore multiple areas of the discipline.
The degree also requires 6 hours of foreign language courses and 3 hours of communication or composition electives. The remaining 75 hours are filled through the university’s core curriculum requirements.
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Creative Writing Track Requirements
For students who want to hone their skills as imaginative writers, the Creative Writing Track is an ideal option. This program requires 120 total hours, including 42 hours specifically in the major.
As part of those 42 English hours, creative writing students must take:
– 6 hours of introductory English
– 12 hours of creative writing workshops
– 3 hours of literary editing
– 3 hours of form and theory of creative writing
– 3 hours of creative writing capstone
Additionally, they must fulfill the same British literature, American literature, comparative literature, linguistics, and rhetoric requirements as the general English major.
To allow for deeper exploration of creative writing, the foreign language requirement is reduced to 3 hours. Students also take 6 hours of English electives and 3 hours of communication/composition electives to round out the degree.
With small, intensive workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting, this degree gives students the chance to develop their craft through hands-on learning. The literary editing and form and theory courses provide important context on publishing and the history of creative writing as well.
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Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track Requirements
For students inclined toward writing, rhetoric, and communication, the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track trains students for careers involving advanced writing or editing skills. Within the 120 total hours, this program requires 45 English hours with the following courses:
– 6 hours of introductory English
– 12 hours of advanced writing courses
– 9 hours of editing, rhetorics, and theory
– 3 hours of a writing capstone
– 3 hours of linguistics
– 3 hours of rhetoric
– 6 hours of British literature
– 3 hours of American literature
Additionally, students take 6 hours of English electives and 6 hours of foreign language courses. This degree replaces the usual communications/composition electives with 6 additional hours of advanced writing courses.
With specialized options in legal writing, business writing, technical writing, and writing for the sciences, this degree allows students to tailor their advanced writing curriculum to their future career. The editing, rhetoric, and theory courses provide critical thinking skills applicable across disciplines.
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Literature Track Requirements
For devoted literature students, Texas A&M’s Literature Track offers classic literary training while allowing room for intellectual exploration. Within the 120 total credit hours, literature students complete 42 English hours:
– 6 hours of introductory English
– 3 hours of literary theory
– 3 hours of literary research methods
– 3 hours of comparative literature
– 6 hours of American literature
– 9 hours of British literature
– 3 hours of world/multicultural literature
– 6 hours of literature electives
– 3 hours capstone seminar
Additionally, students take 6 hours of foreign language, 6 hours of English electives, and 3 hours of communication/composition electives.
With foundational surveys in American and British literature, seminars in literary research and theory, and electives across world literature, this degree provides an in-depth literature curriculum while allowing students to customize based on their interests. The capstone seminar gives graduating literature students the chance to develop an advanced research project, preparing them for graduate study or careers involving advanced literary analysis.
Choosing Between Degree Tracks
With four unique degree options, prospective English majors may feel overwhelmed deciding which Texas A&M program is right for them. Here are a few key factors to consider:
The type of career you hope to pursue after graduation should guide your choice of degree track. Those interested in creative writing careers should choose the Creative Writing Track to develop their skillset. For careers involving advanced writing, rhetoric, or communication, the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track is the best fit. The Literature Track suits students headed into literary analysis careers or graduate study. For maximum flexibility, the general English degree allows you to explore multiple interests before specializing.
Interests & Passions
Your innate passions and interests are also important in selecting a degree track. If you love imaginative writing and have been crafting stories since childhood, the Creative Writing Track will allow you to grow your talents. Students who nerd out on rhetoric or linguistics may prefer the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track. Lifelong bookworms tend to thrive in the Literature Track.
Looking at the required courses in each track will help you determine the best fit based on the specific classes you want to take. For example, a student passionate about Shakespeare and Dickens would enjoy the British Literature focus of the Literature Track. A future legal writer would appreciate the Legal Writing electives in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Track.
