Academic Catalog 2022-2023 
    Sep 30, 2023  
Academic Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors, Minors, and Other Programs

Chair: Associate Professor J. Lewin (on leave Winter 2023, replaced by B. Kuhn)
Faculty: Professors K. Doyle, H. Jenkins (*possible term abroad Fall), J. Murphy (on leave Winter-Spring 2023), J. Smith (on leave Spring 2023); Associate Professors C. Bracken, A. Burkett, B. Kuhn (chair during Winter 2023), K. Lynes, J. Mitchell, J. Troxell, B. Tuon, P. Wareh; Assistant Professors S. McAuliffe; Affiliated Faculty Assistant Professor D. Venning (also in Theater & Dance); Senior Lecturer A. Pease (also in Modern Languages-Russian.)
Staff:  Debora Catharine (Administrative Assistant)

Course Selection Guidelines

Placement in Union’s English Curriculum:

Students should enroll in any English 100-level course (usually 100-189) unless they scored a 5 on either the AP English Literature or AP English Language test (see AP credit explanation below).


  • All students are welcome to enroll in English 100-level courses.  All 100- level courses are equal in difficulty.  Courses between 190-199, categorized under our new “Confronting the Canon’ curricular initiative (described below), are specifically design for and required of English majors, minors and IDs, who have priority.
  • Having completed one 100-level English course, any student may enroll in any 200-level EGL course (see also AP 5 information).
  • All 200-level courses are equal in difficulty and appropriate for both majors and all other interested studetns with either one 100-level prerequisite or an AP 5 (see below).
  • Students should not take more than one introductory English course.

Students with AP English credit:

At Union College, a grade of 4 or 5 on an AP English Literature or an AP English Language test earns one unspecified course credit toward the 36 required for graduation.  Nontheless, all students still must fulfill the requirements of their class year’as Common Curriculum/Complex Questions: Global Challenges & Social Justice education system.  AP credit does not fullfill nor substitute for requirements in either system.

Students scoring a “5” on AP English Exams:

The English Department recognizes an AP English Literature or Language score of 5 as sufficient preparation for 200- level coursework; students with these scores may enroll in 200-level English courses without the prerequisite by securing a waiver from the registrar. AP5 credit does not reduce the number of courses to be taken to complete an English major or minor: which remains 12 courses (7 for minors/ 8 for IDs). With AP credit offsetting one 100-level, de facto, majors, minors and IDs with an AP 5 get an extra elective. (More information for prospectiveEnglish majors or minors below).  

Prerequisites in Union’s English curriculum:

  • One 100-level course is a prerequisite for any 200-level course. (Exceptions - See AP5 information above)
  • To enroll in a 300-level EGL course, a student must have taken two 200-level EGL courses and have either taken one 100-level course or have an AP5 and for a total of at least three English courses. Others may be admitted at the instructor’s discretion.
  • To enroll in a 400-level EGL course, a student must have taken four 200-level EGL courses and have either taken two 100-level courses or have an AP5 and taken one 100-level course for a total of at least six English courses. Others may be admitted at the instructor’s discretion.


Junior and Senior EGL seminars are designed mainly for majors, IDs and minors, who have priority.  Some seats may be availabe for interested non-majors at the discretion of the instructor.


“Confronting the Canon” curriculum initiative:

In June 2020, the English department approved the following pledge:

“We will restructure our curriculum, so as to include and make visible the experiences of underrepresented students. We pledge to do more to center the lives and experiences of those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our scholarship, teaching, and service both within and beyond the Union College community.” In order to put this pledge into practice, we will embed the lives and experiences that are explored in texts by BIPOC authors into the undergraduate study of literature.

We developed a new, two-course sequence:=which requires a 100-level course included in our, “Confronting the Canon,” series (EGL 190-199) and a BIPOC course. These courses taken in any order, ensure that students engage with critical race theory and BIPOC-authored literary texts at multiple points during their training as English majors or minors.

