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English Majors

English Overview

Build a foundation in critical thinking and communication that you can apply as a writer, teacher and in many other working environments.

The English major is the best preparation a Mercy College student can have for any career or profession. It offers a way to discover, enjoy and reflect on universal themes in great literature that show us what it means to be human. In addition, it fosters the ability to communicate effectively: to write correctly, to read and think critically, and to speak effectively. These are the skills that provide a clear advantage for success in a business or profession.

English opportunities

Career Opportunities

Representative career opportunities include law, medicine, arts and entertainment, public relations, public information, writing, editing, publishing, sales, marketing, advertising, management and personnel relations, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, federal, state, or local government, teaching, and administration.

70% Students

with humanities degree have
deeper interest in their work over
business & social sciences students

5 Year BA & MS

English undergraduates can 
enroll towards earning an
English teaching degree.

120 Credits 

Total Credits to Earn Your Degree 
Classes in creative writing, world
literature & media and technoculture

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

•  SAT & ACT optional

•  RED HYACINTH — student run journal

•  Some courses completely online

•  Nationally recognized PACT program

Full-Time Faculty

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Isabel Grayson Assistant Professor
Dr. Horton
Dana Horton Assistant Professor
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Kristen Keckler Associate Professor

Chair, Literature and Language
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Laura Proszak Assistant Professor

Part-Time Faculty

Anne Gilligan-Evans
Anne Gilligan AVP, Admissions

Adjunct Instructor
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Christopher Antzoulis Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Katherine Arnoldi Adjunct Instructor
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Emily Behnke Adjunct Instructor

Faculty Emeritae/i

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Joel Feimer Professor Emeritus
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Betty Krasne Professor Emerita
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Karen Leroy Assistant Professor Emerita
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Eileen McMahon Associate Professor Emerita

Frequently Asked Questions

Are department faculty available for academic advising?

Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.

What can I do with an English major?

The English major is one of the most versatile degrees you can earn with the potential to lead to dozens of different careers paths. For ideas, inspiration and more information on what awaits our graduates, please visit our Mercy English blog.

How long does earning a degree take?

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

Do you have online courses?

Yes. Many of our major courses are taught online on a rotating basis.

What are the prerequisites for this program?

Any student who has completed English 111 and 112, and enjoys reading and writing, can declare English as their major.

Program Outcomes

  • Produce writing in a variety of rhetorical modes using appropriate grammatical and stylistic conventions

  • Read literary texts closely and analytically

  • Employ logic, creativity, originality, and interpretive skills in oral, written, and/or online discussions

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of English literary genres and traditions as well as the devices, concepts, and contexts associated with them

  • Conduct academic research by evaluating sources and utilizing correct citation methods

Program Details & Curriculum


General Liberal Arts and Sciences

General Education Requirements: 60 Credits
Major Concentration—English: 36 Credits
Open Electives: 24 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

Students who choose the major concentration in English literature must complete:

  • ENGL 200 Poetics: Intro Literary Texts
  • ENGL 205 Survey English Lit I
  • ENGL 206 Survey English Lit II
  • ENGL 400 Capstone: Seminar in Literary Research and Writing (only for students entering the major from Fall 2012)



Majors must take at least one course from each of the following four categories: Classical Texts, Social and Cultural Contexts, Literary Genres, and Historical Periods. The remaining 12 credits may be taken from any of these four categories, or from the fifth category, Language and Writing. Students who choose the Language and Writing Option* must take all of the remaining 12 credits from the fifth category. In addition, English majors must complete six credits of Foreign Language. It is recommended that the six credits in foreign language be in the same language**.

Classical Texts

  • ENGL 225 Classical Literature
  • ENGL 230 The Bible as Literature
  • ENGL 243 Shakespeare in Music & Drama
  • ENGL 305 Chaucer
  • ENGL 315 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 316 Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • ENGL 320 Milton
  • ENGL 385 Masterpieces of European Lit

Social and Cultural Contexts

  • ENGL 234 Literature by Women
  • ENGL/ HIST 239 American Studies I
  • ENGL 242 Literature and Psychology
  • ENGL 257 Latin American Literature
  • ENGL/ HIST 263 Black Atlantic:Lit/History
  • ENGL 267 Caribbean Literature
  • ENGL 269 Hispanic/Latino Literature
  • ENGL 317 Hemingway
  • ENGL 352 Contempry African Literature
  • ENGL 353 African-American Literature
  • ENGL 357 Contemporary Nobel Laureates

Literary Genres

  • ENGL 212 Science Fiction
  • ENGL 214 Cyberpunk
  • ENGL 220 The Short Story
  • ENGL 240 Literature to Film
  • ENGL 249 American Gothic
  • ENGL 270 British Novel: 1750 to 1900
  • ENGL 271 Modrn British Novel:1900-Prsnt
  • ENGL 280 History of Drama
  • ENGL 281 Modern Drama
  • ENGL 285 Modern Poetry
  • ENGL 301 Utopian Literature

Historical Periods

  • ENGL 207 American Lit Survey I: Beginnings to 1865
  • ENGL 208 American Lit Survey II: 1865 - Present
  • ENGL 268 Harlem Renaissance
  • ENGL 275 Modern American Fiction
  • ENGL 276 Contemporary American Literature
  • ENGL 300 Medieval Literature
  • ENGL 310 Renaissance Poetry & Prose
  • ENGL 325 The 17th Century: Poetry/Prose
  • ENGL 330 The Eighteenth Century
  • ENGL 335 The Major English Romantics
  • ENGL 340 The Major Victorians
  • ENGL 360 American Colonial Writings
  • ENGL 365 American Romanticism
  • ENGL 370 American Realism

Language and Writing

Choose any four (4) for the Language and Writing Option

  • ENGL 202 Business Writing
  • ENGL 217 Intro Creative Writing
  • ENGL 218 Creative Writing:Poetry
  • ENGL 219 Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • ENGL 319 Advanced Creative Writing
  • ENGL 259 Oral Performance of Literature
  • ENGL 265 Introduction to Playwriting
  • ENGL 304 Modern English: Writing with Style (formerly known as Applied English Grammar)
  • ENGL 306 The Secret Life of Words and Sentences (formerly known as ENGL 404 Structure and Form of English)
  • MEDA 134 The Feature Article*
  • MEDA 154 Publicity Writing*


* Only English majors who choose the Language and Writing Option (12 credits in Language and Writing category plus the ENGL 400 as the capstone course) can take the MEDA courses for English credit. 

** Three credits of this 6-credit Foreign Language requirement may count toward the general education foreign language requirement.

There is an 18-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of English.

Academic Program Sequence Map

Download a copy of the sequence map for: