Applying for the Major or Minor

Applying for the Major or Minor 

The minimum requirement for consideration for the major or minor is the completion of at least two graded courses in English Literature at Swarthmore, other than Composition, Journalism, or Creative Writing credits. Decisions regarding applications will be deferred until two graded literature courses are completed.

Applications are considered in the spring of the sophomore year. Each student will, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, present a reasoned plan of study for the last two years. This plan will be submitted to the department and will be the basis of the departmental discussion of the student’s application. The plan will include a list of proposed courses and seminars that will satisfy the requirements for either the Course or Honors Program and a rationale for the program of study.

Applications for the major or minor are normally considered at a meeting of all department members. Each student is discussed individually. The department has never established a minimum grade point average, nor are certain courses weighted in this discussion more heavily than others. A record of less than satisfactory work in English would certainly give us pause, however, unless it were attributable to circumstances other than academic ability. Students who want to include the English major as part of a double major must have a record of strong work in both majors as well as in other courses.