Beginning with the class of 2025 and following, students considering English should begin coursework with any course between EGL 100 - 189. Although they vary in focus, theme or genre, these courses introduce/reinforce basic skills of literary study. Students may then proceed to intermediate (200-level) coursework or take a “Confronting the Canon” course between 190-199.

“Confronting the Canon” courses are designed to: introduce English majors and minors to the foundational questions raised when interrogating and reconfiguring what has long been considered the traditional, Western literary canon. They courses emphasize that English literary study, has an established history of focusing on texts by white, male authors, often at the expense of works written by, among others, women, writers of color, and queer writers. By confronting curricular choices and their implications, “Confronting the Canon” courses explore reimagining the canon intentionally. The courses ask questions like: Who determined the canon? What does the canon perpetuate? Who is included and who excluded? What is at stake in upholding or dismantling it? What do we value as English students and faculty? What do we envision as our role in the field of English literary and cultural studies?

The following summarizes the English requirements retained for graduating classes 2023, and 2024 and the new requirements for the Class of 2025 and beyond. More details and course lists are availabe at the links below “Programs”.

Requirements for the English Major (Classes of 2023, and 2024)

Twelve courses, including: two introductory-level courses (100-199)(unless one has an AP5 in which case see above); seven intermediate courses (200-level), among which are required one course on Shakespeare (200 or 201), one pre-1700 course (202-215), and one 1700-1900 course (216-236), and four electives; and three seminars in total, among which are required one junior seminar (300-level), one senior seminar (400-level) and a third seminar at either level.

  • Thesis is not required of English majors, who are still eligible for college distinctions based on GPA (summa, magna and cum laude).
  • All English majors, including those who write a thesis, must take one senior seminar (WS requirement).
  • Students seeking English Honors have a 14-course requirement: the additonal two courses being the two-term Honors thesis seminar, EGL 402-3, whihc is a workshop taken during Fall-Winter of students’ senior year, and is available by application.
  • Interdepartmental majors must pay particular attention to the reuirements of both departments and complete a senior seminar/project (WS).


Requirements for Interdepartmental Majors (Classes of 2023 and 2024)

I.D. Majors have an 8-course English requirement: one 100-level course and seven others, including one Shakespeare course (200 or 201), pre-1700 course (202-215), four 200-level courses of choice, and one seminar of choice.

Students seeking an Honors I.D. degree with English have a 10-course requirement, the additional two courses being the two-term Honors thesis seminar. ID Honors students should be sure to take EGL 302 Literary Theory in Winter of their Junior year.

Requirements for the Minor (for Classes of 2023 and 2024)

English Minors have a 7-course requirement, one 100-level course and six others, including one Shakespeare course (200 or 201), one pre-1700 course (202-215), three 200-level electives, and one 300-level course of choice.

Requirements for the Classes of 2025 and 2026

Majors take one 100-level (100-189) and a “Confronting the Canon” (190-199) course,and take a 200-level,  BIPOC- literature course among their 200-level electives.

ID Majors take one 100-level (100-189) and a “Confronting the Canon” (190-199) course, then choose either a pre-1700 (202-215), or Shakespeare (200-201). Like full majors, ID majors must take a 200-level, BIPOC literature course as one of their 200-level electives.

Minors take one 100-level course (100-189) and then choose two of the following three coverage requirements: a “Confronting the Canon” (190-199), a pre-1700 (202-215), or a Shakespeare (200-201). Minors may satisfy the BIPOC literature course requirement at the 200, 300, or 400-level.

* An AP English score of 5 to may substitute for one 100-level course (100-189) but not “Confronting the Canon” or the BIPOC lit requirement.

For detailed information about English department courses and activities, English department posters and bulletines, or see the English Department’s website, Facebook page (Union College English Department), Twitter account (@UnionCollegeEGL), or Instagram account (@unionegl).


    Bachelor of ArtsMinor


    Page: 1 | 2

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors, Minors, and Other Programs