Department of English

(Division of Humanities and the Arts)

Professor Elizabeth Mazzola, Interim Chair • Department Office: NA 6/219 • Tel: 212-650-6302

General Information

The City College offers the following undergraduate degree in English:

B.A. in English

Programs and Objectives

Courses in literature and writing enhance the experience of students in virtually all areas of the liberal arts, the performing arts, and the sciences.

Departmental majors may concentrate in the following:

  • Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Secondary English Education

The discipline of English has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and the offerings of the City College English Department reflect those changes. The required "Introduction to Literary Study" course, English 25000, takes the analysis of literary genres as its subject. This course helps students develop the basic vocabulary and skills of close textual analysis, while also introducing influential theoretical concepts and encouraging students to read literary texts in light of these ideas. The "Representative Writers" sequences in United States and British literature replace traditional surveys of major writers and provide a more interdisciplinary and intertextual approach to the American and British literary traditions. The "Selected Topics" courses offer visiting and permanent faculty members the opportunity to share their particular research interests with students, while the "Advanced Topics" and "Seminars" allow for comprehensive treatment of a particular topic in a more intimate classroom setting.

Creative Writing

The teaching of creative writing at the College began in 1919, and the Department’s graduates include some of the most eminent authors of this century and the previous one. Workshops in fiction, poetry, and playwriting are regularly offered by professors who are themselves accomplished authors.

Secondary English Education

The teaching concentration is a specific regimen of literature, language, and writing courses required by most states (including New York) of candidates for high school teaching certification.

Publishing Certificate Program

This program is for students interested in pursuing a career in publishing. Students take four courses—one of which must be Introduction to Publishing—offered campus-wide in the editorial, marketing and design track. To complete the certificate, students must maintain a 3.0 average in their publishing courses and take part in paid internships at a publishing house suitable to their career goals. Faculty and guests include some of the leading publishing professionals in the country. For information, contact David Unger, the Program Director, at 212-650-7925.

The English Honors Program

Majors and minors with a 3.3 GPA who have taken at least two upper-division English electives may apply to the English Honors Program, which includes two seminars and a course devoted to the writing of a thesis under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The program also offers advising, lectures, and opportunities for students to share their work. Creative writing students may submit a manuscript of poems or stories in lieu of the thesis. Students should contact the program’s administrative assistant, Ms. Renee Philippi, or the Program Director, Professor Mikhal Dekel for information.