Major & Minor
Whether you choose to make English your principal area of study or your secondary focus, the USF English Department offers you three distinct concentrations within both our major and minor coursework. Each of the literature, writing, and comparative literature and culture concentrations provides a unique-to-USF context for studying and creating literary texts.
One thing that stands out about my English courses was the atmosphere during class. Class was an open, honest place—one that embraced my identity, but that didn't let me off the hook when I needed to be challenged. The writing courses were the best. I remember a professor reading aloud the title of each essay every student had just submitted. It somehow made us feel like we were in some important writing club where intellectual rigor was matched only by playfulness and generosity of spirit. I find that experience is rare in the world, but it’s not at USF."
BRIAN MIHOK '03
Our literature concentration provides a comprehensive and dynamic background in American and British fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Its goal is to foster the critical skills you’ll need to succeed in all your studies, with a curriculum based on collaborative discussion seminars and engaging lectures, and courses emphasizing the traditions, movements, and influences that have inspired and challenged writers throughout history. Ensuring that you comprehend a given work’s cultural and historical context is of paramount importance to us, and you’ll see that reflected in courses that immerse you in the author’s or genre’s perspective.
In our writing concentration, you’ll bring your creative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry skills to life, honing them all while having the opportunity to specialize in one or two of the genres. Combining workshops and seminars to build a curriculum in which you learn about writing from the inside out is our method of ensuring that you become not only discerning consumers, but also savvy producers, of literary texts.
Comparative Literature and Culture Concentration
In our comparative literature and culture concentration, you’ll examine the distinct traditions and trends of the written word around the globe. It’s a way to see the world through the eyes of other diverse cultures and a means to develop a deeper understanding of your own. With an emphasis on diversity, you’ll learn to think, read and analyze the world in more than one language. The nature of our program — studying and comparing art, language, and cultures from across the world — opens up the freedom to easily become immersed in and adapt to any of the abroad programs. We strongly encourage all of our students to reap the benefits of an abroad experience.
Senior Seminar Project (majors only)
Whether you concentrate in either literature or writing, USF’s English major culminates in a senior seminar project that you’ll complete during your final semester. Each of our graduating students produces a major written work, and presents the work publicly at a year-end symposium. These capstone projects, much like the majors themselves, prepare students for success in a variety of careers and graduate programs.
An English minor is an excellent to enhance the value of almost any majors program. The skill set you’ll acquire as an English minor includes how to write for fluid communication, how to scan a text for a quick understanding and how to deeply study a work for thorough comprehension, and how to convey an idea completely and concisely. Whether you major in psychology, business administration, chemistry, or any one of our other programs, a mastery of each of these abilities only amplifies your education.