Your post-graduation goals can also help decide your degree track. Those who want to become high school English teachers may prefer the Literature Track, which provides broad literary knowledge. Students interested in journalism or content writing jobs would benefit from the real-world writing focus of the Rhetoric and Writing degree.
No matter your interests or career aspirations, Texas A&M’s English department has a program to launch you toward your goals. Choosing between the general degree and the specialized tracks simply requires determining which option provides the best foundation for your future.
Registering for Courses
Once you have selected your preferred degree track, the next step is registering for courses each semester to fulfill the requirements. Here are some tips for effectively registering as an English major:
Review all the track-specific requirements detailed above so you understand the necessary courses. Then, map out a tentative semester-by-semester plan for completing the requirements over 4 years. This helps ensure you take courses in the ideal sequence.
Meet With Your Advisor
English advisors help students select appropriate courses each semester to stay on track. Make appointments with your advisor before registration opens to get their input on your plan. Bring any questions about degree requirements, course sequencing, or registration issues.
Mix Core and English Courses
Try to balance English courses with core curriculum requirements each semester. For example, don’t take all writing classes in one semester and all science classes in another. Blend different types of classes to create a reasonable workload.
Since many tracks require upper-level English electives, save some of these electives for later semesters once you have decided on a specialization. Use introductory English courses and core requirements for early semesters.
Some advanced English courses have prerequisites, like sophomore-level intro classes or certain surveys. Review prerequisites when planning courses to ensure you take them in the proper order.
While English degrees allow flexibility in course sequencing, planning ahead helps optimize your schedule. Using all resources available, including advisors, degree requirements, and course listings, allows you to register for complementary courses each semester. Follow the degree pathways, but don’t be afraid to make adjustments based on your evolving interests.
Comparing English Courses
With over 300 English courses to choose from, narrowing down options can be challenging. Here is a brief comparison of some popular course types to consider as you select electives and plan semesters:
These foundational courses provide a broad overview of a major literary period, like British Romanticism or American Modernism. Great introductory options.
Small, discussion-based classes exploring a focused literary topic in depth. Often requires literary analysis papers. More advanced options with a research focus.
Courses focused on a specific literary genre like poetry, drama, or graphic novels. Good for developing interests and specialized knowledge.
Courses organized around a major theme, concept, or sociocultural issue like race, gender, or nature writing. Promote critical thinking and cultural study. Often incorporate diverse perspectives.
Develop key writing and communication skills through courses in academic writing, technical writing, creative writing, journalism, and more. Workshop format provides hands-on learning and feedback.
Rhetoric & Linguistics Courses
Examine elements of communication, language theory and history, rhetorical analysis, and composition strategies. Build critical thinking abilities and strengthen your own communication skills.
Literary Theory & Criticism
Investigate different frameworks for interpreting and analyzing literature. Learn various schools of thought like feminism, postcolonialism, and Marxism. Useful for developing your analytical perspective.
Niche courses exploring specific authors, literary movements, regions, time periods, or concepts. Recent examples include Food in Literature, Music in Poetry, and The Gothic South. Great for quirky interests.
No single course type is inherently better than others. Mixing different categories creates a well-rounded learning experience while catering to your evolving interests and career goals. As you progress in the major, incorporate both foundation courses and specialized topics to help you grow as a reader, thinker, and English student.
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Developing Professional Skills
While most students choose English degrees out of a love of reading and writing, this major provides transferable professional skills as well. Here are some of the top abilities you will develop as an English major that prepare you for today’s workplace:
Communication – Through writing intensive courses and discussion seminars, you will master articulating ideas clearly and effectively in speech and writing. These skills are essential in any field.
Collaboration – Group projects teach you to collaborate smoothly in teams and handle interpersonal dynamics professionally. Key for thriving in companies and organizations.
Creativity – Analyzing literature develops imaginative thinking while creative writing courses nurture inventive expression. This fluid cognitive ability adds value across industries.
Cultural Competency – Reading diverse authors and studying global perspectives nurtures cultural awareness and sensitivity. This helps you engage meaningfully with all people.
