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English majors are required to complete a 45-unit program consisting of 24 units of core requirements and 21 units in an area of concentration, including a 3-unit Culminating Experience capstone course. The four concentrations offered by the English Department are Literature, Linguistics, English Education, and Professional Writing and Rhetoric.

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Key Facts



(BA (Hons)) Literature


Degree Duration

4 years :

1 year pathway + 3 year degree


Pathways Available

International Year One


Start Dates

September 2022

Degree Overview

A maximum of six units of lower-division coursework may be accepted for credit in the English major upon permission of an advisor. Advanced Placement (A.P.) credit in composition cannot be used to fulfil the six-unit lower-division requirement in the major.

Completion of ENG 480GW with a grade of C or higher fulfils the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) for all English majors.

The Culminating Experience capstone course must be completed during either the final semester or one of the semesters of the student’s final (senior) year, depending on the English major concentration. For more information, please refer to the relevant major concentration section in this Bulletin.

The BA in English with a concentration in Literature offers students a historically grounded study of British, American, and “post-colonial” Anglophone literatures. Our core curriculum includes a series of two upper-division survey courses (Literature in English I and II) intended to provide students with a knowledge foundation of literary movements, figures, and forms within a transatlantic context. Literature majors also take one course in linguistics, an upper-division Shakespeare course, at least one course in literary theory or criticism, and at least one course in Anglophone literature produced outside of Britain or America.

The Literature program offers a wide range of courses centered on specific authors (Austen, Chaucer, Woolf), historical periods (“Age of Victorians,” “American Literature 1914-1960”), genres (“Detective Fiction,” “Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction,” “Lyric Forms”), and other special topics (“18th c. Women Writers,” “Devils and Angels”), allowing students to pursue their individual interests and pleasures in fulfilling their elective units. No matter what the subject, all courses within the major foster students’ close reading, writing, and analytical skills. Literature majors can expect to hone their aptitude for writing, research, oral communication, and analytical thinking. This practical skill set prepares our majors for many career opportunities, including teaching, writing and publishing, law, information science, business and marketing, and more.

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You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year such as laptops, Stationary and additional resources.

Why Study this Degree

Students will be able to differentiate how language use varies across the contexts and genres of professional writing and rhetoric, literature, and linguistics. (Disciplinary Knowledge) 
 Students will be able to formulate and pursue methodologically sound lines of inquiry, effectively placing their ideas side by side the ideas of others, drawing persuasively on credible primary and secondary sources. (Research) 
 Students will be able to produce rhetorically effective texts across a range of digital, print, and multimedia formats. (Written Communication/Digital Literacy)

Students will be able to carefully read and critically examine the ways in which culture and global context affect language, literature, and writing. (Global Perspectives) 
 Students will be able to analyze language and texts in relation to the historical and social contexts in which they are situated. (Historical Thinking) Students will be able to apply critical thinking, close reading, and rhetorical persuasion to engage productively and ethically in scholarly, civic, and professional communities. (Application & Engagement)

Students in the literature concentration will be able to perform close readings of complex literary texts with attention to content, connotation, allusion, and thematic purpose. Students in the literature concentration will be able to analyze literary genres, styles, forms, conventions, debates, and/or rhetorical devices in and among texts produced across different historical periods. Students in the literature concentration will demonstrate the ability to conduct research by identifying and defining scholarly questions, accessing and assessing primary and secondary sources, developing strategies to organize and interpret research materials, and communicating their findings or arguments through a range of discipline-specific forms and genres.

Your Pathways

The International Year One is the perfect pathway if you want a undergraduate degree from a UK, EU or US University but do not meet the requirements for direct entry.

The IY1 course provides an intensive combination of first year University subject modules with English language skills.

Following successful completion of the IY1 you will continue onto your second year degree study directly with the University of your choice.

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San Francisco State University

Founded in 1889, SF State offers world-class academics, a diverse campus and an incredible location for students.

With around 27,000 students from all over the globe, international students find SF State a truly welcoming community and diverse place to live in.

SF State has been included in the Top 20 colleges nationwide for best location. It was also rated one of the most diverse colleges in America, according to Wall Street Journal’s 2022 College Rankings.