College Catalog: 2011-2012

Salameno School of American and International Studies (SSAIS): Literature (B.A.)

Four Year Plan
School of American and International Studies Website

Concentration: Creative Writing.

About the Major

Studying Literature at Ramapo, students encounter imaginative writing on aesthetic, cultural, and personal levels. Students learn that not only does literature allow individuals to express themselves, but that literature also reveals the cultural and historical contexts that produced both writer and text. Studying literature allows students to develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that are central not just to the mission of the Literature Major, but to a rewarding professional life.

The capacity to think, speak, and write well distinguishes those who succeed in every profession. About a third of Literature Majors enroll for teacher education; the rest seek careers elsewhere. Publishing, journalism, and media are obvious possibilities for a literature major. Ramapo Literature graduates have also gone on to excel in business, government, and science. Literature provides training for law, diplomacy, and public relations.

The Major prepares its students for the working world, but also for the deeper life of the mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us that “A nobler want of [humanity] is served by […] the love of Beauty.” The major prepares students to be thoughtful, informed citizens who understand the necessity of engaging the imagination through the exploration of world literature, from classical to contemporary periods, from short story to epic poetry.

The Literature program also offers students a space for creative expression. Our creative writing concentration introduces students to the disciplines of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Students also have an opportunity to learn editing and publishing skills by helping produce the college literary magazine Trillium.

The Literature faculty strive to offer students a literary culture on campus, through the Literature Club and the Omega Omega chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English Honor Society.

Literature is at the very heart of the College mission, with its focus on liberal arts and interdisciplinarity, multiculturalism, and global connection. Literature takes in the entire world and enables the student to encounter the complexity and cultural richness of the global village. It fosters the development of an enlightened and critical citizen of the world; perhaps that is why it is one of the most popular majors at Ramapo College.

The major is offered by the School of American and International Studies and leads to a B.A. degree. The Literature Program also offers a Literature Minor and a Concentration in Creative Writing. Please visit http://www.ramapo.edu/major-literature/ to learn more about the major, minor, and concentration.

Requirements of the Major and Creative Writing Concentration
  1. Students are required to take 12 courses (48 credits) to complete the major.
  2. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers only apply to General Education Requirements NOT School Core or Major Requirements.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement: Three writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: First Year Seminar, Critical Reading and Writing (formerly College English), and Readings in Humanities.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Literature Minor
  1. Students are required to take 6 coures (24 credits) to complete the minor.
  2. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
Requirements of the Creative Writing Minor (for non-Literature majors)
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete this minor.
  2. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses required for a minor are not used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor.

As is the case with the study of any art, the studio experience enhances the scholarly experience. In order to complement the scholarly study of Literature for students majoring in other areas, the Literature program offers a minor in Creative Writing. The minor provides students the opportunity to explore the discipline of Literature by focusing on the production of literary works with courses in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. By having to create literature, students are asked to embody and express the formal aesthetic and thematic concerns that are shared with the scholarly aspects of literary study. Additionally, the Creative Writing minor fosters the knowledge and talents of students who demonstrate promise as writers and allows for the opportunity for students to find promise.

A focused curricular and co-curricular experience, the Creative Writing minor is a available for students majoring in areas other than Literature. For students majoring in Literature, a concentration in Creative Writing is available. The Literature Program invites you to join our community of writers.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.