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Website: School of Humanities and Global Studies

Concentrations: Creative Writing and Specialized Studies

About the Major

The English and Literary Studies Major at Ramapo College: Read Your World, Write Your Life.

English and Literary Studies majors are ready to embark on any number of exciting careers. English and Literary Studies graduates excel in government, business, law, and even science—wherever articulate and creative expression is valued. And of course, the study of literature is excellent preparation for elementary or secondary teaching.

Ramapo’s English and Literary Studies majors make valuable connections in the community and professional world through coursework, internships, cooperative education, and service learning. They thrive in the worlds of publishing, writing, law, journalism, diplomacy, public relations, higher education, and library sciences.

Visit our Success Stories page and meet our graduates and current students: https://www.ramapo.edu/major-literature/success-stories/.

The English and Literary Studies major does more than prepare students for the working world; it fosters thoughtful, informed citizenship. Students develop the critical thinking, reading, research, and writing skills essential in our increasingly interconnected world. As literary critic M. H. Abrams writes, the study of literature “shows you possibilities you haven’t thought of. It enables you to live the lives of other people than yourself.” Our students engage their imaginations through the study of literary texts that contain the history of our world—as that history actually unfolded and as it might have.

The program balances American, British, world literatures, and creative writing through survey, seminar, and workshop courses.  Students study genre, form, period, and theme; they develop skills in reading, criticism, and creative writing. Courses emphasize the interdisciplinary and multicultural dimensions of literature and life, firing the imagination while preparing students for careers or graduate education.  Literature takes in the entire world, and promotes critically informed global citizens.

Besides pursuing an English and Literary Studies major, students may choose to minor or concentrate in Creative Writing or Specialized Studies. Our students also edit Trillium, the college’s literary magazine. The Literature Club and Ramapo’s Chapter of the national English Honor Society are among the most engaged and successful student organizations on campus.

Literature is central to the College’s liberal arts mission, at the very heart of its focus on interdisciplinary, multiculturalism, and global connection.  The major is offered by the School of Humanities and Global Studies and leads to a B.A. degree.  The English and Literary Studies Program also offers two minors:  English and Literary Studies or Creative Writing.  Some English and Literary Studies Majors choose to pursue a concentration in Creative Writing.

Please visit: https://www.ramapo.edu/major-literature/ to learn more about the major, minor, and concentrations.

“Literature is the most astonishing technological means that humans have created, and now practiced for thousands of years, to capture experience.” —Stephen Greenblatt

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Read diverse literary works and be able to articulate their aesthetic qualities, and historical and human insights.

Outcome 1: Students will practice close reading.

Outcome 2: Students will demonstrate the ability of the interconnectedness of authors, literary traditions, theoretical approaches, and forms.

Goal 2: Develop an understanding of the formal, historical and theoretical aspects of literature and the English language.

Outcome 3: Students will write well and creatively.

Outcome 4: Students will perform literary research accessing primary, secondary, and visual source materials in various ways, including electronic databases.

Outcome 5:  Students will speak effectively in scholarly and creative contexts.

        Outcome 6:  Students will apply the tools of digital humanities to the study of literature.

Outcomes for the Creative Writing and Specialized Studies Concentrations

Outcome 1: Students will be proficient in key aspects of craft in the production of particular genres of Creative Writing, including Poetry, Fiction and Personal Essay.

Outcome 2: Students will demonstrate ability to provide critique of peer work that includes particular craft terminology.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Students 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 do not apply to Major Requirements.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Studies in the Arts and Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.  Specifically, the three courses will be Century, and LITR 203 “Methods of Literary Study,” LITR 240 “Survey of British Literature: Anglo-Saxon Period to 18th Century,” LITR 319 “Author Studies.”  Students also take LITR 414 “Literature Seminar.”
  5. At least three non-program/concentration-required courses must be at the 300-level.
  6. A cluster consists of courses that are all of a particular genre, period, national literature, or of the same interdisciplinary theme (e.g., theater/drama). The cluster
    created/chosen must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.
  7. No courses can “double count” to fulfill more than one course category.
  8. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  9. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.
ENGLISH AND LITERARY STUDIES MAJOR

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

Teacher Education Track
Requirements of the Creative Writing Concentration

(The Creative Writing concentration is only available to those majoring in English and Literary Studies.)

Requirements of the Specialized Studies Concentration

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

Requirements of the English and Literary Studies Minor
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete the minor.
  2. At least half 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.
ENGLISH AND LITERARY STUDIES MINOR
  • Subject & Course # – Title & Course Description
  • REQUIRED:
  • LITR 203 - METHODS OF LITERARY STUDY
  • ENGLISH AND LITERARY STUDIES ELECTIVES:  SELECT FOUR MORE LITR  COURSES  (one at 300 level)
Requirements of the Creative Writing Minor (for non-English and Literary Studies majors)
  1. Students are required to take 5 courses (20 credits) to complete this minor.
  2. At least half 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 English and Literary Studies 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 creating literature, students are asked to embody and express the formal, aesthetic, and thematic concerns that we share with the scholarly aspects of literary study. Additionally, the Creative Writing minor fosters the knowledge and talents of students who have demonstrated promise as writers and allows others to find talents they did not know they had.

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

CREATIVE WRITING MINOR

In some circumstances, another course can be substituted for one of the above courses.  See the Convener.