Problem Solving – Interpreting complex poems or analyzing rhetorical strategies builds critical thinking for assessing problems and devising solutions. Employers need strong problem solvers.
Research Skills – Academic research papers require gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing information competently. This ability to find and leverage data informs decision making.
While English majors gain knowledge of literature, writing, and language, they also build real-world skills for modern careers. Leverage and articulate these abilities when applying for jobs or graduate programs. The versatile competencies developed through your English degree offer lifelong value.
Getting Involved on Campus
To supplement their academic learning, successful English majors also get involved with extracurricular activities, student organizations, and honors societies. Here are some great ways to engage more deeply in the Texas A&M English community:
Student Journals – Contribute to department journals like The Eckleburg Project creative writing journal or Aggie Rhetor journal. Great resume builder and networking opportunity.
Campus Literary Magazine – Submit your original writing and visual art to Mosaic, Texas A&M’s student-run arts magazine. Help produce each issue and gain publishing experience.
Study Abroad – Immerse yourself in British literature and culture with a study abroad program in London, Oxford, or Edinburgh. See historic literary sites and gain global perspective.
Writing Center – Get paid to help other students improve their writing as a tutor at the Texas A&M Writing Center. Develop your own editing skills and leadership ability.
Academic Conferences – Attend or present original research at academic conferences like the A&M Theory Reading Group conference or Texas Undergraduate Literature Conference. Engage with scholars beyond A&M.
Honors Societies – Join prestigious groups like Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society that offer networking, leadership opportunities, and academic recognition.
Lectures & Readings – Attend author readings, literary lectures, and other campus events featuring prominent English scholars, writers, and public intellectuals.
By fully engaging with the English department through activities like these, you will enrich your learning, develop a professional network, and enjoy your time as an English major at Texas A&M.
Deciding on a Minor or Double Major
Since English courses fulfill core requirements at Texas A&M, majoring in English provides flexibility to pursue additional academic interests through minors or a double major. Useful complementary programs include:
– Communication or Journalism: Enhance writing/communication abilities for media careers
– Education: Licensure requirements to become a secondary English teacher
– History: Contextualize literature within historical events and culture
– Psychology: Understand the human mind, behavior, and emotions that drive characters
– Visual Arts: Explore principles of imagery and design in literature
– World Languages: Read iconic texts of other cultures in the original language
– Sociology: Examine the social contexts surrounding literature and writers
– Philosophy: Engage metaphysical questions and ethics underpinning great works
– Business: Develop communication abilities valuable for corporate careers
A minor or double major expands your academic perspective while aligning with English studies. Meet with advisors in both departments early on to optimize required courses in your schedule.
Sample Semester Course Schedule
To give you a sense of what an English major’s semester might look like at Texas A&M, here is a sample schedule:
Fall Semester, Junior Year:
– Shakespeare’s Tragedies – In-depth study of Shakespeare’s iconic tragic dramas.
– Jane Austen & the Rise of the Novel – Explores early novel contributions of Pride and Prejudice author.
– Rhetorical Theory – Surveys key thinkers like Aristotle and Kenneth Burke who shaped contemporary rhetoric.
– German Literature in Translation – Fulfills foreign language requirement while diversifying literary knowledge.
– Principles of Macroeconomics – Required core curriculum course.
This balances foundational British literature surveys, rhetorical theory, a core economics course, and a multicultural literature elective. The variety prevents course burnout!
By mixing core classes, English major requirements, and engaging electives over your 8 semesters at Texas A&M, you will create a personalized, enriching degree program to prepare you for life after graduation.
With small seminars, innovative courses, accomplished faculty, a thriving literary community, and diverse degree tracks, Texas A&M provides endless opportunities for English majors. By understanding degree and course options and getting involved on campus, you can maximize your time in the department, cultivating knowledge and abilities to last a lifetime. Whether you dream of writing the next great American novel, teaching high school English, working in publishing, or entering any field that values communication, creativity, and critical thinking, an English degree from Texas A&M will equip you for success.