Bachelor in English


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Program Description

The English major is the best preparation a Mercy College student can have for any career or profession. It offers a way to discover, enjoy and reflect on universal themes in great literature that show us what it means to be human. In addition, it fosters the ability to communicate effectively: to write correctly, to read and think critically, and to speak effectively. These are the skills that provide a clear advantage for success in a business or profession.

English Fast Facts

  • Students begin with foundation courses:
    • Poetics: An Introduction to Literary Texts
    • Survey of English Literature I
    • Survey of English Literature II
  • Students also take courses in each of these categories:
    • Classical
    • Social and Cultural
    • Genres
    • Historical

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Produce writing in a variety of rhetorical modes using appropriate grammatical and stylistic conventions.
  • Read literary texts closely and analytically.
  • Employ logic, creativity, originality, and interpretive skills in oral, written, and/or online discussions.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of English literary genres and traditions as well as the devices, concepts, and contexts associated with them.
  • Conduct academic research by evaluating sources and utilizing correct citation methods.

English B.A. Curriculum

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements 60 Credits
Major Concentration
  • English 36 Credits
  • Open Electives 24 Credits

Total of 120 Credits

Students who choose the major concentration in English literature must complete:

  • ENGL 200 Poetics: Intro Literary Texts
  • ENGL 205 Survey English Lit I
  • ENGL 206 Survey English Lit II
  • ENGL 400 Capstone: Seminar in Literary Research and Writing (only for students entering the major from Fall 2012)

Majors must take at least one course from each of the following four categories: Classical Texts, Social and Cultural Contexts, Literary Genres, and Historical Periods. The remaining 12 credits may be taken from any of these four categories, as well as from the fifth category, Language, and Writing. Students who choose the Language and Writing Option* must take all of the remaining 12 credits from the fifth category.

No more than two Topics in Literature (ENG 295) may be used to complete the major. Two Humanities courses numbered 212 or above may be used to fulfill major requirements (see Humanities course descriptions). In addition, English majors must complete six credits of Foreign Language.** It is recommended that the six credits in a foreign language be in the same language.

Classical Texts
  • ENGL 225 Classical Literature
  • ENGL 230 The Bible as Literature
  • ENGL 243 Shakespeare in Music & Drama
  • ENGL 305 Chaucer
  • ENGL 315 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 316 Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • ENGL 320 Milton
  • ENGL 385 Masterpieces of European Lit
Social and Cultural Contexts
  • ENGL 234 Literature by Women
  • ENGL/ HIST 239 American Studies I
  • ENGL 242 Literature and Psychology
  • ENGL 257 Latin American Literature
  • ENGL/ HIST 263 Black Atlantic: Lit/History
  • ENGL 267 Caribbean Literature
  • ENGL 317 Hemingway
  • ENGL 352 Contemporary African Literature
  • ENGL 353 African-American Literature
  • ENGL 357 Contemporary Nobel Laureates
Literary Genres
  • ENGL 212 Science Fiction
  • ENGL 220 The Short Story
  • ENGL 240 Literature to Film
  • ENGL 249 American Gothic
  • ENGL 270 British Novel: 1750 to 1900
  • ENGL 271 Modern British Novel:1900-Present
  • ENGL 280 History of Drama
  • ENGL 281 Modern Drama
  • ENGL 285 Modern Poetry
  • ENGL 301 Utopian Literature
Historical Periods
  • ENGL 268 Harlem Renaissance
  • ENGL 275 Modern American Fiction
  • ENGL 276 Contemporary American Literature
  • ENGL 300 Medieval Literature
  • ENGL 310 Renaissance Poetry & Prose
  • ENGL 325 The 17th Century: Poetry/Prose
  • ENGL 330 The Eighteenth Century
  • ENGL 335 The Major English Romantics
  • ENGL 340 The Major Victorians
  • ENGL 360 American Colonial Writings
  • ENGL 365 American Romanticism
  • ENGL 370 American Realism
Language and Writing

Choose any four (4) for the Language and Writing Option

  • ENGL 202 Business Writing
  • ENGL 217 Intro Creative Writing
  • ENGL 218 Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENGL 219 Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • ENGL/ SPCM 259 Oral Performance of Literature
  • ENGL/ SPCM 265 Introduction to Playwriting
  • ENGL 266 Writing for the Web
  • ENGL 304 Applied English Grammar
  • ENGL 404 The Structure/Form of English
  • MEDA 134 The Feature Article I*
  • MEDA 154 Publicity Writing*

* Only English majors who choose the Language and Writing Option (12 credits in Language and Writing category plus the ENGL 400 as the capstone course) can take the MEDA courses for English credit.

** Three credits of this 6-credit Foreign Language requirement may count toward the general education foreign language requirement.

There is an 18-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of English.

The Four-Plus-One Program
The English Program's Four-Plus-One Program option offers a unique opportunity to qualified undergraduates in English who wish to pursue their masters at an accelerated pace. If they meet the admissions criteria for the Master's Program in English, including a 3.0 GPA, they apply in the first semester of their junior year to the Master of Arts in English at Mercy College. For further information see Four-Plus-One Program under Master of Arts in English Literature of the Graduate Catalog.

Career Opportunities

Representative career opportunities include law, medicine, arts and entertainment, public relations, public information, writing, editing, publishing, sales, marketing, advertising, management, and personnel relations, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, federal, state, or local government, teaching, and administration.
Last updated Dec 2019

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About the School

Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Scien ... Read More

Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College challenges its faculty and staff to make higher education work for anyone hungry enough to earn a better place in life. With campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan and Yorktown Heights, the vibrancy of the College culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region. Read less
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