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  • B.A. in English

    Develop strong literacy skills as you read and write critically
    Build a foundation in critical thinking and communication that you can apply as a writer, teacher and in many other working environments.
    School of Liberal Arts
    Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Yorktown Heights & Online

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English B.A. Curriculum

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
General Education Requirements 60 Credits
Major Concentration
English 36 Credits
Open Electives 24 Credits
Total 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, or 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. In addition, English majors must complete six credits of Foreign Language. It is recommended that the six credits in 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 269 Hispanic/Latino Literature
  • ENGL 317 Hemingway
  • ENGL 352 Contempry African Literature
  • ENGL 353 African-American Literature
  • ENGL 357 Contemporary Nobel Laureates

Literary Genres

  • ENGL 212 Science Fiction
  • ENGL 214 Cyberpunk
  • ENGL 220 The Short Story
  • ENGL 240 Literature to Film
  • ENGL 249 American Gothic
  • ENGL 270 British Novel: 1750 to 1900
  • ENGL 271 Modrn British Novel:1900-Prsnt
  • ENGL 280 History of Drama
  • ENGL 281 Modern Drama
  • ENGL 285 Modern Poetry
  • ENGL 301 Utopian Literature

Historical Periods

  • ENGL 207 American Lit Survey I: Beginnings to 1865
  • ENGL 208 American Lit Survey II: 1865 - Present
  • 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 319 Advanced Creative Writing
  • ENGL 259 Oral Performance of Literature
  • ENGL 265 Introduction to Playwriting
  • ENGL 304 Modern English: Writing with Style (formerly known as Applied English Grammar)
  • ENGL 306 The Secret Life of Words and Sentences (formerly known as ENGL 404 Structure and Form of English)
  • MEDA 134 The Feature Article*
  • 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.

Academic Program Sequence Map

Download a copy of the sequence map for:


Do you have online courses?
Yes. Many of our major courses are taught online on a rotating basis.
What is the first step in the admissions process?
Click on "Apply Now" on the Mercy homepage or call 1.877.MERCY.GO to apply for admission to Mercy College and arrange for an appointment with an Admissions Counselor. Bring your completed application form and copies of your high school and/or college transcripts with you at the time of your appointment.
How long does earning a degree take?
Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.
What can I do with an English major?
The opportunities are infinite. The ability to write, analyze, comprehend a text, and speak with effectiveness makes anyone who graduates with this major extremely marketable in the competitive job market today.
Are department faculty available for academic advising?
Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.
What are the prerequisites for this program?
Any student who has completed English 111 and 112, and enjoys reading and writing, can apply for admission into the English program.
Do you offer night and weekend classes?
Yes, in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, and Manhattan.
How many credits can be transferred from another institution?
Up to 75 credits from a two-year institution. Up to 90 from a four-year institution. Up to 90 credits combined however the credits may not exceed 75 credits from any combination of two-year institutions as they apply to your chosen degree. In addition you may only transfer in two courses of upper-level business credit (six credits) to apply to the major / specialization.
Celia Reissig-Vasile Professor, English
David Kilpatrick Professor, English
Miriam Gogol Professor, English
Sean Dugan Professor, English
Kristen Keckler Professor, Chair, Literature and Language
Michael Perrota Associate Professor, Chair, Communication & the Arts
Jessica Ward Assistant Professor, English, British Literature
Allyson Richmond Assistant Professor, English

English Overview

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 FAQS

Do you offer night and weekend classes?
Yes, in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, and Manhattan.
How long does earning a degree take?
Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

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

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.

Five year B.S./M.S. Teacher Education Program

Interested in becoming a teacher? Take a look at our B.S./M.S. Dual Degree Program which allows students interested in the teaching profession to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree at an accelerated pace.

If you are interested in becoming an English teacher, you are already part way there, students who major as undergraduates in English may receive certification in Secondary Education, Childhood Education or Early Childhood Education

To learn more please visit the School of Education website.

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